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Introducing Community Leads cohort

News Article
Each Community Lead is bringing their skills, honesty, and ideas to build policies and new processes for centering frontline communities in the City’s data and technology policies.

With excitement, we welcome the Community Leads Cohort to the Smart City PDX team.

Through June 2022, the Community Leads will work with each other and with our full team to develop policy, design and implement community engagement, and evaluate this community-government partnership model. Shared decision-making and collaboration are central to this partnership model. As a team, we will learn and understand how to link digital justice with the many priorities communities are already navigating.

The cohort design is built off of Smart City PDX’s past innovative partnership models and informed by community partners. Alyshia Macaysa, a previous Equity Consulting Advisor, is serving as the Project Consultant. She offers a unique guiding perspective from participating in a past cohort in addition to her health equity and community organizing experience.

Read on to learn more about each of the four Community Leads.

O'Nesha Cochran

O’Nesha is a Queer, Afro-Indigenous member of the Oglala Sioux Tribe. She is a recovering addict who spent 15 years in prison. Released in 2011, she obtained an AAS in Addiction Studies from Portland Community College and went to Portland State University for her BSW. She helped launch the first Queer Resource Center at PCC. Was the first Certified Recovery Mentor at Oregon Health and Sciences University/IMPACT Medical Team, served a term as Peer Trainer for the Mental Health Addiction and Certification Board of Oregon, created the curriculum, managed and designed the initial team for the Diane Wade House, a reentry program for Afrocentric women, worked as a lead Intaker for the Black Resilience Fund and currently she is a Recovery Mentor Consultant, for the Northwest Portland Area Indian Health Board; the Mutual Aid Coordinator for Brown Hope’s Solidarity Squad Program; and is a member of the Measure 110 Oregon Oversight and Accountability Council, the Oregon Food Bank Council and a Community Lead in the Smart City PDX digital justice cohort. 

Surya Raj Joshi

Surya Joshi holds Masters in Conflict Resolution from Portland State University and Masters in Human and Natural Resources Studies from Kathmandu University. He brings 15 years of experience in program management, entrepreneurship development, advocacy, research, and social service. Currently, he is a program coordinator at IRCO where he coordinates workforce development programs including a technology workforce grant. Surya has been an active community member where he advocates for housing rights, immigrant and refugee service access and disability rights. In the past, Surya has worked with City of Portland as a Grants Coordinator and with Kathmandu University as assistant program manager.

Surya likes to work with grassroot communities and is a facilitator and trainer. He is passionate about public accountability and loves translating complex public issues to limited English language proficiency groups who are unaware of the impacts. He is an advocate for technology access to low income, and Black, Indigenous, people of color groups and is keen on using tech as a tool for good governance. Surya believes in transparency, knowledge, and accessibility as a primary condition for any meaningful public engagement.

Rosalie Lee

Rosalie Lee-Washington is a Black and Filipina Health Equity Strategist, Change Agent, and Software Engineer. Born in Angeles City, Philippines, Rosalie immigrated with her mother and father to the United States. She was raised in the Pacific Northwest, a graduate of Portland State University with a Bachelor of Science in Psychology focusing on Behavior Analysis and Neuroscience.

Rosalie has lent her lived and professional experience to serve system-change work in Portland, Oregon, for the past 15 years. She has held support and leadership roles in various healthcare, academic, STEAM, social justice organizations, and institutions. 

She currently serves as the Executive Chair of Imagine Black, working to help our Black community imagine the alternatives deserved, build political participation and leadership to achieve those alternatives. In addition, she serves as a member of Multnomah County Health Department’s CBAC, reviewing and making recommendations on county budget priorities and operations throughout the pandemic. Rosalie is excited to join Smart City PDX as a Community Lead to help develop policy around emergent technology and impacts in the Portland community.

Yoana Molina

Yoana Molina is a natural leader, advocate and activist committed to bringing social justice, unity and prosperity to her community. In her more than 23 years as a volunteer with the Latino community and from her own experience, she learned about the different needs and barriers that the BIPOC community faces every day. Because of this, she decided to found Guerreras Latinas, a nonprofit organization dedicated to empowering women through information and education. Over 6 years Guerreras Latinas managed to serve over 500 hundred women and their families. Yoana Molina has dedicated her life to building safe and healthy communities in the U.S. and in Mexico. In her previous role as Director of Operations for the Rosewood Initiative, Yoana had the opportunity to engage with over 100 partner organizations to bring resources and services to the Rosewood neighborhood. From managing a government partnership to prevent the addiction and STDs, collaborating with stakeholders to deliver social services to vulnerable populations, to educating Multnomah County residents about preventing domestic violence and sexual assault. Yoana is a role model for caring deeply about community and those who have historically been oppressed. Yoana serves on the board of Outside In and is a member of East Portland Resilient Coalition. When Yoana is not serving the community, she is enjoying life with her family, running, writing poetry, dancing with friends, watching movies or just getting ready for the next day.