Telling our Stories through Ethnic Studies Panel Discussion

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Program Description


Join Sonoma County education and community leaders to discuss the importance of ethnic studies for K-12 students and the value of seeing our lived experiences reflected in the books we read.
In partnership with Sonoma County Office of Education and the NAACP Santa Rosa/Sonoma County branch.

Meet our Panelists: 


Dr. Bay Jones understands that an educator’s perceptions alter the learning environment for all students. Her work has impacted schools across the country as well as graduate students eager to become teachers themselves.

Segretta Woodard serves as a co-Chair and Board Member of the Sonoma County Black Forum. As a corporate retiree, she has maintained a presence in the Sonoma County ecclesiastical, entrepreneurial, and community benefit and service sectors for over 49 years. Currently serving as Executive Committee Member and Secretary of the Santa Rosa-Sonoma County Unit of the NAACP. Segretta has a special place in her heart for family and youth advocacy, community engagement, resource development and spiritual mentoring.

Jacob Anthony Ramírez is a poet and educator. He is a distinguished graduate of the University of Lancaster's Creative Writing M.A. Program, where he's currently a Ph.D. candidate. His poetry manuscript, In the Key of Barrio, won the 2019 Portfolio Prize for Poetry. In August of 2022, Oxford Brookes University's Ignition Press released Kitchen Boombox, his debut book. Ramírez's poetry appears in several publications, among them Haymarket Book's The Breakbeat Poets -- LatiNEXT, Somovar Press's The Best New Poets, 2022, and Latino Book Review Magazine, among others. 

Co-Moderated by Joanna Paun 
Joanna Paun is the Foster and Homeless Youth Education Coordinator with the Sonoma County Office of Education and  previously worked as a School Counselor.  She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology and a Master’s in Counseling both from Sonoma State University. She was elected to the Petaluma School Board in the 2018 election, making her the first Black elected official in Petaluma. She served as President of that board for three years and in 2022 was named the California school board member of the year. In 2023 she was recognized by Assemblymember Connolly as the North Bay woman of the year. She lives in Petaluma with her husband and four daughters.

Co-Moderated by Nzinga Woods:

Nzinga Woods, Project Coordinator - Equity and Ethnic Studies, VAPA (Visual and Performing Arts) is known for her dedication to social justice advocacy and her commitment to transforming educational environments to make learning accessible, culturally relevant, and meaningful for all students. Nzinga enjoys working in partnership with K-12 teachers and administrators to support high-quality instruction through an equity lens.

Before joining the SCOE community, Nzinga has held a diverse range of experiences in the field of education. She has worked internationally, in Special Education and Early Childhood Education. For over 11 years, she worked as a classroom teacher, and director for the ArtQuest Program at Santa Rosa High School. Through her leadership, she also held a foundational role on the Ethnic Studies ad-hoc and curriculum committee for Santa Rosa City Schools.

As a seasoned administrator, Nzinga has previously served as an administrator in the Peninsula region and continues to work as an Associate faculty member in the arts at the Santa Rosa Junior College. She has earned an M.A. in Educational Leadership from CSU Fullerton, an M.F.A. from Mills College, credentialed in Single Subject, CTE- (Career Technical Educational), and Administrative Services.