We are educators and SEL program providers who came together because we care deeply about social-emotional learning

We came together because we care deeply about introducing social-emotional learning (SEL) into all our California schools and communities as the best school and youth reform available because it teaches the life skills of self and emotional

awareness and management, how to create and maintain healthy relationships, conflict resolution, the “social awareness” ability to understand and empathize with others, responsible decision making, and effective problem solving.

Our Executive Director

Amy Cranston Ed.D.

A 20+ year veteran educator with a passion for treating students as whole people by prioritizing their social and emotional learning and development. She has dedicated her career to making culturally responsive Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) a priority in all schools for all students, serving as a classroom teacher, school site administrator, county office director, and state representative for a four-county region under the direction of the California Department of Education (CDE). Dr. Cranston holds an Ed.D. in K-12 Education Leadership, having conducted her doctoral research on SEL, she has lent her passion and expertise at the local, state, and national levels and authored numerous articles in addition to her book, Creating Social and Emotional Learning Environments.

SEL4CA Steering Committee

Jacqueline L. Sanderlin,
Ed. D.

An accomplished educator and empowerment speaker, whose commitment to urban communities has led to dramatic improvements in some of Southern California’s toughest schools. Dr. Jackie’s passion and deep knowledge for curriculum and instruction, community engagement, partnerships, and educational leadership is unparalleled. Currently, Dr. Jackie consults for leaders in education and business corporations on the topics of community engagement, partnerships, and organizational empowerment. As an international speaker and trainer, she shares her proven strategies for developing over 300 community partnerships.

Lorea Martínez Ph.D.

Founder of HEART in Mind Consulting & Adjunct at Columbia University Teachers College; author of the EQ Educator. Lorea supports schools and organizations as they integrate SEL in their programs and teaching practices, and works with Learning Policy Institute, Six Seconds, Hispanic IT Network, and public, private, and charter schools. Her research is focused on SEL implementation, principals’ emotional intelligence, and teacher preparation. She is working on her second book for teachers, Teaching with the HEART in Mind, forthcoming in fall 2020. Previously, she was a special education teacher and administrator. Martinez holds a PhD from the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona.

Edlyn Peña, Ph.D.

Currently the Chair, Director, and Associate Professor of the Education Leadership doctoral program at California Lutheran University (CLU). She is an award-winning researcher who studies ways to support autistic students in the preschool through higher education pipeline. Her edited book, “Communication Alternatives in Autism” (2019), features ten prominent autistic individuals who advocate for communication and inclusion rights. As a scholar and director of the Autism and Communication Center, Dr. Peña’s service to the autism community has reached international audiences.

Lauryn Nwankpa

Head of Social Impact at Dave. With a Masters degree in Social Entrepreneurship from USC Marshall and over a decade of experience, she marries Dave’s financial goals with social impact strategies that span public policy, strategic partnerships and industry best practices. Lauryn embeds sustainable, scalable impact practices across Dave that drive stakeholder value while empowering marginalized communities by increasing their access to key resources. She is also on the board of the Santa Monica Tech Council, an early stage start-up advisor through the Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce, and a mentor for the Jackie Robinson Foundation.

Danielle Matthew, LMFT

A Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (LMFT) who treats bully victims and their families and educates schools, medical professionals and the community about the bullying epidemic.
With over 20 years of experience, Danielle authored Amazon Parenting Best-Seller, The Empowered Child: How to Help Your Child Cope, Communicate, and Conquer Bullying, and is the Director of The Empowerment Space Bullying Therapy Program in Los Angeles. Danielle also has a private practice in Sherman Oaks, CA, where she helps adolescents, adults, couples and families who are in pain due to issues such as anxiety, severe stress, low self-esteem, or depression. Danielle has been featured on Huffington Post, Washington Post and TODAY.com, and has also appeared on Fox, ABC and CBS Morning Shows and Mom Talk Radio.

Carrie Patterson

Carrie is Managing Director at MindUP™ | The Goldie Hawn Foundation, supporting the CEO in the areas of strategic planning and the digital transformation of the MindUP program, as well as fundraising, partnerships, and the overall operations of the organization. Carrie has a long and extensive career specializing in non-profit and youth development organizations. She holds a Bachelor of Business Administration from Wilfred Laurier University, and brings a wealth of knowledge from her previous role as Chief Operations Director of the global organization, WE Charity. At WE Charity, Carrie played an
integral role as the leader of WE Schools, an innovative experiential service-learning program that engages educators around the world to empower youth with the skills, knowledge and motivation to bring positive change in themselves and the world. Carrie was instrumental in new program development and the implementation of programs including: WE Well-being, focused on social and emotional learning and the promotion of positive well-being in young people; WE Teachers, focused on creating trauma-informed classrooms; AP with WE, a program combining the academic challenge and rigor of Advanced Placement® with WE’s service-learning model in partnership with the College Board.

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