Full Time Staff

Ruben Canedo (he/they)

Co-Chair of the UC Systemwide Basic Needs Committee

Why Basic Needs?

Growing up in a mixed status and binational family with a disabled body introduced me at an early age to harm, trauma, injustice, and oppression. Most importantly, it taught me how brilliant, resilient, loving, and transformative our family and community relationships are. I survived and am here today because of family and community. Growing up, everyone would take care of each other to make sure folx had food, shelter, and community. I believe in a world that will learn and heal beyond its current white-supremacy, capitalism, patriarchy, and ableism. The way...

Saj (she/her)

Clinical Care Coordinator

Natalia Semeraro (she/her)

Food Resource Coordinator
Food Pantry

Why Basic Needs?

Growing up I developed a strong connection to sharing food with those around me, since that was how I learned to connect in a community without many siblings or extended family nearby. The thing that higher education gave me was a deeper sense of interconnectedness and also the complexity in our bodies and lives, related to, but also beyond food. I was shaped by this community and am honored to work towards a more holistic basic needs program, but also motivated to support students in the ways that I felt supported...

Kiyoko Thomas (she/they)

Basic Needs Center Director

Why Basic Needs?

My journey has always guided me towards work that is rooted in justice, transformation and healing. Improving the health outcomes of individuals and communities by way of building relationships and lifting the collective voices of communities is at the core of my value system as these issues are connected to larger issues of social justice. My past and current experiences as a social work professional for the past 12 years has been in the juvenile justice and mental health fields. When I learned...