Fela Thomas is a project director at CompassPoint. As a project director, Fela leads (or co-leads) several kinds of offerings for CompassPoint program participants, including cohort leadership programs, consulting engagements, and public workshops. They also play key program design, project management, and facilitation roles within CompassPoint's highly collaborative project teams.
Fela has been working for economic and racial justice in a range of Bay Area organizations for nearly two decades. They gained their grounding in youth development and support work during the fight against Prop 21 and organizing to confront police violence in Black communities and communities of color. They were one of the lead organizers for the Bay Area wide UPSET THE SETUP conference and an active organizer in the Bay Area High School Ethnic Studies Conference for a decade. Fela was the lead organizer for the Youth Force Coalition during the struggle to stop the expansion of Alameda Counties’ Juvenile Hall, successfully stopping the full expansion and diverting resources to community programs.
Through their work with Youth Together for over 10 years, they worked with students to lead campaigns on food justice and alternatives to punitive discipline, and with community and school allies won concrete changes at school sites and in district policies. Through Youth Together’s KIDS COUNT campaign, they worked with a statewide alliance to reform the California’s K-12 funding system that led to the more equitable Local Control Funding Formula which continues to positively impacted marginalized communities in California.
More recently, they served with the University of California Berkeley Public Service Center and played a critical role in training and developing the leadership of undergraduate students in supporting Bay Area communities in need. While at UC Berkeley, they served on the leadership team for the Black Staff and Faculty Organization, advocating for the needs and priorities of UC Berkeley’s Black community. Prior to joining CompassPoint, Fela was the Director of the Alumni Scholars Program at the Cal Alumni Association where they led the design and implementation of the inaugural African American Initiative Scholarship and the implementation of various other scholarship programs geared towards first generation, low income and students of color at UC Berkeley.
Fela appreciates being a part of various communities as a participant and volunteer. They were an active supporter and volunteer with Camp Akili (led by Flourish Agenda) for a number of years, supporting the healing and development of Young Black folks in the Bay Area. They continue to support youth organizing and development both as a board member of Youth Together, and by continuing to facilitate workshops for young people throughout the Bay Area whenever they can. Along with their family, they are an active participant in the Oakland Kajukenbo Kwoon, a martial arts school based in North Oakland. They are a proud partner and parent to four beautiful and powerful children.
Bachelors of Arts: Africana Studies
San Francisco State University