The mission of EBMC’s Leadership Sangha is to protect our spiritual community by ensuring the fiduciary health and long term stability of the organization while holding dharmic society values. We operate both as a traditional nonprofit board as well as partners with staff and other EBMC leaders and community members in governing and supporting our community in alignment with the five core elements of EBMC’s ecosystem.

Anjali Sawhney
Leadership Sangha

Anjali Sawhney (she/her/s) is a Certified Integral Life Coach and a trained international Leadership Embodiment Teacher (somatic coaching based on Aikido & Mindfulness). Anjali has coached & facilitated somatics & mindfulness workshops in the non-profit, corporate, and educational sectors including the Richmond Community Foundation, California Endowment, UCSF & City of San Francisco. Anjali also serves directly with untapped BIPOC students, those unhoused, and those in recovery by providing coaching, counseling & series workshops through various non-profits as well as independently. She is currently on the EBMC Program Committee and Leadership Sangha (Board). She is passionate about rallying people through community & spirituality as well as street protests for equity & systemic change, is in awe of nature & live music, & on rare occasions is allowed to groove with her children, Aanika and Jai.

Antoinette González
Leadership Sangha

Antoinette González (they, them, her, she) has practiced in the Plum Village tradition since attending a POC Retreat in 2004 offered by Ven. Thich Nhat Hanh and the monastic community at Deer Park Monastery.  They are a co-founder of ARISE Sangha in the Plum Village Community.  In 2017, they also began practicing with EBMC, with POC Sangha and POC Yoga.  They recently graduated from EBMC’s inaugural two-year Spiritual Teacher & Leadership (STL) training.  Antoinette, a queer Chicana/Latinx, raised in the San Joaquin Valley, is a first-generation attorney practicing in immigration law and a dedicated advocate for racial equity, social justice and love. They have offered mindfulness to fellow immigration attorneys and is a collaborator on discussions of equity and justice in immigration law.

Crystal Johnson
Leadership Sangha

Crystal Johnson has been involved at EBMC almost from the beginning, first as Volunteer Coordinator for the Friday night practice group (now the Mahasangha), then as a founding member of the Program Committee from 2010-2017.  She is currently the Treasurer and part of the Radical Inclusivity Committee. As an EBMC Community Teacher she has co-created, and co-teaches programs for white dharma practitioners seeking to build awareness, knowledge and skills to challenge the dynamics of white privilege and race-based oppression, and to create truly diverse sangha. Programs include White and Awakening in Sangha, a six month program at the East Bay Meditation Center in Oakland, CA, Unpacking the Whiteness of Leadership, a 6 session course offered for Branching Streams, and courses at Spirit Rock Meditation Center in Woodacre, CA, the San Francisco Zen Center, and the Soto Zen Buddhist Association.  She has recently (Fall 2022) recorded an on-demand course that will be available through the East Bay Meditation Center and Spirit Rock.  Crystal offers consultation to (white-dominated) organizations and individuals seeking to identify and address barriers to racial equity embedded in organizational culture, policies and practices, and is part of the DEIA team for the Mindfulness Meditation Teacher Certification Program.

Marian Urquilla
Leadership Sangha

Marian is a leadership coach, strategy consultant, and writer. She is the co-founder of the Center for Community Investment and has a long history of working with U.S. communities of color on issues of social and economic justice. A long-time VIpassana practitioner, she is Salvadoran immigrant and an East Coast transplant to the Bay. 

Mini Verna
Leadership Sangha

Mini Verna is the CEO and Founder of Macon Street Ventures, a culturally relevant fundraising consulting firm specializing in coaching, curriculum development and capital campaigns. She is a graduate of EBMC's 10th PiTA (Practice in Transformative Action) cohort and is honored to be a part of the EBMC community.

Born and raised in San Francisco, she has dedicated over a decade to collaborating with educational institutions and nonprofit organizations across the Bay Area, crafting and executing successful fundraising campaigns. From 2018 to 2022, Mini spearheaded JamBear Consulting, her own development consultancy, where notable clients included Khan Academy, NewSchools Venture Fund, Rubicon Programs, and Alder Graduate School of Education. Prior to this she worked at KIPP Northern California Public Schools and the Nueva School. Before fundraising, Mini worked in politics for Speaker Emeritus Nancy Pelosi.

Mini received her B.A. in Political Science from Barnard College in New York City, and a Pastry and Baking degree from the San Francisco Cooking School. Based in Oakland, CA, in her spare time she can be found making art, enjoying nature, spending time with her dog, and sharing food with friends. In addition to serving on the EBMC Leadership Sangha, she is also a member of the Board of City of Dreams San Francisco.

Renato Almanzor
Leadership Sangha

Dr. Renato Almanzor is a transformation catalyst, whose experience emerges from over 25 years developing leaders committed to equitable communities, multicultural organizations, and social justice. As a leadership expert, he has delivered leadership development programs, keynote addresses, workshops and seminars on issues related to leadership for equity, cultural diversity, and social change. Much of his work has been dedicated to supporting community leaders working with and in low-income communities and communities of color. He has a PhD and MA in organizational psychology, an MS in counseling, and BA in psychology, as well as certifications in coaching and Zumba Instruction. He is a proud alum of the first Practices in Transformative Action program at the East Bay Meditation Center, where he also served as an apprentice the following year.

Stephan Gordon
Leadership Sangha

Stephan Gordon first entered through the doors of EBMC in 2019, attending the POC Sangha. He immediately felt a profound sense of belonging, and has since committed himself to supporting the Sangha in gratitude to the support it has extended to him and so many others. An agent of equity driven service, he has an extensive background in PreK-12 organizational transformation, workforce development, and systems change within large, often oppressive public institutions. He is a practitioner of zazen and vipassana meditation, a musician, a facilitator of identity workshops, and is actively cultivating a path in becoming a death doula. He is honored to be on the LSangha, and hopes his experience with governance, healing, and leadership in BIPOC centered spaces will be helpful to the mission of EBMC.

Stu Jenkins
Leadership Sangha

Stu Jenkins has considered EBMC his spiritual home since 2016 and is a graduate of the 7 th cohort of the Practice in Transformative Acton (PiTA) program. He received his Precepts and Bodhisattva Vows from Mushim Ikeda in December 2019. He has served as a temple keeper, and on the facilitation teams of the Alphabet and the Eight Step Recovery Deep Refuge Sanghas. As a volunteer with Boundless Freedom Project (formerly Buddhist Pathways Prison Project), Stu has been instrumental in developing and delivering the Mindful Prison program for our sangha brothers in San Quentin Prison.
Stu has been a Board member of the Buddhist Recovery Network (BRN) since 2021. BRN promotes the use of the Buddhist teachings and practice to help people recover from suffering caused by addictive behaviors. Stu graduated from Tara Brach and Jack Kornfield’s Mindfulness Meditation Teacher Certification Program in 2023, and is also a certified yoga teacher.

Tania Triana
Leadership Sangha
Dr. Tania Triana is an educator, activist, and translator who joined EBMC in 2014 soon after relocating to Oakland. In December 2017 Tania made a commitment to deepen her practice. She joyfully received the Bodhisattva vows and precepts at a ceremony with Mushim at EBMC, accepting the dharma name Warrior Heartmind. Tania is grateful to have found a spiritual home and social justice community at EBMC.