Brion Oaks is first Chief Equity Officer for the City of Austin. Brion is responsible for working with City leadership and local communities to create an equity framework and facilitate dialogue and organizational practices that support the development and adoption of equity as a shared value. He serves as the technical expert in addressing equity as it is applied to city wide policies, programs, practices, and budget decisions with an overall vision to make Austin the most livable city for ALL.
Prior to his arrival to the City of Austin, Brion served as the Vice President of Health Equity for fourteen years at the American Heart Association’s Southwest Affiliate. In this capacity, he oversaw the affiliate’s department that was dedicated to improving cardiovascular health for vulnerable populations and reducing disparities in the prevention and treatment of cardiovascular disease.
Brion had a celebrated career at the American Heart Association. He was the 2009 recipient of the “Rome Betts in Health Equity” award, and in 2010 was a recipient of the national “Cass Wheeler Integration” award in recognition for his work in collaboration and integration across the American Heart Association.
Brion earned his Bachelor of Science in Political Science from University of Houston and Master of Public Administration from Texas State University. Prior to his career at the American Heart Association, Oaks worked as a legislative assistant for state Rep. Dora Olivo, D-Rosenberg, and as a project coordinator for the Texas Healthy Kids Corporation and the Texas Medical Foundation.
Throughout his career, Brion has focused on improving health outcomes for minority communities and addressing disparities in access to health care services. Oaks is on the Central Texas Diversity Council, Board of the Austin Chapter of the National Association of Healthcare Executives, and KLRU Community Advisory Board.
Mary Ann Ramirez graduated from San Marcos High School in 1976. She has been employed with the City since 2006, and started with the Equity Office in February 2017.
Prior to working at the City, she was employed with Travis County Juvenile Probation Department. Mary Ann has a Secretarial-Clerical Administrative Management certificate from the Office Education Association.
Kellee Coleman has over 18 years of equity and social justice community organizing experience integrating media, and popular education as strategies for social change. In 2008 she co-founded Vibrant Woman/Mama Sana prenatal clinic, a project of Mamas of Color Rising that provides holistic and culturally specific prenatal care, birth companions, midwifery services, prenatal fitness and nutrition services to lower income Black and Latina folks in the Austin area.
In 2013 Kellee facilitated the Austin Public Health Department’s community health workers training focused on health equity issues impacting Black women in Austin, Texas. She has conducted original research on the social determinants of health as they impact Black women locally. She is a member of the national leadership collective of Incite! Women and Trans* People of Color Against Violence. She has consulted with numerous national and local organizations on equity and reproductive issues including the U.S. Midwifery Education, Regulation, & Association, MANA, A National Latina Organization, The University of Texas LBJ School of Public Affairs, and the Austin Women’s Community Center.
Kellee has three children and graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology from St. Edwards University in 2015.
Amanda Jasso joins the Equity Office after serving as the Latinx Community Archivist at the Austin History Center, a division of the Austin Public Library. This position allowed her to work with communities who are barred from access to resources in many forms, building upon her goals of pursuing equitable information access and preservation of underdocumented histories and stories.
She holds a Master of Information Science from the University of Washington and a Bachelor of Arts in Communication from the University of Pennsylvania. She has experience working in labor archives, public libraries, and city government. While in graduate school, she partnered with the Northwest Immigrant Rights Project to research, compile, and disseminate information resources for persons leaving immigration detention centers. Her research and advocacy includes sustainable practices for serving immigrant communities and undocumented persons and exploring the powerful links between history, memory, identity, and community.
Brandon Kroos began in the Office as part of the AmeriCorps VISTA term. In his service he distinguished himself with an excellent work ethic and flexibility in role, and has continued on in a temporary role to see out several projects he has been managing. These projeccts include the second offering of the Equity Mini-Grant Fund and the 2nd and 3rd cohort cycles of the Equity Assessment Tool process.
Brandon was born in Lincoln, Nebraska, and graduated in 2017 from the University of Missouri-Columbia. He studied Journalism and Economics, and uses those skills to bring a lens of critical analysis to the work of the Office and the City as a whole. He hopes to continue working in the social justice and policy analysis field.
Joshua Robinson, a native of Kansas City, Missouri, is a two-time graduate of the University of Kansas with a B.S. in Broadcast Journalism and a Master of Public Administration. Robinson has extensive knowledge of municipal government services, and has experience working with communities of color and addressing issues that affect marginalized communities.
Prior to his arrival to the City of Austin, Robinson worked for the City of Cedar Park where he assisted in creating Performance Measures for city departments, managed the Community Funding Services Program, planned the Black History Month Program, and assisted in rolling out Cedar Park’s first Resident Survey. While working for the Unified Government of Wyandotte County, Robinson worked with residents on Land Use Cases, managed the Parking Meter Improvement/Beautification project, and facilitated community engagement meetings in preparation for the Northeast Master Plan, which is the most disadvantaged area in Wyandotte County.
During his collegiate career, he worked with fellow students, university administrators, and community leaders to create safe spaces and strategic initiatives for students of colors to be successful and valued at the university. In his spare time, Robinson mentors young African-American males, and is involved with his fraternity, Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc., The National Forum for Black Public Administrators, the Austin Urban League, and the International City/County Management Association.
Hannah Seay is a queer southerner hailing from Knoxville, Tennessee and is in the Office as part of a year-long Americorps VISTA Program. She will serve with the Equity Office until May 2020. Her areas of focus within the Office are building capacity to identify disparities in city programming and services, and creating ways to address those gaps. She will be assisting in capacity building by researching current gaps and disparities, identifying community stakeholders, engaging community members, and building awareness of the Equity Office. She believes that love, movement and struggle are going to see us through.
Hannah was raised in Knoxville, Tennessee and graduated in December of 2018 from Appalachian State University in Boone, North Carolina. She studied History, with an emphasis on Appalachian Studies and Movement History, with minors in English and Spanish. She has no illusions about what the south is or what the struggle for justice here means. She knows that there is a history in the South that is undeniable--one of pain and of resilience, of doubt and resolve, of folklore and reality. She knows that this history propels us forward. She plans to attend law school in the future to advance her work in legal aid & prisoner justice initiatives.