Desiree is a seventh-generation Oakland native. She experienced chronic illness in her own childhood. She has an M.A. in Culture and Spirituality from Holy Names University. While there, she was a college mentor for high school students. Since then she has been a literacy instructor and teacher’s assistant, among other positions. She’s active with the Martin Luther King Baptist Church, where she managed the food bank and the summer school retention program, and developed a neighborhood cleaning team and a feeding program for the homeless. She has twice participated in AmeriCorps.