RTSB LeadershiP: Bay Area
Rock the School Bells is a completely volunteer-Based Leadership model. all educators, artists, professionals, and community members invest their own time, resources, and love. RTSB LeadErship team invest their heart & Soul into running intentional, fun, and culturally relevant conferences every year for our youth and community members to experience.
it takes a collective to spark a change. here we highlight this year’s leadership team.
Nate Nevado - founder & Executive Director
Nate Nevado is a college counselor at Skyline College. He is also the CIPHER Hip Hop Learning Community Coordinator since 2014. He founded Rock The School Bells (RTSB) in 2007 to provide youth and students with experiences that integrate Hip Hop and higher education. For the last decade, RTSB has proven to be the most educational and socially responsible Hip Hop conference nationwide.
Hip Hop has always been marginalized in the field of education, deliberately silencing the voices and lived experiences of communities of color. RTSB amplifies youth voices, encourages creativity and innovation, and highlighting the importance of cultural preservation and healing through the arts.
Our vision is to inspire the next generation of leaders, educators, and practitioners who can take Hip Hop education to the next level. From Live at the Barbecue with Main Source, to Illmatic and It Was Written, Nas' rhyme schemes and visually authentic street poetry makes him one of my favorite storytellers in Hip Hop.
Kim Davalos - Associate Director, regional bay area lead coordinator
Kim Davalos is a counselor at Skyline College as an academic advisor, instructor, and program coordinator. Since 2015 Kim began teaching for the Center of Innovative Practices in Hip Hop Education and Research program, also known as the CIPHER Learning Community. She also lectures for the SF State Masters in Counseling program and does a variety of keynotes, workshops, and headliner performances for her work as an educator, and more so, as a spoken word poet and performance artist.
“I am forever humbly indebted to the Rock the School Bells organization and family for becoming my saving grace, home, and crux for an identity as a young educator and woman of color. I have been with RTSB on the Advisory Board and as a coordinator since 2013 where I first heard of the organization in my last year of graduate school at the age of 21 years old. RTSB legitimized what I had felt in graduate school was a radical, non-traditional, rebellious and ultimately rejected approach to counseling best practices.
After a decade of commitment from the Bay Area and Skyline Community, my mentor, colleague, and trouble maker in crime, Nate Nevado, stepped down from Bay Area Lead Coordinator and passed down the RTSB legacy to me. As we move into a new era of RTSB Leadership, I envision our organization becoming the west coast, and one day national, standard for Hip Hop Educational practices for not only instructional faculty, but also counselors, community organizers, student services professionals and graduate students. I envision we will focus our energy and mission around inspiring the creation of spaces of liberation and expression through the five elements of Hip Hop: MC, DJ, BBoy/BGirl, Graffiti, and Knowledge. I envision we will elevate our organization and how we see #hiphopiseducation.
Hip Hop is me. Hip Hop is my practice. My people. My love. Our students. Our community.”
Kim fell in love with Hip Hop single handedly because of Ms. Lauryn Hill.
Doris Garcia - conference lead coordinator
Doris Garcia is a proud Pinay, SF born, East Bay raised kid who humbly serves as the Conference Logistics Coordinator for Rock the School Bells. She currently serves as a counselor for Kababayan Learning Community at Skyline College and counselor for the Outreach Department at De Anza College. She first felt the electricity of the conference as a volunteer in RTSB 9 (2016), standing in the middle of Building 6, surrounded by youth and educators in awe of the fact that- what she yearned more of from her graduate program, she had finally found- coming to life through Hip Hop pedagogy. With the encouragement of current AD Kim Davalos, and mentorship and leadership of ever powerful predecessor, Mandy Lau, she stepped into the role of Conference Lead Coordinator in 2018.
For Doris, the process of putting on this conference is an act of true heart work, and she aims to provide a space where our communities can collaborate, express themselves, heal, feel joy // feel seen // feel heard, and sustain in the face of systems and institutions that do not always acknowledge us.
Her Hip Hop and R&B Queens include Lauryn Hill & Janet Jackson
dr. cindy huynh - Conference Team Member
Dr. Cindy Huynh is full-time faculty in Ethnic Studies at San Jose City College. Prior to teaching at SJCC, Cindy also taught at Evergreen Valley College in Ethnic Studies, San Francisco State University in Race and Resistance Studies, and the University of Utah in Education and Gender Studies. Cindy volunteered at a Rock the School Bells many years ago and made her way back for RTSB 11, when she was asked to bless the mic as the keynote for the Educators’ Conference. Cindy believes in RTSB because it is a beautiful example of praxis. Cindy hopes that this new generation of RTSB leadership deepens hip-hop education's potential while highlighting the necessity and transformative power of womxn of color leadership and intellect.
Joseph "Seph One" Magsaysay - marketing Lead coordinator
Joseph "Seph One" Magsaysay is an Multidisciplinary Designer, Community Organizer, and perpetual student. He currently works in the Design and Construction industry with a focus on Architecture, Project Management in Mission Critical projects and Aviation. Seph got involved with RTSB as a participating high school senior through a counselor's recommendation, in which he was able to experience the potential power in hip hop and the possibility of pursuing higher education. Since then he has been involved as a volunteer, an intern, and is now on the coordinating team.
“I believe in RTSB because I experienced its life changing effects my self. Without RTSB, I wouldn't have been blessed with the avenues and networks I have been exposed to. I would have never seen (as early as I did) the possibilities one can achieve through hip hop. RTSB provides hope and platforms for folks to express, connect, and be empowered. Sometimes that empowerment is all anyone ever needs to create real change within on an individual level, and for our communities.
His vision for legacy is continual and exponential growth in all aspects of RTSB; our local and global impact, as well as our reach. Of course our aesthetics and marketing steez to always be fresh.
Favorites in Hip Hop: DREAM, YNOT, Andre 3000 - if only one... then Dream.”
creative transit agency (cta) - lead concert Coordination Partners
+Mission statement: We orchestrate moments that move people.
+Values To establish a new standard in talent & project management. The vision is to lead an agency that represents its' talents' goals, understand clients' needs, while contributing to the rich creative arts culture of the Bay Area.
+Involvement CTA hosted the RTSB All Styles Dance Battle for RTSB11 in 2018. The organization was approached by RTSB Associate Director, Kim Davalos, discovering the beautiful alignment of ethics, values and vision with RTSB.
+We believe With a similar vision of empowering youth with Hip hop education, and creating a platform for our youth to express and perform at RTSB.
+Our vision is to be an essential supporting entity to help prolong the RTSB mission/vision for as long our organizations are alive. With our society growing at such fast pace due to our groundbreaking technological advances, it is important to preserve and educate our youth with the positive empowerment of Hip hop education.
RAUL NAVALTA (PERFORMING ARTIST/DJ)
Raul Navalta is a multidisciplinary artist with an affinity for creative production. Whether being on stage, behind the stage, or building the stage; Rj brings a unique level of expertise to every responsibility.
PAYMANEH “BIBI” KHALILI (CHOREOGRAPHER/ STYLIST/PROJECT MANAGER)
With her hands in multiple areas of the arts scene, Bibi is a stylist for both artists and the everyday person in addition to teaching various Urban Dance Workshops. Bibi also works alongside and with various performing artists, providing choreography and/or general consulting services.
With an extensive background in diverse music and artistry, Oui is the ultimate creative professional. Huy now spins for weddings, corporate parties, dance battles, and many other specialized events on a consistent weekly basis. His specialties include Hip Hop, 90s, Funk, soul, future beats,baile funk and top 40.
brianna clay - volunteer Lead coordinator
Brianna is currently a Counselor at Skyline College, whom work with first generation, low income and /or students with a learning difference. When I first heard about Rock the School Bells, it was through the Godfather, Nate Nevado, along with other amazing colleagues who put me on with RTSB. Brianna started as a volunteer, and then the following year I became the co-coordinator (with Vanson Nyguen) for the volunteer committee. RTSB is the definition of community, family and unity through the lens of Hip-Hop. She believes in this organization because she has witnessed the transformation this organization has built for the youth and educators as many social justice issues are addressed. Brianna’s vision for the RTSB leadership legacy is to stay “youth focused”, culturally relevant and continue to inspire the youth to believe in themselves and know that it is okay to be true to yourself and others around you. Love yourself. Her favorite Hip-Hop artist is Kendrick Lamar!
jose cartegena - volunteer team member
What’s up my name is José Cartagena. Currently I’m a business major and an aspiring counselor at San Francisco State University. At the moment I’m an office assistant for the Cooperative Work Experience Education Program at Skyline College. I assist students on the daily as well as market the program through outreach. I got involved with RTSB, as a former student at Skyline College particularly in the CIPHER learning community. If I can choose one word on how I got involved I would say LOVE (Straight Up). I grew up and was raised on Hip-Hop. So, to be able to connect something I grew up with all my life and insert into, while in the pursuit of higher education I felt right at home. Rooted in Four Elements of Hip Hop, Career Exploration, Social Justice, Entrepreneurism & Community building, Rock the school bells is the present and the future of our generations to come. To empower through Love, Healing & Hip-Hop and to be able to utilize our own voices through the struggle it represents and can represent, it’s a game changing revolutionary movement for our youth.
My vision for the RTSB leadership legacy would be at the moment to create a flyer with each description laid out and present it to our closest allies like CIPHER, Kababayan, Puente, ASTEP, at the beginning of the semester and hopefully get an immediate response.
Future wise I can see this being a program, almost sort of like the meta majors’ program at Skyline but RTSB Leadership.
My favorite artist all-time would be 2Pac.
saba gebre - outreach lead co-coordinator
Saba Gebre is a counselor at both Chabot and Skyline Colleges. She has personal knowledge and experience serving immigrant, refugee, queer/trans, and first gen students of color. Saba utilizes de-colonization, education for liberation, Hip-Hip and critical conscious praxes to counsel students. Saba joined RTSB intentionally to connect to a community of like minded and passionate educators. She fervently believes in RTSB’s mission of empowering the youth through Hip Hop education and views the conference as a viable opportunity to promote social change together. Her vision for RTSB as an Outreach Coordinator is to connect more youth of color to the conference through large group community organizing. Last but not least, Saba’s favorite Hip Hop artist is Erykah Badu whose funky music and nonconformist ideology has positively impacted her life.
alvin gubatina - outreach Lead co-coordinator
+About: Kababayan Counselor @ Skyline College + Catering Side Hustle
+RTSB initiation: Tapped by Nate Nevado to come to join the crew
+Love for RTSB: The community is always willing to support and show love + Hip Hop is a powerful tool to tell stories and build a connection
+Vision of Legacy: RTSB clubs at different high schools
+ Favorite Hip Hop Artist: Jermaine Cole
anna nguyen - community engagement Lead co-coordinator
Anna currently works as a counselor at Skyline College and College of Alameda. Anna got involved with RTSB during graduate school as I was intrigued with how hip hop was being used as an educational platform to motivate youth to pursue their dreams, interests, and talents. She believes in RTSB as an organization because it is a movement that connects youth to critically think of the world in which they live in, encourages them to share their stories, welcomes creativity in all forms, and provides a space for communities to come together. My vision for our RTSB leadership's legacy is to continually provide a space for youth and community members to engage in conversations and activities on topics that are meaningful to them, learn from one another, and allow for the expression of self to always be at the forefront. My favorite Hip Hop artists are Lauryn Hill and Erykah Badu.
jessica lopez - community engagement Lead co-coordinator
Jessica Lopez is a counselor and instructor at Contra Costa College in San Pablo, CA, where she supports Promise Scholars and the general student population. Jessica first became involved with RTSB in 2016 as a volunteer while in her counseling graduate program at SFSU. She admired the leadership, diversity and commitment that she witnessed from the RTSB team, and wanted to invest her time to contribute to the important, and necessary, work RTSB provides for students and the community. RTSB is a space where personal stories, history, experiences and creativity matter. Jessica envisions RTSB’s leadership to remain passionate about teaching people of color through hip hop pedagogy.
Favorite hip hop artists: Tupac, Erykah Badu, Lauryn Hill and Biggie
ivan silva - student leadership Lead coordinator
Ivan Silva currently works as a Counselor/Educator at Skyline and Chabot College. He is originally from San Diego but has called Northern California home for nearly 15 years with the last 8 being in the Bay Area. He first got involved with Rock the School Bells in 2015 as a conference attendee and has since served as a volunteer the last two years. This is his first year on the RTSB Leadership team and helping to develop RTSB student leaders. His vision for RTSB is to continue providing a space for our communities to gather, create, critique, reflect, and heal around Hip-Hop. Since his first RTSB experience, Ivan was blown away by the energy and passion for hip-hop education. As a child growing up, listening to Cypress Hill and KRS-One, never did he imagine the influence hip-hop education could have on youth, educators, and our communities.
ivy chen - marketing team member
My current day-to-day job is bank telling at Wells Fargo. My goal is to discover and nurture the skills I need to develop a career in visual arts, specifically in the art of dance, photography, and cinematography in relation to hip hop culture.
I discovered Rock The School Bells through the dance community, and learned what they are all about. RTSB is immersed in preserving and spreading the wellness of hip hop culture to young adults and teens. Being a dancer who loves Hip Hop music inspired me to learn how I can get involved with the organization. Coincidentally enough, I met Kim Davalos, a RTSB head organizer, during a casual photoshoot/videoshoot for a dance related event. From then on I was brought into the team. It was like the stars aligned! I am super excited to work with RTSB and ready to contribute to RTSB’s mission with my skills.
I believe in RTSB’s mission because I feel like they are really helping teens and young adults learn other ways to express themselves and succeed in their pursuits. I feel like this organization can achieve this because they have found the connection point with youths: hip hop.
My vision for RTSB is to see it spread across the world and be implemented into as many schools as possible. And I want to do this through my pursuit of mastering the visual arts. I want to help RTSB be represented in a way that best represents them when they are being presented to critics. First impressions are very important.
It’s really hard to pick a favorite hip hop artist when there’s been so many amazing ones that have touched my life in so many different ways, however, if I had to choose one it would be SZA. You know those tinglies you get when you hear, see, touch, taste, and smell something amazing, well that’s what SZA gives me when I listen to her music. When that happens I just got to follow my gut feeling.
David Nguyen - marketing team member
David "D4" Nguyen is an online marketing manager for music artists such as Butterscotch, Marcus Miller, Zion I and Eligh (Living Legends, G&E). He is also a content creator (photographer / videographer / blogger) that goes by the “Swiss Army Knife for Independent Artists." In addition to music marketing, David is working towards becoming a systems health coach for music artists. He believes artists serve an important role in social change and enriching the human experience so he recently started Biohack the Artist, an experimental health project that focuses on “keeping our music artists alive.”
The theme Heart and Soul this year really echos with his sentiments and concerns in regards to health in the Hip Hop community and society as a whole. As someone who wants to tackle the issue of mental health and the chronic disease epidemic in America, he decided to merge music and health together. He feels music artists can play an important role in influencing positive change, which is why this project isn't just addressing health issues artists face, but to promote a healthier lifestyle to their fans as well.
Favorite Hip Hop artists: Atmosphere, Lupe Fiasco, Logic