Anika Gillespie-Jones

Position: Senior Program Associate

Pronouns: Any Pronouns

Anika was born and raised in Sonoma county in a single-parent household. Her determination to make a difference for her family was to attend college as a first-generation and to attain a full-time career position to end the ongoing cycle of poverty that has been faced within her family. Growing up she had to become resilient towards bullying, discrimination, and poverty but when she got into high school, she was able to join Summer Search where she had mentors that helped her surpass her expectations. When she got into high school, she enrolled at the Santa Rosa Junior College to get high school credits and begin collecting college credits as well. Being able to graduate high school on time and being accepted to colleges right after high school, changed everything for her. To make the best decision for herself, she continued her education at SRJC until she transferred to the University of California, Santa Barbara where she expanded her knowledge on Black studies and Education. With her education, she has strived to advocate for those who may be labeled at-risk in school and those who are also wanting to change their own family cycles of poverty.

I think the importance of doing activist work is precisely because it allows you to give back and to consider yourself not as a single individual who may have achieved whatever but to be a part of an ongoing historical movement.”

– Angela Davis