Diana Hickey is an advocate for community development and transformative justice. Born and raised in Oakland, CA, she has spent over 25 years fostering both education-focused and community-based organizations with a commitment to making a positive impact both for the people in these orgs and for the populations they serve. With a B.A. in Organizational Leadership from California State University, East Bay, Diana has worked hands-on with diverse, cross-cultural communities, she is committed to building belonging for our community here in Oakland. She joined CURYJ to actively seek opportunities to build the Oscar Grant Youth Power Zone and create an alternative to youth incarceration here in the Bay Area. Believing that the ecosystem the power zone creates will provide the needed components to create safety and bring more resources into the area, she hopes her work supports the ongoing legacy and rich history of community power and resilience in Oakland.
Diana strives to work with authenticity and has an intrinsic ability to think critically, challenge ideas, and collaborate constructively, making her an invaluable ally in brainstorming sessions and strategic planning. Her work journey began by leading grassroots organizations like AYPAL and Young Women United For Oakland and continued through several education based organizations, including directing the development of Play-Well TEKnologies for 15 years, which grew under her stewardship into the largest LEGO™ STEM education organization in the U.S. She has applied her skills across a spectrum of roles and responsibilities, managing operations, supporting development, and works to create environments that enable growth, build power and promote justice within our communities. Most recently before arriving in CURYJ, Diana embarked on new professional endeavors: founding a children’s school, Oak Knoll Young Explorers, and launching a consulting organization this.us.now., a playful approach to creating psychological safety at work. As a new mother, she cherishes the opportunity to create learning environments where curiosity can flourish and all brains are welcome.