Meet the Men of Color Action Network team.
|Men of Color Action Network Staff Bios|
Hi Everyone! My name is Brandon Douglas and I am a counselor here at ECC with EOPS and the Black Student Success Center.
I'm into all things sports when I am not at work you can catch me at the Staples Center. I went to Azusa Pacific where I completed my bachelor's degree in psychology. Most recently, I earned my master's degree in counseling from Cal State Dominguez Hills.
I am happy to provide support to you all and look forward to working with you this semester. Come join the family!
Dennis Funes, Counselor, M.Ed.
Dennis is a son of Honduran Immigrants. He was born in East L.A and grew up in South Gate, CA. He is a product of LA Unified School District and attended UC Santa Barbara for his Bachelors and USC for his Masters.
Being the first in his family to attend school in the U.S, he had to help translate for his parents and navigate the education system on his own. It was not easy, but with the help of his loved ones, he was able to persist.
Upon graduating from UCSB, Dennis worked in the private sector in a global logistics company, then worked as a college advisor and program coordinator through the USC College Advising Corps, and now, as a counselor for the Men of Color Action Network and the Peer Navigator program.
During his free time, he enjoys going to the gym, skateboarding (fun fact: he collects skateboard decks) and hanging out with his fiancé, family and friends.
Chris Hurd, Student Equity & Achievement Counselor
Chris Hurd received an AA in Liberal Arts from Santa Monica College, transferred to University of California, Los Angeles and earned a BA in Sociology. He earned a Master of Arts in Counseling from Loyola Marymount University.
Prior to coming to El Camino College as a Counselor, Chris spent nearly a decade in K-12 mostly as a College Counselor and High School Administrator. Most recently, Chris was the Director of Programs for Southern California at an educational nonprofit named CollegeSpring.
Counseling really chose me more so than me choosing it. While attending Santa Monica College, my experiences with my counselors Sherri Bradford and Cassandra Patillo in the Black Collegians Program had a profound impact on my life trajectory. Their encouragement as well as their willingness to consistently challenge me to push harder and strive to be better really made me want more for myself. That experience has driven me to want to provide that same sort of support for our students as I know what kind of impact it can have. If I could encourage a student to do anything, it would be to embrace the struggle. The focus needs to be on reaching the ultimate goal, if it takes a day, a week, multiple years, it is worth the effort. Take advantage of the resources. Advocate for yourself as no one should have more interest in your success than you.
Diego Rodriguez is a first-generation Mexican-American whose parents are immigrants from Colima, Mexico. He was born and raised in South Central Los Angeles. He is a product of the Los Angeles Unified School District and attended California State University Northridge after high school. However, he dropped out his first semester and enrolled at El Camino College the following year. He received an A.A. in Political Science, transferred and graduated from UCLA with a Bachelor's in Political Science, and got his Master of Science in Educational Counseling from the University of La Verne.
He is the first in his family to graduate from college and learn to navigate higher education by drawing from his personal experience. His mother is a street vendor with an entrepreneurial spirit that has helped her raise six boys. He draws from his mother's strength, his experience of dropping out, and the help he received from support programs at El Camino College. Currently, he is an Equity & Retention Advisor at El Camino College. His goal is to help address inequities in higher education and help increase enrollment and retention of students who have been historically marginalized.
In his free time, he likes to play guitar, jam out with his friends, travel with his girlfriend, and record videos and podcast episodes.
Robert A. Williams
Robert A. Williams, M.S, is an Equity Counselor at El Camino College (ECC). He has worked primarily with African American/Black, Latino and Pacific Islander student populations. Robert was co-coordinator of Equity Programs at ECC and has helped to create programs specifically designed to eliminate equity gaps within the historically marginalized and oppressed.
This work led him to become a founding member and sits on the executive board for the Men of Color Action Network (MOCAN). In this role, his desire is to connect with young Black, LatinX and Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander students, their caregivers, and the community at large as a way to help these students redefine and reimagine themselves within school and within their communities. Robert’s aim is to help students understand their power, potential and purpose; wherein they will act as agents of change towards the redistribution of wealth, opportunities, and privileges within.
Robert works closely with MyPath, Basic Skills, DSPS, and Athletes in addition to his commitment to ECC’s Student Leadership Institute and the Men of Color Initiatives on campus. Prior to his work at ECC, Robert also founded Black Scholar’s programs at both Glendale Community College and Los Angeles Valley College.