Bay Area Changemakers Class

Bay Area Changemakers, formerly E Block, is a six-week Upper School class taught by Renita LiVolsi and Anna Yatroussis from the Office of DEIB.

Launched in 2020, E Block has been refocused in the past year to align closely with the Strategic Goal: Experience: Ready Today for Tomorrow with a priority to nurture student leaders to create positive and enduring change. Students have the opportunity to meet everyday changemakers who are tackling issues in San Francisco and around the Bay Area. Students gain firsthand insights into the challenges and triumphs of those actively making a difference in their community. Past guest speakers have included Pam Tau Lee, a cofounder of the Chinese Progressive Association, and members of the Sogorea 'Te Land Trust. 

This week, eighth graders enjoyed a visit from Lyslynn Lacoste, Chief of Staff for the San Francisco Public Defender’s Office. Lyslynn Lacoste was appointed as the Chief of Staff in August 2022 after spending 11 years as the Executive Director of the B’MAGIC program. She is a first-generation American, whose family is originally from Haiti, and for over 25 years, she has served youth through engaging in leadership development, mentoring, and advocating for juvenile justice reform. 

Following a presentation on her journey from growing up in Boston to joining the San Francisco Public Defender’s office, students had the opportunity to ask questions. One student asked how she works with groups of people who are in conflict. “You need to get people to a place where they hear each other. If they won’t listen to each other you will get nowhere. But if they do, I find there is often much more common ground than they realize.”
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