Jason C. Reynolds
Senior Pastor, Emmanuel Baptist Church
Jason C. Reynolds is the Senior Pastor of Emmanuel Baptist Church in San Jose, CA. Since arriving at Emmanuel in 2012, Pastor Jason has helped to revitalize the ministry and made changes that have resulted in a steady increase in membership and attendance.
Driven by his dedication to evangelism, Pastor Jason has led innovative projects that were created to meet both the spiritual and physical needs of the community. Some of these efforts include the Labor Day Gas Buy Down, 3&3 Pentecost Worship Service at the Santa Clara Convention Center and Emmanuel Cares. Pastor Jason also has a unique gifting in the area of creative arts. He has written and starred in multiple theatrical productions such as Miracle on White Road, The Magnifcat and In Defense of the Cross.
In the short time since his arrival in San Jose, Pastor Jason has received multiple awards and recognition for his leadership from a variety of organizations such as the California Legislature Assembly and the African American Community Service Agency.
Pastor Jason earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering from Washington University in St. Louis, MO, and a Master of Arts in Divinity from McCormick Theological Seminary in Chicago, IL. With a firm belief in continuing education, he went on to receive a certificate from the Executive Education program at Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University. In 2018, he became a Senior Fellow of American Leadership Forum Silicon Valley.
Pastor Jason is very active in his surrounding community. Currently, he is partnered with the San Francisco 49ers and Police Officer Associations from around the country to improve relationships between police and communities of color. He is also a member of the Community Advisory Board to the Chief of Police in San Jose and has been a community trainer for the San Jose Police Department on procedural justice. In 2014, he was a founding member of an interfaith group of clergy and laypeople called Claiming the Beloved Community to improve the relationships and accountability of local law enforcement. Within this group, he meets with the Mayor, Chief of Police, Independent Police Auditor, NAACP, PACT, and multiple faith traditions to collaboratively create solutions for the city of San Jose. In 2018, Pastor Jason became an Adjunct Professor at Evergreen Valley College in the Philosophy Department teaching Intro to Ethics which helps to inspire and guide young adults.
Pastor Jason is happily married to Poch'e (Po-Shay) Reynolds and they have two sons, Jadon (Jay-Den) and Jason II (affectionately called “Bubba”).
Chief of Police, San Jose Police Department
Eddie was born in San Juan, Puerto Rico, and at a young age moved to San Jose, CA. He holds a Bachelor's Degree from Union Institute and University.
Hired by SJPD in February 1992, Eddie initially worked in the Patrol division, then on the Narcotics Enforcement Team and in Special Operations - M.E.R.G.E (Mobile Emergency Response Group & Equipment).
In August 2000, Eddie was promoted to Sergeant and selected to work as a Night Detective, and later as a Homicide Investigator. Within five years, he was promoted to Lieutenant responsible for commanding the Community Services Division and the Special Investigations Unit.
In February 2010, Eddie advanced to the role of Captain where he held command of the City’s Central Division until being transferred to the Bureau of Investigations where he became Deputy Chief. Soon after, he became the Deputy Chief of the Bureau of Administration. By December 2013, he was again promoted to Assistant Chief of Police, then Acting Chief of Police in January 2016.
On March 1, 2016, Eddie was confirmed in his current position as Chief of Police. Under his command, Chief Garcia has focused on implementation of initiatives aimed at building community trust; increasing transparency; improving accountability; and embracing fair, impartial and constitutional policing. Among these initiatives are analysis and public availability of the Department’s Use of Force data; trainings on procedural justice and implicit bias; and community engagement efforts such as expansion of the Police Chief’s Community Advisory Board, launch of T.E.A.M. Kids, a life skills program at elementary schools, and “Coffee with a Cop” events. Chief Garcia is also regularly interviewed on KTVU’s Mornings on 2 news program.
(&) Campaign President and Co-Founder
Justin Giboney is the Co-Founder and President of the AND Campaign, a coalition of urban Christians who are determined to address the sociopolitical arena with the compassion and conviction of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Through training, coalition building, and advocacy, he and his team at AND Campaign equip believers to have a greater impact and pursue reconciliation. The AND Campaign also brings a voice to urban Christians who operate under a worldview that is committed to redemptive justice and ‘values-based policy’.
Mr. Giboney is also an Attorney and Political Strategist in Atlanta, GA. He has managed successful campaigns for elected officials in the state and referendums relating to the city’s transportation and water infrastructure. In 2012 and 2016, the state of Georgia’s 5th congressional district elected him as a delegate for the Democratic National Convention where he served as the co-chair of Obama for America’s Gen44-Atlanta initiative.
A former Vanderbilt University football player and law student, Justin serves on the Board of Directors for Urban League of Greater Atlanta. Additionally, Justin has participated in LEAD Atlanta, Outstanding Atlanta, and the Georgia Bar Association’s Leadership Academy. He has also written op-eds for publications such as Christianity Today and Creative Loafing.
Dr. Hilaria Bauer
Superintendent, Alum Rock School District
Hilaria Bauer, Ph.D., was appointed Superintendent of the Alum Rock Union Elementary School District in June 2014. Dr. Bauer's top priorities are raising academic performance of all students across the District, improving the performance of the District's middle schools to allow its students to build better bridges to high school, and improving institutional support for the District's sizeable percentage of English language learners. In order to advance these goals, Dr. Bauer has implemented an aggressive parent engagement strategy that seeks their greater input and collaboration through social media, multiple parent forums and workshops, and an overhaul of the District's internal culture to prioritize parent communication and engagement. In recognition of her dedicated efforts, City Year named her the 2015 Champion of Student Success. The San Francisco 49ers also awarded her in 2015 with the NFL Hispanic Heritage Leadership Award.
Prior to becoming Superintendent, Dr. Bauer served in the Alum Rock School District for 10 years as a middle school Principal, the Director of Curriculum & Instruction, and the Academic Achievement Officer. It was during that time that Dr. Bauer gained a deep understanding of the unique challenges faced by Alum Rock students and families in their mutual pursuit of academic success.
Dr. Bauer previously served for three years as Director of Curriculum & Instruction for the Morgan Hill Unified School District. During her tenure, Dr. Bauer worked collaboratively with District parents to develop Parent University, a parent-led conference to help them become more engaged in their students' education and become advocates for their students' academic success.
Prior to relocating to California, Dr. Bauer served for five years as an educational consultant with the lntercultural Development Research Association. She also taught bilingual K-5 students at an elementary school in San Antonio, TX where she developed and implemented a bilingual education model and prioritized staff development opportunities that emphasized bilingual-English language learner education.
Dr. Bauer began her career in education teaching migrant students and parents in Dilley, TX for two years. Her experience in bilingual education, as well as her own experience immigrating to the U.S. as a teenager, gives Dr. Bauer a unique perspective on the academic and institutional challenges faced by English language learners and their parents. Dr. Bauer has firsthand knowledge of the systemic changes needed in educational institutions to better serve these students and improve their opportunities for academic achievement and future career success.
Dr. Bauer earned her Master's Degree from the University of Texas, her State of California Administrative Credential from San Jose State University, and her Doctorate in Philosophy in Educational Administration from Texas A&M University. In 2016, Dr. Bauer was named Woman of the Year of the 27th Assembly District of the State of California.
Public Defender, Alameda County
With 20 years of experience in criminal defense litigation, Brendon Woods has held positions of increasing responsibility at the Alameda County Public Defender’s Office since his initial role there as a Post-Bar Law Clerk in 1996. He was appointed Public Defender in December 2012 and became the first African-American to do so in Alameda County’s history.
Woods leads 160 Attorneys, Investigators, and support staff, operating out of five branches throughout the County to provide superior legal defense for more than 3,300 new files monthly. In 2013, his Office was named Law Office of the Year by the Alameda County Bar Association.
Woods is a nationally recognized leader and innovator in public defense. He is the President of the California Public Defenders Association, and in 2016, was honored with the Harvard Law School Wasserstein Public Interest Fellowship for his outstanding public service accomplishments. He shares his expertise at speaking engagements around the country and is considered an expert on many subjects associated with public defense including holistic representation, racial profiling, community empowerment, police reform, and models of immigration representation.
Woods’ commitment to providing inspired holistic representation to his clients led him to hire full-time Social Workers to link clients with essential services throughout their criminal cases to provide alternatives to incarceration. He established a Clean Slate program to expunge clients’ criminal records. He also hired immigration attorneys, making his Office the first in the country – outside of New York – to implement immigration representation within the Public Defender’s Office. His Immigration Representation Unit was named Program of the Year in 2016 by the California Public Defenders Association.
Engaging with the community is another passion of Woods. In June 2017, his Office held its 2nd Annual Community Block Party as another step toward building relationships. He also developed a youth know-your-rights program called LYRIC (Learn Your Rights In California) aimed at empowering high school students to know how to safely assert their constitutional rights. In 2015, this program was honored with the Achievement Award from the National Association of Counties, and the Program of the Year Award from the California Public Defenders Association.
Determined to take a strong position on each of the issues impacting his clients, Woods created his Office’s first Policy and Legislation Committee. He has been actively engaged with the media to shed light on instances of local law enforcement misconduct. In December 2014, Woods and his staff proudly led Public Defenders around the Bay Area in holding a Black Lives Matter rally, in the wake of grand jury decisions to not indict white police officers in the murders of unarmed black men in Ferguson, Missouri and New York City. Shortly after, he created his Office’s Racial Justice Committee, charged with addressing the impacts of racism in the criminal justice system and the disproportionate incarceration of minorities.
From a young age, Brendon Woods had formative experiences with law enforcement, which influenced his views and steered him toward public defense. Now he feels fortunate to have the opportunity to fight for those who are unable to fight for themselves, and to help reshape the discourse and nature of public defense and criminal justice as a whole.
Dr. Mike Stewart
Executive Director of Missions, Great Commission Association (GCA)
Dr. Stewart is the Executive Director of Missions at Great Commission Association of Southern Baptist Churches, made up of 70 staff members and 117 diverse member churches and ministries across 6 counties of California. Since arriving in 1997, GCA has supported over 60 new church plants including African-American, Anglo, Chinese, Filipino, Korean, Spanish, and Vietnamese congregations. GCA also provides food for the hungry, leadership training for Pastors, and operates preschool and elementary schools throughout the region.
As a Pastor in Arizona, Dr. Stewart outreached to the Hopi, Apache and Navajo tribes, as well as the Anglo population in the area. In Texas, he led his church to launch its first church plant to reach Hispanics. He also led a racial reconciliation project inviting white and black churches to worship together on Sunday evenings, sharing pulpits, musicians and a fellowship meal together.
Dr. Stewart currently volunteers as the Chairman of the Board of Informed Choices, a nonprofit that provides life affirming support to women in all stages of pregnancy. His wife, Sheila and he have three grown children and five grandchildren.
Curtis B. Flemming Sr.
Senior Pastor, Bay Community Fellowship
Curtis B. Flemming is the Senior Pastor of Bay Community Fellowship and Woodland Community Church, and overseer of the Gateway Mandarin church plant project. He is also involved civically as the Chairman of the Safety and Services Oversight Commission for the City of Oakland, School Site Committee Chair of Prescott Elementary School, Chairman of Dignity Housing West Inc. Oakland, Treasurer of the Baptist Ministers Union of Oakland and Vicinity, and Treasurer of the Fresh Life Foundation.
Early in his career, Pastor Flemming planted churches in inner city Connecticut, New Jersey and California, as well as led a 158-year-old multicultural, multiethnic congregation in his hometown. He recently held the position of Bay Area Director at World Impact, a ministry that serves and equips the urban inner-city poor to embrace and control their own destiny in Christ. Additionally, he has served in various capacities including prison ministry, street outreach, discipleship and evangelism. It has always been his desire to serve in areas of great need and help make community livable again.
Pastor Flemming holds a Bachelor of Religious Education, a Master of Divinity from Nyack College’s Alliance Theological Seminary in New York and has completed postgraduate work in advance pastoral studies from Northeastern Seminary Rochester, NY. He is married to Mrs. Nancy McAfee Flemming M.D., a native of Oakland, CA. They are the proud parents of seven children.
Dr. Sarai S. Crain-Pope
Executive Director, Bay Area Women Against Rape (BAWAR)
Dr. Sarai Crain-Pope was born in Houston, Texas. She graduated from the University of California, Santa Cruz with a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and Education in 2000. Her work in pastoral ministry began in 1999 and, in 2003, she was ordained. Sarai received her Master of Theological Studies from the Pacific School of Religion in Berkeley in 2005.
Before enrolling in the Advanced Pastoral Studies program in counseling at San Francisco Theological Seminary (SFTS), Sarai worked with various local not-for-profit organizations including Girls, Inc., Big Brothers/Big Sisters of the East Bay and the YMCA promoting youth & social welfare and development. Sarai previously served as an Associate Pastor at Abundant Life Christian Fellowship in Mountain View, CA where she provided counseling to individuals, couples, families and groups. Since 2015, Dr. Crain-Pope has ministered with The Women Who Soar, an international traveling women’s conference based in Baltimore, MD.
Sarai received her Doctorate in Ministry from SFTS in 2016. She is particularly interested in the ways violence and trauma impacts those who are marginalized, and congregational response to gender-based violence. Dr. Crain-Pope is a California state-certified Sexual Assault Counselor and a certified member of the American Association of Pastoral Counselors.
Dr. Crain-Pope was appointed Executive Director of Bay Area Women Against Rape (BAWAR) in 2016. BAWAR is the nation’s oldest rape crisis center, providing 24-hour crisis intervention services, community outreach and education, state-certification training, and advocacy throughout Alameda County and the greater Bay Area. Sarai serves on the Alameda County United Against Human Trafficking Task Force, and various community initiatives in the city of Oakland and other parts of the East Bay. Sarai has been married to Benjamin Pope since 2013.
Executive Pastor, Echo.Church
Filipe Santos is one of the founding Pastors of South Bay Church, now known as Echo.Church. Since its launch in 2009, Echo.Church has become one of the fastest-growing churches in California, reaching a diverse audience of over 2,400 people in regular attendance in three locations across Silicon Valley.
As Executive Pastor at Echo.Church, Filipe provides leadership to the ministries and operations of the church, coaches church planters, and leads the church's missional initiatives in the city and abroad. In 2017, Filipe helped organize the Silicon Valley Love Rally, an initiative that brought thousands together standing for racial equality in the Bay Area.
Filipe was born and raised in Sao Paulo, Brazil and has been involved in cross-cultural ministry in the U.S. for over 15 years. He met his wife, Mandy, while studying Theology at Charleston Southern University in South Carolina. They are blessed with 5 children.
(&) Leadership Council Member
Pastor Chris Butler is the Lead Pastor at Chicago Embassy Church. He has been involved in Church leadership for 16 years and has engaged in passionate service to the city of Chicago for even longer.
As a youth, Chris worked as a community and political organizer on Chicago’s west side, building out strong youth participation in local community groups. This work helped to establish organizations designed to assist young people in building themselves and their communities.
Chris has also been involved in several efforts to improve educational equity in Chicago including service as the founding Executive Director of Parent Power Chicago. Pastor Chris’ ministry efforts also include involvement on the church planting team at Legacy Fellowship Church, and helping to start the Chicago Peace Campaign which organizes churches and other faith-based institutions to build peacemaking networks in local communities.
Pastor Chris has a Bachelor's Degree in Civic and Political Engagement from Northeastern Illinois University. He and his wife, Aziza are joyful parents of four children, Azaria, Corban, Azadi and Christopher-Anthony.
(&) Leadership Council Member
CJ Rhodes is the Pastor of Mt. Helm Baptist Church in Jackson, MS and Director of Student Religious Life at Alcorn State University. He is a graduate of the University of Mississippi with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Philosophy. He holds a Master of Divinity from Duke University Divinity School and Doctor of Ministry from Wesley Biblical Seminary. He also received continuing education at Wake Medical Hospital and Princeton Theological Seminary (Black Theology and Leadership Institute).
CJ is the Chair of the Ecumenical Relationships Commission for the National Baptist Convention USA, and serves on the Boards of Mission Mississippi and The Witness: A Black Christian Collective. He is also President of Clergy for Prison Reform.
Mr. Rhodes is also the host of the CJ Rhodes Radio Show and the author of two books and other literature written for several local and statewide publications. In 2018, he was named Leader of the Year by Young, Gifted & Empowered and has received numerous other awards for his religious and community service.
Above all, CJ is a servant leader and public theologian who loves the Lord, his beloved wife Allison, and their twin sons, Carroll Edward III (“Duke”) and Cornelius Josiah (“Jozy”).