The Mission of the Sonoma County Black Forum is to Lead, Serve, and Thrive! Charged with our mission, we want to help shape intellectual discourse and dialog to consider the African American experience. Our goal is to support area youth and our community by creating opportunities to support education, access to arts, culture and technology, and foster agency within Sonoma County and the surrounding Bay Area.
In 2016, a group of community members gathered at Sally Tomatoes in Rohnert Park to stand together and to uplift each other for the challenging days ahead. We all felt the urgency to address the critical needs in our community. Present were artists, community organizers, educators, and entrepreneurs of Sonoma County as well as representatives from 100 Black Men, NAACP, and the Black Chamber of Commerce. A few weeks later, a small group of us continued to meet and by late spring of 2017, the Sonoma County Black Forum (SCBF) was founded. We are a nonprofit, 501c3 organization, with a vision to support area youth and our community by creating opportunities to support education, provide access to arts, culture and technology in order to foster agency within Sonoma County and the surrounding Bay Area. Working with our community partners, we are charged with developing and expanding the Black experience, and contributing to the culture of our Sonoma community. Our monthly meetings are opportunities to network, exchange ideas, problem solve, and to be a member of an engaged, inclusive, and informed community.
Nzinga Woods Co-Founder and Chair
Nzinga Woods is a co-founder and Chair of the Sonoma County Black Forum. She is passionate about youth empowerment through the arts and remains an active community engagement facilitator in Sonoma County. She has a Master of Science in Educational Leadership from California State University Fullerton, a Master in Fine Arts from Mills College, and her Bachelor of Arts from California State University Sacramento. She is currently the Co-Director of the award winning ArtQuest Program at Santa Rosa High School where she has taught for over ten years. Additionally, Ms. Woods is an arts educator, an adjunct instructor for both CSU Sonoma and the Santa Rosa Junior College.
Regina Brennan Co-Founder
Regina Brennan is a co-founder of the Sonoma County Black Forum who imagines a community and world of informed, socially just, and peaceful individuals. She retired from the Santa Rosa City School District in 2017 after nearly 30 years in the classroom as a World History teacher. Retirement means developing Peaceful Orchard, her gardening business, spending more time with her family, and staying engaged and active during always challenging times. She serves as the Secretary and Treasurer for the SCBF.
Segretta A. Woodard-Baisden Co-Chair
Segretta A. Woodard-Baisden serves as a co-Chair and Board Member of the Sonoma County Black Forum. As a corporate retiree, she has maintained a presence in the Sonoma County ecclesiastical, entrepreneurial, and community benefit and service sectors for over 49 years. Currently serving as Executive Committee Member and Secretary of the Santa Rosa-Sonoma County Unit of the NAACP, Segretta has had the pleasure of contributing her service to the following: Sonoma County Commission on AIDS as Commissioner and founding member of Global Bridges; Executive Board Member of North Bay Black Chamber of Commerce; Executive Board Member of Community Action Partnership; Executive Board Member of Santa Rosa YWCA; President of Santa Rosa Club, National Association of Negro Business and Professional Women's Clubs, Inc. Segretta has a special place in her heart for family and youth advocacy, community engagement, resource development and spiritual mentoring.
Claudia de la Pena
Claudia de la Pena, originally from Los Angeles, headed to northern California to study sustainable agriculture and food policy in Sonoma County in 2009. She is a farmer with a certificate in Permaculture Design and is passionate about family, social justice, climate activism and serving marginalized communities. She serves as co-Secretary for the Sonoma County Black Forum.
Born in Miami, Florida, Gloria Robinson moved to San Francisco in 1961 and to Petaluma in 1971. She is a community activist who has served on many boards in the county and city. She is the founder of Petaluma Blacks for Community Development and chairs the annual Black History Celebration in Petaluma. She is the mother of four adult children and is an active Board Member of the Sonoma County Black Forum.
Faith Ross has lived in Sonoma County since 1975. She is a retired Auditor/Appraiser for the County of Sonoma, Assessor’s Office. She is an active board member of several local organizations: Commission on Human Rights, Petaluma Community Relations Council, Sonoma County Black Forum and the President of Petaluma Blacks for Community Development. She enjoys spending time with her husband, two adult sons, and eight grandchildren.
Nancy Rogers is a chef and owner of the Red Rose, a catering company located in Santa Rosa California, the President of Entrepreneurs of Tomorrow Foundation, the President of the MLK/Juneteenth Festival, Treasurer of the North Bay Black Chambers of Commerce, and a Board member of the Sonoma County Black Forum. She received her Culinary Arts AA Degree from Santa Rosa Junior College. Nancy believes that if you live in the community you should also be involved in it.