Charity Chandler-Cole, MPA
Charity Chandler-Cole is a mother, wife, motivational speaker and social justice advocate for issues ranging from Criminal
Justice and Foster Care, to Human Trafficking. As an advocate, Charity has served on several boards and committees
that have helped to influence and impact social structures, policies and systems that have negatively and disproportionately
impacted and oppressed vulnerable communities and people such as; Chairwoman of the Board of Directors for the Anti-Recidivism
Coalition (ARC), an organization that empowers formerly and currently incarcerated people to thrive by providing
a support network, comprehensive services, and opportunities to advocate for policy change; Vice Chair of Fostering
Change Network, a global consulting organization of child welfare specialists, policy analysts, strategic planning
professionals, certified, trauma-informed trainers, community outreach specialists and resource development specialists
that lead the effort to improving child welfare policy and programming by integrating the alumni “voice”
of foster care and adoptee alumni experience into every aspect of its work; Member of the Juvenile Justice Standing
Committee, a sub-committee of the Board of State and Community Corrections that was formed to assist in fulfilling
the statutory requirements in relation to a wide range of juvenile justice issues that fall within the purview of
the BSCC; Prop 47 Executive Steering Committee, which guided the process for awarding the majority of the state’s
Proposition 47 savings to help rehabilitate and provide resources to those coming out of prison; and lastly, President
of the Black Los Angeles Young Democrats, a political action committee dedicated to activating and empowering young
Black/African American leaders to engage in the democratic process through education, advocacy and activism in order
to strengthen our influence in politics and policies that affect our lives.
When Charity is not advocating for the rights of marginalized and vulnerable communities in her spare time, like most
people, Charity works full-time as the National Director of Contracts Administration for the AIDS Healthcare Foundation
(AHF), the worlds’ number one AIDS healthcare provider and advocate and is the founder and CEO of Transformative
Management Solutions LLC, a company that provides specialized management and consulting services to public, non-profit
and for-profit organizations.
Having harshly experienced both the juvenile justice and foster care systems, Charity works passionately to address the
issues and challenges plaguing our communities, women and youth; and uses her powerful story of redemption and triumph
to inspire people under the mantra, “If Charity can do it, then so can I.” Charity believes strongly
in changing the narrative and outcomes surrounding system impacted individuals and uses her many platforms to engage,
educate, develop and empower people from all walks of life to be change agents, visionaries, and successful agents
of society, regardless of their upbringing or past.
Zaid Gayle serves as the Executive Director of Peace4Kids and oversees an ambitious organizational growth plan, with
the intended impact of helping youth in foster care cultivate their strengths and transition successfully into adulthood.
Having been involved in community leadership and program development for over 20 years, he co-founded Peace4Kids
to promote peaceful conflict resolution among youth in South Los Angeles in honor of his mother’s foster care
experience and her life as an educator. He has trained youth, caregivers, social workers and educators throughout
the country and internationally to address the issues facing youth aging out of foster care.
In addition to his direct service work, Zaid leads a team of researchers that are deeply committed to leading a youth-initiated
effort called “Changing the Narrative”. This multi-year project seeks to identify and redress implicit
biases that exist toward youth and alumni of foster care – in the media and in the education and social service
sectors. This work has led to various article publications and conference presentations. It has also informed the
design of a curriculum that helps educators address implicit bias in school communities to improve the outcomes for
youth in foster care and those impacted by childhood trauma.
Zaid has served on various coalitions and advisory boards to help advance policy that supports the needs of system involved
youth. Representing the 2nd Supervisorial District, He was appointed to the Los Angeles County Commission on Children
and Families in December of 2019. He has advised local policy makers, testified in Sacramento and met with federal
law makers to inform legislation, all with the intent of educating the public on the unique culture of foster care
and to improve services. He has also received numerous awards and nominations for his leadership, innovative programming,
and transformational results.
Franco Vega began his career in employment services 26 years ago teaching ‘Rites of Passage’ to transition-age
foster youth (TAY) with the Department of Children & Family Services. From providing case management and supervision
for 5-12-year-olds to creating a Job Development Component for the Youth Opportunity Movement in Watts and Boyle
Heights with the Community Development Department for the City of Los Angeles, funded by the Department of Labor,
Franco has years of experience working with struggling foster youth, which helped him recognize that it was time
to develop a program that combines
mental health services and job readiness training for TAY foster youth in Los Angeles County. Franco also created
an employment center on Skid Row at the Midnight Mission working with recovering addicts and the homeless population.
Working with struggling foster youth felt like the perfect match for The RightWay Foundation and Franco. Like many of
the youth he now serves, Franco Vega had a traumatic upbringing. Franco suffered a great deal of mental/physical
abuse and neglect from the one person who should have protected him the most, his mother. Franco’s dad, who
was a good father, died of a terrible disease, alcoholism. Five years later Franco’s mother passed away of
cancer. At the age of 15, he was now in and out of juvenile hall and remained on probation until the age of 18 years
old. He bounced around to more than ten different schools and graduated from a continuation high school before enlisting
in the U.S. Army. He received an honorable discharge in 1995. In 2000, he crossed the stage from California State
University of Dominguez Hills with a degree in Human Services and has been hard at work with projects related to
job development for underserved communities.
Aside from running the Foundation like a family, Franco has a family of his own, raising four beautiful children (27
years, 22 years, 13 years, and 5 years), and finds time to coach little league baseball and sit on several boards.
Franco and The RightWay Foundation provide support in a family atmosphere and are building new foundations the right
way, one foster youth at a time.