Our Team


Galen Silvestri

Executive Director

Galen is Co-Founder and Co-Director of United Roots, a long-time community organizer, youth educator and media producer, and has worked with organizations like Men’s Story Project and the Y-Step collective for racial equity. He has over sixteen years of experience developing campaigns, projects, and programs in partnership with local and national communities.



aManda Greene

Program Director

aManda was raised between the Bay Area and Rio de Janeiro Brazil. She spent a decade between Santa Fé New Mexico, Oakland, Bahia Brazil and Southern India working on various arts and ecological development projects.  Since 2009 she has been engaging with young leaders to address the problems in their own communities by supporting the development of youth-led social enterprises, and in 2013 she received a gMBA in Social Enterprise, which she has translated into culturally relevant curriculum for Youth Impact Hub Oakland.



Allen Laurenson-Reed

Program & Administrative Coordinator

Allen Laurenson-Reed is a mechanic and CEO of the upcoming Foe_Laynz Auto Shop. He started going to United Roots when he was in high school. He attended most of the programs here at United Roots and was a leader for the Determination program, community leader, and social justice leader. He is currently a fellow for 2019’s Youth Impact Hub fellowship program for his automotive business. He is excelling and reaching new heights for his business and personal goals. Allen is attending the College of Alameda for automotive to obtain his ASE certification.



Sizwe Andrews-Abakah

DetermiNation Program & Social Justice Committee Coordinator

Sizwe is a father, husband and youth organizer that has worked in the Bay Area since 2001. While the foundation of his  youth development experience is K-12 academic instruction, Sizwe has worked as Conflict Resolution Coordinator at Skyline High School, a Life Skills Facilitator with  youth at Ujamaa Adult and Family Services, (a culturally based mental health agency for people of African descent based in San Jose CA.,) and has been impactful in forwarding the African American Male Achievement Initiative through the Oakland Unified School District as a Manhood Development Program Facilitator and trainer. Sizwe utilizes his skills as MC and Hip Hop producer to build youth entrepreneurial-ism, critical thinking, and empowerment.


Damon Packwood

Damon Packwood

Gameheads Program Director & Tech Department Coordinator

Damon Packwood is a Bay Area native with years of experience working with urban youth in academic development and college access. His passion for film and media was ignited as a teen and an early love for movies inspired him to pursue a Film Studies degree from the University of California, Santa Barbara and he’s nearly complete with his graduate degree in Multimedia Studies from Cal State, East Bay. Damon is an avid gamer, writer, filmmaker, educator and tech head and movie connoisseur. He is also a passionate advocate of for the use of multimedia and technology as entertainment and a tool for education.



Gino Pastori-Ng

Development Director

Gino was born and raised in East Oakland, California. After completing a B.A. in psychology at UC Santa Cruz, Gino spent 2 years teaching English in South America and Asia. Back in his hometown, he supported the launch of a new elementary school in East Oakland and educated thousands of California voters about environmental legislative action before finding his calling in youth-led social entrepreneurship.  He has spent most of the last 7 years supporting Bay Area youth to launch their own social enterprises.



Tammy Chan

Operations Director

Tammy has a multidisciplinary background, including over 9+ years in Corporate Finance and Informational Technology. She is also the co-founding Executive Director of Conversations for Good, a 501(c)(3) charity helping to connect students and job seekers with volunteer job professionals. Tammy is also involved as the Director of Operations for IIIJ Foundation, think tank commissioned by the tech elite, formed to advance the understanding of innovation. Her passion is in building integrated processes and business systems that would enable organizations to work efficiently.



Rafael Flores

Media Program Manager

Rafael Flores is a bi-lingual Chicano filmmaker who also teaches at San Francisco State University’s Cinema Department. He is Phi Beta Kappa Scholar who specializes in Screenwriting, Directing, Social Justice Film Production, Chicano Cinema, and Third Cinema. Mr. Flores is also the co-founder of production company Green Eyed Media and The Hidden Gem Creative Studios.



Adimu Madyun

DetermiNation Program Facilitator & Cultural Educator

Adimu Madyun is an educator, filmmaker and musician. Adimu has produced films and music in both the United States and various countries in Africa. Adimu has worked with the Oakland Unified School District for over 5 years as an educator and youth counselor. Adimu also facilitates a men of color achievement circle at United Roots, DetermiNation, and directly trains youth in media and music production.



Desmond Holt

Graphics Design Instructor

Desmond Holt (DesignerDesmond formally DB1) is an Autodidact Visual Design and Media expert. He utilizes multiple disciplines from photo retouching to 3d motion graphics to build brands for local bay area musicians to engage their fans and supporters. At the age of 29 he has 10+ yrs of experience working with musicians who present meaningful and impactful music . For the past 5 Years Desmond has been working with small business owners to build online presences for their respective businesses. Using several content management systems, Desmond is able to use his extensive design knowledge with HTML & CSS to create custom websites outfitted with custom product photography.


Contact Us

We're not around right now. But you can send us an email and we'll get back to you, asap.