Why I GO
"We need advocates for quality public education for all students in multiple spaces, including within and outside of school communities. GO's partnership with multiple stakeholders to advocate for a more just and equitable society via education is critical."
Yanira Canizales

Yanira Canizales

Director of Community Leadership

Since graduating from UC Berkeley as a first generation college student, I have dedicated my life to creating more equitable outcomes for all students in Bay Area Public Schools, specifically in Hayward and in Oakland. I have served as an Instructional Aid, Teacher, Assistant Principal, Head of School and Founding Principal. My proximity in schools over the last 20 years has given me a critical lens for my new journey with educational advocacy in our broader Oakland community.

Why public education?

I was a first generation college student right after prop 39. I struggled with belonging at Cal for multiple reasons. I was a student of color, I was grossly academically underprepared, I was poor, and I had advocated admissions into the college of my choice via the Cal appeal process. On my first day of college, the inequities of my lived educational experience in public education weighed heavily on me. I believe in re-designing our public educational system to ensure that all of our students, especially our most marginalized students, can realize their fullest potential. Realizing our potential should be identify affirming and accessible to all regardless of background.

Favorite quote and why?

“I am because we are.” The Ubuntu concept that we are human only through the humanity of others validates the truth within myself an inspires me to continue to enact the values of community, love and justice in my personal and professional life.

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