Growing up in Oakland during the Depression, I was deeply touched by the poverty and injustice I saw around me. Although my parents had little money, they gave my brothers, my sisters and me a great deal of love and security and instilled in us a sense of confidence that we could overcome obstacles and be successful.
Throughout my lifetime, I have recognized the importance of reaching out to others with a spirit of fellowship, to see their needs and to do what I could to help. In 1999, my wife, Joanne, and I set up a non-profit organization to support young people who come from economically disadvantaged backgrounds in their educational pursuits. Honoring the lineage of my mother, Louise Barrios Wilson, I named this new organization The Barrios Trust.
I have taken great pride in being able to play a positive role in programs that provide opportunities for young people to develop self-confidence and embark upon positive paths that will impact their futures. It has been a special pleasure to have personal contact with the young people we support and to hear them talk about the unique ways in which these organizations and our support have affected them.
In forming the Board of Trustees for The Barrios Trust I have drawn on family members and friends who identify with my philosophy and whose lives are enriched by the experience of being in a position to assist young people in fulfilling their potential.
I have always believed that, in order to keep what you have, you have to be willing to give it away. I have found that the more I have shared with others, the more abundance and material blessings have come back to me. I believe that those of us to whom much has been given have a responsibility to give back to others who have not had the same good fortune.
My hope is that those who have been touched by me, Joanne and The Barrios Trust will be able to appreciate the value of sharing with others out of a sense of love and fellowship and will give back to others when them have an opportunity to do so.
The Barrios Trust has provided me with the opportunity to extend my values into the future. I take satisfaction in knowing that the love, compassion and concern for others which I have tried to express during my lifetime will be continued beyond my lifespan through the good work of The Barrios Trust.Warren Wilson, Statement from The Barrios Trust Newsletter of December, 2005.
Joanne Casey is co-founder of The Barrios Trust. A graduate of the University of Minnesota and Lincoln University School of Law, she practices law in downtown Oakland, specializing in estate planning and trust administration. Over the past 40 years she has served on the boards of several community-based non-profits and educational organizations in Oakland. She feels privileged to be part of TBT and proud of the positive impact that TBT has had in the lives of the young people who participate in the programs it supports. She also takes great pride in the way that TBT is carrying on the legacy of her late husband, Warren B. Wilson.
Raising the standards of academic achievement, for under-represented children, has long been a passion for Donald Carter. Donald earned his BA from San Francisco State University in 1972 and his JD, from Hasting College of the Law in 1976. After graduating from Law School, a passion for travel and business inspired Donald to found the Carter Travel Company in Oakland California, thus giving him the opportunity to explore cultures around the world. As a parent Donald co-founded the parent diversity committees at Park Day School and The College Preparatory School. In 2004 Donald returned to school and earned his teaching credential from Holy Names University and for 11 years taught second and third grade at New Highland Academy in East Oakland. For the past two years he has been the Restorative Justice Coordinator at New Highland Academy and Rise Community School. Donald continues to be enriched and fulfilled by his work with the young people of the East Bay and the privilege of being a member of the Board of the Barrios Trust.
Taj was raised in the East Bay and is currently an in-house counsel for Google. Prior to joining Google, Taj lived in Washington DC and served as a Deputy Associate Counsel at the White House. Taj feels incredibly proud and privileged to be part of The Barrios Trust's mission to support the educational pursuits of young people from disadvantaged backgrounds.
Laurel was born and raised in Los Angeles CA, and now considers the Bay Area, in particular Oakland, her one true home. She is an artist with a BFA from California College of the Arts, which she received in 1995. She is currently an art teacher at a small San Francisco high school. When she is not in her studio or nurturing young minds, Laurel enjoys researching the wide range of social justice organizations around the Bay Area as a means to educate herself on the needs of our community, as well as to identify organizations that may benefit from a relationship with The Barrios Trust. She is particularly interested in organizations that use art as activism, a theme which is prevalent in her own art work. She is delighted to be involved in this organization where she is able to make such a positive impact to this community.
John Fanning is Director of Post-Secondary Access and Success at Aspire Public Schools, a public charter network with 40 schools in CA and TN. Prior to joining Aspire, John was a high school teacher, counselor, college advisor, department chair, and Assistant Principal at public high schools in Chicago and the Bay Area, and was also Director of The Partners Program at The College Preparatory School, a non-profit educational support program working with middle school students in West Oakland. John is grateful for the opportunity to be involved with The Barrios Trust in his adopted hometown of Oakland, as is both inspired and humbled by the incredible dedication and accomplishments of the local non-profit community that The Barrios Trust helps to support.
Casey is second generation Oaklander. She currently leads product efforts at Spire.io in San Francisco. Casey previously lived in Beijing, China for 5+ years. While in China, Casey founded and led China's first person-to-person microfinance nonprofit, Wokai.org.