Jim Keddy is the executive director of Youth Forward and a consultant to social change organizations. For thirty years Jim has served as a leader in social change efforts in California. He is the former director of PICO California, a statewide association of community organizing efforts, and served as a vice president at The California Endowment, one of the state’s largest charitable foundations. While at The Endowment, he played a primary role in developing the foundation’s youth organizing strategy. He began his work in promoting racial and social justice as a high school and college activist and entered the community organizing field in his early 20’s. He has been a member of several non-profit boards including the boards of The California Endowment, Public Health Advocates and the California Budget and Policy Center. As an appointee of Governor Brown, he serves on the state Tobacco Education and Research Oversight Committee. He also serves on the board of Kids First California. He is married to Gina Martinez-Keddy and is the proud father of 2 adult children. He is a worm rancher and a guitar player.
Nia MooreWeathers is a California native, and supporter of social interests. She participated in youth mentoring programs and LGBTQ efforts (Vice President of West Campus GSA 2010-2012) during her high school career. She pursued her higher education at Humboldt State University; there she obtained her B.A. in Anthropology, with an emphasis in Evolutionary Medicine (2012-2016). With a skill for research, understanding of cultural health versus public health interests, and motivation to see racial equity established in her community, she began working for Youth Forward in the winter of 2018. As a Community Organizer, she hopes to bring joy, knowledge, and health to youth, and inspire change in policy at a local level. She is the eldest daughter of two hard-working and creative parents, and older sister to a firecracker at Howard State University.
Sarah-Michael Gaston is a Sacramento native passionate about serving her community and promoting racial and social justice. Over the years she has held leadership roles in various social change efforts. She has been a dedicated volunteer for Sharing God's Bounty soup kitchen since 2008 - having become a supervisor in 2016. She is a former board member and community organizer for Black Women United, a nonprofit founded in 2017 that elevates and empowers Black women through the annual Black Women's March. And during her final year of college, she served as President of Black Student Union.
Within Youth Forward, her work entails advocating for policies in support of racial and health equity, particularly surrounding cannabis state policies. Before coming to Youth Forward in February 2019, Sarah-Michael worked in nonprofit housing and health-care organizations. She holds a Bachelors of Science in Psychology with a Business Management minor from Linfield College.