We are thrilled to welcome Pecolia Manigo, a remarkable organizer and authentic leader, as our new Political Director! Pecolia brings a wealth of experience, a deep understanding of community issues, and a powerful commitment to driving positive change in Oakland. She is a devoted Black mother of three, whose personal journey has fueled her passion and dedication to creating a more just and equitable education system.

A born and raised San Franciscan and Oakland resident, Pecolia has developed a keen awareness on a wide range of issues and world affairs. I met Pecolia when she was a youth organizer and by the time she turned 20, Pecolia had already participated in four major campaigns in the Bay Area and conducted over 100 trainings throughout the Bay and across the nation. Her passion for advocacy and community empowerment has been evident from the start of her organizing career.

Prior to joining Oakland Rising, Pecolia served as the Executive Director of the Bay Area Parent Leadership Action Network (PLAN), an Oakland-based organization dedicated to developing the leadership and building the power of parents to transform schools and ensure student success. She was instrumental in organizing Black student and parent leaders as part of the Justice for Oakland Students Coalition, specifically focusing on the Reparations for Black Students Campaign. This critical campaign seeks to close the opportunity gap in early childhood education and public schools by 2026, recognizing the disproportionate impact on Black families.

In 2022, Pecolia’s first-hand experiences with organizing motivated her to run for School Board Director in Oakland’s District 4. Although she did not win, she mobilized and engaged approximately 11,700 residents to vote in support of her vision – including many students, parents, volunteers, donors, and community leaders.

Pecolia’s unwavering commitment to the transformation of Oakland into a city where families like hers can live, thrive, and benefit from racial and economic justice is truly inspiring.  Her dedication to justice through leadership makes her an invaluable asset in our fight against educational inequity. Please join us in extending a warm welcome to Pecolia Manigo as she embarks on this new chapter with us!

We invite you to check out our Monday Meals segment with Pecolia! We chopped it up with Pecolia about her new role and also discussed what’s happening with the City and County Budgets, new developments with OUSD + what that means for taxpayers and voters alike.