The Team



Kelvin Potts is the Founder & CEO of Positive Communication Practices (PCP) which provides a transformative “Rites of Passage” program for young men involved with the criminal justice system. He has directed this program in the Maximum-Security Units at the Alameda County Juvenile Detention Center and the Department of Juvenile Justice facility O.H. CLOSE in Stockton. Mr. Potts has an extensive background as a facilitator, specializing in working with at–risk teenage youth, passionate about his community and a powerful force for change. He also co-facilitates a series of workshops for First Five of Alameda County focused on opening dialogues of healing. Mr. Potts has provided numerous workshops and retreats over the past 10 years.

In addition to drawing on his own experiences of growing up in East Oakland, Mr. Potts has been certified in Positive Youth Development through the Alameda County Probation Department. He’s also certified both as a Father Engagement Specialist and a Violence Prevention Specialist. Mr. Potts is a Master Facilitator of the National Compadres Network’s evidence-based Rites of Passage curriculum and has been trained and certified in the evidence-based Inside/Out Dad fatherhood curriculum for incarcerated youth.


Alex Diaz is formerly incarcerated and is an alumnus of the first graduating class (January 2014) of Positive Communication Practices, “Rites of Passage” program in the maximum-security units at Alameda County’s Juvenile Hall. Alex Diaz is currently a student at the University of California, Berkeley’s Haas School of Business and is studying business administration with a concentration in finance, Alex is expected to graduate in May of 2022.

Alex Diaz currently works for Positive Communication Practices assisting the CEO and Founder, Kelvin Potts, with accounting, website/social media content and development, social networking, software system presentations, and panelist. Alex Diaz has recently been approved by Alameda County Probation Department to be a youth mentor for the Rites of Passage program in the maximum-security units. He is working towards becoming a behavioral modification counselor, circle keeper, and facilitator with the intent of facilitation alongside Kelvin Potts and the Rites of Passage team.


Dr. Jamal Cooks, originally from Oakland, CA.,is a tenured, Professor at San Francisco State University in the Department of Secondary Education. Dr. Cooks has taught middle and high school social studies, community college English, and teacher education courses at the university level. He earned his B.A. from University of California at Berkeley and a MA in Social Studies Curriculum Development from the University of Michigan. Dr. Cooks completed his Ph.D. at the University of Michigan with a dissertation entitled “Explicit Instruction, assumed skills, or something in the middle: Expository writing development in different learning environments with high school freshmen.” Moreover, he is an award-winning track and field coach. Dr. Cooks has coached many indoor and outdoor, track club and high school state participants and All Americans. Dr. Cooks is a certified Level 2 coach in sprints, jumps, hurdles, and relays and was a participant in the Emerging Elite Coaches Camp in Chula Vista at the U.S. Olympic Training Center.


Dr. Erica D. Hooper-Arana has a mission to be of service to vulnerable children and adolescents to help them recognize their unique contribution to the world through healing and transformational strategies. She has 25+ years of experience working with children, youth, and families in a variety of settings including child care centers, schools, hospitals, juvenile justice and social services systems, clinics, camps, homes, and third world countries. Ms. Hooper-Arana served as the coordinator of the Alameda County Juvenile Justice Center Transition Center for 8 years where she helped to champion an innovative model to provide coordinated and seamless reentry services for juvenile justice system-involved youth and their caregivers.

She received her Doctorate of Nursing Practice in 2013 from the University of San Francisco (USF) and completed her applied dissertation on juvenile reentry. She is a published author on innovative strategies in the juvenile justice system. Currently, Ms. Hooper-Arana is the co-chair of the Alameda County juvenile justice and delinquency prevention commission where she helps support system improvement strategies. She also works as a regional program manager for Kaiser Permanente Nurse Scholars Academy and teaches nursing part-time at USF.

Ms. Hooper-Arana has a special interest in holistic healing practices. She is a certified HeartMath trainer, Caritas Coach, Meditation/yoga teacher, massage practitioner, and reiki practitioner. Her greatest joy in life are her three children who consistently teach her that the most profound gift you can give anyone is your presence.


Brian Hopson is a retired Assistant Superintendent, Alameda County Juvenile Hall. Responsible for providing oversight and management for Juvenile Hall and the youth detained there through the court system. Providing care, custody, safety, security for youth during their detainment. Education, Medical. Mental Health, Spiritual Service, Recreation, and Family reunification. Ensuring that State Mandates are adhered to and followed. Working with Community Leaders, Child Advocates, Social Service, and Business Owners to provide structure, stability and a better livelihood for our youth.


Paul Pryde is an author and strategy consultant specializing in solutions to the economic and financial problems of marginalized communities. Before moving to the Bay Area, he served as the U.S. Treasury Department’s principal consultant on the implementation of a new $1.5 billion small business finance program. He was also engaged by the Department of Housing and Urban Development and the U.S. Treasury to advise on new financing programs for low- and moderate-income communities.


Rudabeh Pakravan is a designer and educator living in the San Francisco Bay Area. She is the principal of Rudabeh Pakravan Studio, an architecture and design firm. Her primary interests are how architecture operates at the scale of the city, and how hidden networks can affect urban space. Her project Instant City, a study of alternative futures for Dubai, was a part of the “Politics of Space and Place” conference at the University of Brighton, and most recently she has collaborated on Little, Big, a series of mile marking devices along the Pan-American Highway. Solar Veil, her design for the Land Art Generator Project, was published in The Time is Now: Public Art of the Sustainable City. She teaches architecture design studio at the University of California, Berkeley.


Robert Deutsch has volunteered with and supported multiple Bay Area non profits since moving to Berkeley in 2014, particularly in the area of social justice. During his professional career he worked for IBM and Cisco. While at Cisco he consulted with many of Cisco’s largest customers. He also was a director of Cisco’s consulting team and then of the systems engineering team that supported the US Government. In his last position at Cisco, Bob worked for the Cisco Foundation, responsible for Cisco’s product donation program and as a program officer.

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Positive Communication Practices
1720 Broadway, 2nd Floor
Oakland, CA 94612
(510) 917-1505