Black Power Network


The California Black Power Network is a united ecosystem of Black grassroots organizations working together to change the lived conditions of Black Californians by dismantling systemic and anti-Black racism.

Our theory of change

By protecting and building Black political power through policy development, civic participation, organizing, direct action, and uplifting Black culture, and narrative, we will improve the living conditions of Black Californians.

We welcome opportunities to work together to create systemic and social change, in solidarity with Indigenous and POC allies.
- cbpn

Our origin story

The CA Black Power Network is built on the work of the California Black Census and Redistricting Hub and the African American Civic Engagement Project, both projects of California Calls, a multiracial statewide alliance of 31 grassroots, community-based organizations spanning urban, rural and suburban counties across the state. Recognizing the need to have strong Black power-building in the State, California Calls incubated the Black Power Network in its infancy. Through the work of AACEP and the Black Hub, we grew the network from 12 to 35+ organizations, served as the State’s Black census outreach contractor, and engaged over 1.3 million residents through phoning door knocking, and digital organizing (My Black Counts) to motivate them to vote and complete the census.

We also engaged nearly 500 community leaders and residents in 51 community conversations to identify key Black communities of interest during the state’s redistricting process and acted as a leading voice for Black representation and political power throughout the California Citizens Redistricting Commission process through 2020 and 2021. Our current coalition covers 13 counties across 6 regions of the State (including the Bay Area, Sacramento Valley, Central Valley, Inland Empire, Los Angeles, and San Diego).

Now we are embarking on a long-term endeavor to ensure Black Californians have the resources, policies, supports, and living conditions needed to thrive! We are the California Black Power Network.

Join the movement

Join our movement to help all Black Californians thrive! Join us to build Black futures in a California that works for everyone!

Meet the squad

Natasha Brown
Natasha Brown
Senior Communications Coordinator
Kevin Cosney
Kevin Cosney
co-founder & Associate Director
Yanell Edmond Pierre
Yanell Edmond-Pierre​
Administrative & Logistics Coordinator​
Christina Griffin Jones
Christina Griffin-Jones
Organizing & Training Manager
Adije Nelson
Adije Nelson
Kristin Nimmers
Kristin Nimmers
Policy & Campaigns Manager
Lanae Norwood
lanae norwood
Strategic Communications Consultant
Wilnesha Sutto
Wilnisha Sutton
Organizing Coordinator
Amber Tolbert
Amber Tolbert
Director of Operations
James Woodson
James Woodson
co-founder & Executive Director

Meet the network

Natasha Brown

Natasha Brown joined California Calls as an Organizing Coordinator with the Black Census and Redistricting Hub in April 2021. She worked primarily with organizations in Los Angeles, Inland Empire, and San Diego providing support to ensure Black communities engage in the redistricting process. Natasha then served members of the California Black Power Network as part of the Organizing and Training team by coordinating Network members, providing training and support in resiliency building.  Currently, she is CBPN’s Senior Communications Coordinator. 

Prior to joining California Calls, Natasha organized in communities of Los Angeles and Orange County contributing to the flip of CA Congressional Districts 25, 39 and 45 in 2018. Most recently, she worked as Communications Coordinator on the Bernie Sanders campaign. Her passion lies in shifting mainstream narratives through the storytelling and humanization of our most vulnerable communities. She is extremely happy and grateful to have found a home with the California Black Power Network, fighting for the advancement of California’s Black communities. 

Natasha has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Interdisciplinary Studies with a concentration in Communications from University of California, Riverside. She loves to hike, play soccer, dance bachata and spend time with family.

“Those who say it can’t be done are usually interrupted by others doing it.”
~ James Baldwin

kevin cosney

Kevin Cosney is the Associate Director and Co-Founder of the California Black Power Network (CBPN), where he supports an amazing team of organizers, policy experts, and communicators to build the Black political power needed to transform living conditions for Black Californians. 

Prior to launching CBPN, as a Project Manager at California Calls, Kevin worked with numerous grassroots organizations and a diverse range of communities throughout California to build multi-racial, multi-generational, and multi-issue coalitions. Kevin helped lead the California Black Census and Redistricting Hub, a coalition of 30+ Black-led and Black-serving organizations across the state focused on maximizing Black communities’ participation in the census and redistricting process. Between 2016-2018, Kevin managed the African American Civic Engagement Project focused on strengthening and scaling up the leadership, civic engagement, and base-building capacities of Black-led, grassroots organizations in California. He also helped launch and manage a collaborative project with California Calls, PICO CA, and The California Endowment to develop the civic engagement capacities of members of The California Endowment’s Building Healthy Communities network. Prior to this role, Kevin worked as an Organizing Coordinator, working with regional anchor groups to build grassroots power and transform the electorate in order to win policy reforms, such as Prop 30, Prop 47, and Prop 57.

In addition, Kevin has been involved in the abolitionist movement since 2008, as one of the founding members of Active Students Against Prisons and Policing (ASAPP) at UCR and one of the founding members of Justice For Trayvon Martin Los Angeles (#J4TMLA), now Black Lives Matter Los Angeles.

Prior to California Calls, he spent four years working throughout the Inland Valley Region as an Organizer, College Access Mentor and Advocate, Case Manager, and Youth Program Coordinator. Kevin graduated from UC Riverside with a B.A. in Interdisciplinary Studies with concentrations in Ethnic Studies and Sociology and a B.S. in Business Administration and Marketing. He enjoys spending his free time with his two daughters, family members, and friends, enjoying the arts, music, spoken word, laughing, and traveling.

“The power is in the people and politics we address”
~ Tupac Amaru Shakur

Yanell Edmond-Pierre

Yanell Edmond-Pierre is CBPN’s Administrative and Logistics Coordinator, where she creates and sustains essential structural systems and maintains organizational necessities. She is truly excited and humbled to be part of an impactful organization working diligently to uplift and protect Black political power, and the Black narrative. Before joining CBPN, Yanell provided administrative support to numerous nonprofits in Washington D.C. spanning from natural justice & climate change to financial planning. She is an avid beach lover, who practices yoga and meditation to the sounds of the ocean. One of her numerous passions is wellness as she is certified in Yoga Nidra and Trauma Informed Yoga, and working towards a Nutritionist Certification.

“What’s the world for you, if you can’t make it up the way you want?”
~ Toni Morrison

Christina Griffin Jones

Christina Griffin-Jones serves as CBPN’s Organizing and Training Manager. In this role, she collaborates with Black individuals who are deeply committed to their respective Black grassroots communities, connecting them with tools that empower Black power building.

Christina’s dedication to helping others and fostering a more equitable world has been at the core of her community-organizing work. With over 15 years of diverse experience in organizing, both paid and unpaid, Christina has collaborated with various social justice and labor organizations, including the United Domestic Workers of America, ACLU, UNITE HERE, PICO, March for Black Womxn San Diego, Dede McClure Memorial Community Bail Fund, and Black Lives Matter. Her vision for Black liberation encompasses a world where Black individuals, particularly Black trans women, and non-binary individuals, are centered, loved, protected, celebrated, and our agency respected.

On a lighter note, Christina holds the distinction of being a Blue Belt in jiu-jitsu and proudly represented the United States at the 2022 World Games in women’s middleweight Sumo wrestling. Currently residing in sunny Southern California, Christina thrives alongside her partner, their dog, two cats, and two turtles.

“If you have come here to help me you are wasting your time, but if you have come because your liberation is bound up with mine, then let us work together.”
~ Lilla Watson

Adije Nelson

Adije Nelson (pronouns: She/Her/Hers) is the Accountant for CBPN and handles the organization’s day-to-day finance, accounting, and bookkeeping functions. Adije recognizes that a key component to Black liberation is financial health and literacy, which drives her work in supporting CBPN’s Operations team.

With almost 20 years of Accounting experience behind her, prior to joining CBPN Adije worked as an Accountant for Foothill AIDS Project, a non-profit social service agency supporting those in the community who have been affected by HIV/AIDS. She is an Alumna of California Baptist University and holds a B.S. in Accounting and an MBA with Management emphasis.

Adije is a long-time resident of the Inland Empire and the proud Mom of a “spicy Princess”. She enjoys communing near bodies of water, feels in her soul that “music is life”, and tries to dust off her passport as often as she can.

“Strength is for service, not status.”
~ Israel Houghton


Kristin Nimmers

Kristin Nimmers serves as a Policy and Campaign Manager with the California Black Power Network leading and coordinating policy analysis, legislative advocacy and coalition-building.

During Census & Redistricting, she worked with organizations across the state to engage Black communities in the redistricting process and ensure political districts were drawn fairly and equitably.

Prior to joining the Network, Kristin completed the Coro Fellowship in Public Affairs in San Francisco. During her year with Coro, she worked on high level consulting projects for campaigns, political nonprofits, NGOs and government agencies across the Bay. Some of her work included national policy research on chronic absenteeism and its connection to state budgets, analyzing SFPD recruitment and hiring practices to provide recommendations on increasing diversity, community organizing around workers’ rights in Oakland and lobbying in Sacramento for policies around affordable housing and extending STEM programs for K-12 students.

Kristin earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science and Communication from Humboldt State University, and a Juris Doctor from the McGeorge School of Law in Sacramento with concentration in Capital Lawyering and Public Policy. 

“You have to act as if it were possible to radically transform the world. And you have to do it all the time.”
~ Angela Davis


Lanae Norwood

Lanae Norwood is founding Prinicpal of L. Norwood & Associates, a boutique movement building firm.  She currently serves as Strategic Communications Consultant for CBPN and previously developed and led communications for the CA Black Census and Redistricitng Hub and My Black Counts. Lanae and her team support various nonprofits, funders, and political initiatives with capacity building, communications, and digital services that support racial equity initiatives.

“What we do is more important than what we say or what we say we believe.”
~ bell hooks

Wilnisha Sutton

Wilnisha Sutton is CBPN’s Organizing Coordinator where she coordinates with coalition members and provides support around training and capacity building as part of the Organizing and Training team. She is very honored to be working with such a powerful team on issues that she’s always been passionate about. Wilnisha has worked on many CEP’s with Cali calls in the past and was one of the first team leads to work on the AACEP. 

Prior to joining the network her work includes advocacy across the nation for survivors of Human trafficking, Sex work, Domestic violence, Interpersonal violence and Gun violence. She also comes with a decade of organizing and community building in her hometown San Diego but specifically in South-East San Diego. She has many awards and respect that has been given to her from politicians, organizations, community leaders and alike. Graduating from San Diego Rise Fellowship and National Fellowship that’s called Human Trafficking Leadership Academy, which was supported by National Human Trafficking Training and Technical Assistance Center (NHTTAC) and Coro Northern California. She is Currently completing an International fellowship with Survivor Alliance.

Wilnisha is also an international vocalist that is excited to get back in the studio and on stage to share her gift with folks because she has a lot of new topics to sing about.

“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”
~ Maya Angelou

Amber Tolbert

Amber Tolbert is the Director of Operations, working closely with the accountant and administrative coordinator to ensure CBPN runs smoothly and efficiently. Before coming to CBPN, she served as the Chief Operating Officer of a non-profit organization that supported six workforce development programs. Most of Amber’s professional career was in higher education, focusing on enrollment management and multi-campus operations. Amber earned her Bachelor of Science in Business and Sociology from Wichita State University. She also earned her Master of Business Administration from Baker University. 

Amber is passionate about working to eliminate systemic and anti-black racism that affects the black individuals of California and throughout our country. She firmly believes that by equipping our network with the resources, policies, and support to be impactful and drive social change, we all can be empowered and thrive as a collective. It is for these reasons and more that she is proud to be a part of the CBPN team.

In Amber’s downtime, she likes interior design, dancing, listening to music, volunteering in her community, and spending time with her family. 

“You may not control all the events that happen to you, but you can decide not to be reduced by them”
~ Maya Angelou

James Woodson

James Woodson, Esq. is the Executive Director and a co-founder of the California Black Power Network. Previously, James served as the Redistricting Lead and Policy Director of the California Black Census and Redistricting Hub, a coalition of over 30 Black-led and Black-serving organizations across the state focused on maximizing participation in the census and redistricting process among hard to count Black communities. He also served as Policy and Strategic Projects Manager at California Calls Education Fund where he managed work around the 2020 census, redistricting, and the Voters Choice Act (VCA). He is a former member of the California Secretary of State’s VCA Task Force and the Voters Choice Los Angeles Steering Committee. James began at California Calls as an Organizing Coordinator in 2016, where he worked on the African American Civic Engagement Project, coordinating civic engagement programs and providing support and assistance to the founding cohort. 

Before moving to California, James served as the Director of Programs for the Boys & Girls Club of Newark, NJ and in a variety of capacities within the Democratic National Committee, the NJ Democratic State Committee, Obama For America, and the NJ Health Care for America Now campaign. James is a licensed attorney in the states of New Jersey and New York and a proud alum of Rutgers Law School. He served as co-Counsel for the New Jersey Congressional Redistricting Commission in 2011 and 2012. In addition, James was the Founding Director of the Friendship Development Corporation, where he led the effort to create an outreach center that provides food, clothing, and other services to thousands of low-income families in the Baltimore metropolitan area.

He currently resides in the Los Angeles area.

“Learn to do right; seek justice. Defend the oppressed. Take up the cause of the fatherless; fight for the rights of widows.”
~ Isaiah 1:17