I am an East Bay Area native. I was born in Berkeley, grew up in Oakland, went to Oakland Public Schools, and spent most of my adulthood living and working there. I graduated from UC Santa Cruz, with a B.A. in Religious Studies. I received Teaching Credentials and an M.A. in Education from San Francisco State University. I spent a year in Theological Studies at the Pacific School of Religion in Berkeley. While attending both of those institutions, I was able to study World Religions, including African-based spiritual systems.