Directing Change Advisory Group


The purpose of the advisory group is to provide expertise and guidance pertaining to the framework, implementation and sustainability of the program.  Advisory group members are asked to support Directing Change Goals to:

  • Educate and engage young people through the film making process resulting in positive behavior change towards peers and in creating long term leaders, advocates and compassionate community members.
  • Promote prevention programs.
  • Support education and advocacy efforts through showing of films.
  • Educate and engage community members, entertainment and news media as judges.

 Meet our Advisory Group members!

Directing Change Advisory Group (2016/17)

Alex Graham

Alex Graham has been teaching at Canyon High School since 2007. He graduated from Chapman University in 2001 with a BFA in Film and went on to receive his teaching credential in Art and Masters degree from National University after several years in the industry. In addition to Canyon, Graham teaches at Chapman University’s Dodge College of Film and Media Arts.

He began his teaching career at Santa Ana College and Orange County High School of the Arts and has taught a variety of subjects from Film Production, Video Editing, Digital Music Production and Recording, Electronic Music Studies, Graphic Design, 3D Animation and Motion Graphics, Film History and Aesthetics and Composition and Sound Design for Film.

Graham teaches our beginning and advanced video production classes (Art of TV and Video Production and Video Production II), Career Focus Arts the school’s broadcast show, and creates the school’s DVD yearbook with his students in the Film Ed Academy of the Arts class. In 2012, Mr. Graham was the “Mentor of the Year”

Diane Lampe 

Diane Lampe has worked in education in Sacramento County since 1978 as an elementary teacher, prevention educator, elementary and high school counselor, Healthy Start Coordinator and at the Sacramento County Office of Education as a Coordinator for Student Mental Health Projects. She holds a Master’s Degree in Marriage, Family and Child Counseling and is passionate about student mental health and wellness. Currently she is working as a Student Support Center Coordinator for the Elk Grove Unified School District.

Michael Peck

Teacher at Pleasant Valley High School. Michael is a Northern California local who lives and works in the charming town of Chico. His passion for film, photography, and working with youth led him to his career as a teacher at Pleasant Valley High School, where he has worked for the last 16 years. Michael and his students run the PV House of BLUE production team, which focuses on providing students with meaningful and relevant real world experiences in film, photo, and video. When not teaching Michael enjoys traveling and spending time with his wife Maya and his children Devin, Lily, & Keegan.

Ben Barnholdt

Teacher at Whitney High School. Broadcast teacher at Whitney High School, in Rocklin, California.  Teaches broadcast and sports journalism, as well as video production.  His class produces a daily show and several live events each year on

Don Collins

Teacher at Torrey Pines High School. Donald Collins is a Gulf War veteran who has taught math, English, and computer technology at both the middle and high school level for the San Dieguito district for more than twenty years. After a dozen years working with at-risk teens at the District’s continuation high school, Donald teaches at Torrey Pines High School where he runs the independent study online program (ISOL), the TPHS Inspire Program, a Teacher Training Partnership with National University, and the Peer Assistance Leadership Support (PALS) program. The mission of the TPHS PALS is to promote student well-being and facilitate student connectedness by sponsoring all-school events (like the all-day FalconFest Seminar and Red & Yellow Ribbon Weeks), establishing one-on-one student peer assistance, providing campus tours & supporting campus activities.

Brian Bishop

Media Relations and Outreach, Fresno County. Brian Bishop has been a film advisor for a number of years for High-Risk students.  His students have won a number of local, state, and national awards dealing with today’s difficult topics.  He currently works for the Fresno County Department of Behavioral Health as a Media Specialist where he works with local media to advance the county’s message of wellness.

Alejandra Cristina Vaca

Student at San Francisco State University. Alejandra Vaca graduated from San Francisco State University in May 2016 with a Bachelor of Science in Health Education. She is a passionate advocate for mental health, and hopes to help promote the Directing Change program as an Advisory Group member.

Melissa Zhuang

Student at Mission San Jose High School. Melissa Zhuang, a bay area resident, enjoys spending her time meeting new people, exploring new locations, and listening to new podcasts. She participated in the Directing Change Film in 2016 along with her fellow film-maker Lucille N.

Nataly Adame

Student at Pasadena City College. Nataly Adame is college student and second and fifth place winner for the 2016 Directing Change film competition. She loves striving and working for change in a positive light whether it be for health, the environment, or animal rights.

Mike Lombardo

Mike is the Director of Interagency Facilitation for the Placer County Office of Education. He provides leadership in early prevention, student wellness, social emotional support for students, breaking down barriers to education, collaborative strategy development and family/youth involvement, locally and throughout California.

Monica Nepomuceno, MSW 

Monica is an Education Programs Consultant with the California Department of Education.

Chenece Blackshear

Chenece Blackshear is a San Diego native, but has lived in the Bay Area since 2004. She has worked in the educational field for over 10 years in a number of districts and programs such as Citizen Schools, and Campbell Unified School District. Her time spent working in education

Throughout her time spent working in education Chenece developed two beliefs: (a) education does not exclusively come in the form of a credential, but rather an intense passion to care for today’s youth; (b) providing community care is of utmost importance, and to do so means to build-up organizational skills, as well as a comprehension of various communication methods to suit the needs of different personalities in order to help those in need of knowing how they can dig deep and make a difference in this world.

Presently, Chenece is a Mental Health Intern for the Office of Diversity and Equity for San Mateo County’s Behavioral Health and Recovery Services. Additionally, she is currently finishing her studies her studies in Behavioral Science at San Jose State University.

Directing Change Through the Lens of Culture Advisory Group (2016/17)

Chia Chia Chen

Chia-Chia Chien earned a B.A. in sociology from Tunghai University in Taiwan and an M.S.W. from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign before earning an MPH at the UC Berkeley School of Public Health. She worked as state psychiatric social worker until 2001 when she founded the Culture to Culture Foundation—a nonprofit, community-based organization dedicated to promoting mental health and emotional wellness within the San Francisco Bay Area’s growing Asian-American community. Chia-Chia has sponsored over 50 educational seminars throughout the Bay Area, intended to shine a bright light on mental illness and the importance of early intervention. Chia-Chia is known as a mental health heroine in the Chinese community in the Bay Area and was most recently selected and recognized as National Association of Social Workers Social Work Pioneer for her exceptional contributions to the social work profession.

Gigi Crowder

Gigi R. Crowder, L. E. a native of Oakland, CA. is the mother of 2 biological children; 23 years old twin boys and has served as a foster mom and mentor to many more through divine interventions. Gigi is the Ethnic Services Manager for Alameda County Behavioral Health Care Services and has worked in the Behavioral Health Care field for more than 28 years after completing her studies at the University of California, Berkeley. As a family member of several loved ones who have received private and public mental health services she is a strong advocate for promoting culturally responsive behavioral health services for all clients, consumers and family members.

Gigi is committed to promoting the use of community defined strategies for unserved, underserved and inappropriately served ethnic and cultural communities. Her current focus is addressing the needs of “At Promise” African American males by utilizing upstream approaches such as mentoring and the resources offered in faith/spirituality communities. Gigi is a pioneer in the area of developing curriculum to train Faith Leaders to better support those with mental health challenges and their families and loved ones.

Gigi serves in leadership roles on several state wide committees. One of the highlights of her career is being inducted in the Alameda County Women Hall of Fame for her work in developing programs to enhance employment opportunities for individuals with psychiatric challenges and most recently receiving the 2013 Mental Health Association of Alameda County Mental Health Achievement Award.

Gigi believes, when a man or woman has the conviction that he or she is doing the work God gave him or her to do, there is a zeal and a courage in his or her soul that all the forces of this world cannot destroy.

Michael Helmick

Michael Helmick is the Assistant Director for the Racial and Ethnic Mental Health Disparities Coalition (REMHDCO). REMHDCO is a statewide coalition of organizations and individuals whose mission is to work to reduce mental health disparities through advocacy for racial, ethnic, and cultural communities.

Jim Gilmer

Jim Gilmer is the President of Mental Health America of California. He is the Co-Chair of the California Mental health Services Act Multicultural Coalition, and the former Co-Coordinator of the African American/People of African Descent Strategic Planning Work Group which are both components of the California Reducing Disparities Project, administered by the Department of Public Health/Office of Health Equity. He serves on the Services Committee of the Mental Health Services Oversight and Accountability Commission, and he is one of the founding members of the Racial and Ethnic Mental Health Disparities Coalition.

In Ventura County, Jim is the Co-founder of Multicultural Community Ventures Initiative which is collaborative of ethnic organizations and small businesses focusing on social equity in the arts, music, cultural enrichment, and community development. Cyrus Urban Inter-Church Sustainability Network (CUISN) was co-founded by Jim and local ministers to provide technical assistance for ethnic faith-based organizations.

Jim Gilmer is a member of the Black American Political Association of California (Ventura County Chapter); NAACP; Black & Brown Alliance of Ventura County, CAUSE, LULAC, and the Community Advocacy Committee.

He holds a Master of Arts in Nonprofit Management, Leadership, Administration, Marketing, & Theology (Urban Ministry Emphasis) from Azusa Pacific University. He has over thirty years of experience in resource development, fundraising, youth development, working with the homeless and health/mental health equity issues.

Dixie Galapon

Dr. Dixie Galapon is the Mental Health Director for the Union of Pan Asian Communities (UPAC). She is responsible for administrative oversight, contract compliance and budget compliance for all mental health and recovery programs which serve the entire age spectrum – children, adolescents, transition aged youth, adults and older adults.  Dr. Galapon is Filipina, and obtained her doctorate in clinical psychology from the California School of Professional Psychology, San Diego.  Dr. Galapon has been with UPAC for over fifteen years, and is strongly committed to serving the needs of all diverse communities, with a particular emphasis on serving the needs of the Asian/Pacific Islander communities, as well as other refugee and immigrant communities.  Dr. Galapon is also responsible for providing cultural competence training to professionals in the community, and works on policies to eliminate disparities in healthcare through various collaborative projects.

Mike Duncan

Mike Duncan is an enrolled member of Round Valley Indian Tribes. Mike is the founder and CEO of Native Dads Network in Sacramento, CA. He has help create a network of fatherhood groups in Northern California. Also in this time he has worked in urban and rural native communities conducting workshops discussing topics such as – Historical Trauma, Fatherhood/Motherhood Is Sacred Curriculum, Cultural Competency and Healthy Relationships.

Hendry Ton, MD  

Dr. Ton is a Clinical Professor of Psychiatry.  He works diligently to improve health disparities through education as the Director of Education at the UC Davis Center for Reducing Health Disparities and the Director for Cultural Competence and Professionalism at the School of Medicine. Recognizing the need for improved mental health services, Dr. Ton leads efforts at the UC Davis Department of Psychiatry to prepare future physicians to give quality and compassionate mental health care.  He is also the founding medical director of the Transcultural Wellness Center, a community clinic that specializes in serving the mental health needs of Sacramento’s diverse Asian and Pacific Islander communities. He presents nationally on the topics of cultural competence and curricular development and has also received awards for his work with communities, medical students, residents, and faculty.

Zima Creason, MBA

Zima Creason is the CEO of Mental Health America of California.  She has over 14 years of mental health policy, advocacy, and public education experience.  Nine of those years have been spent working in collaboration with Rusty Selix, co-writer of California’s Proposition 63, the Mental Health Services Act.  Zima is trained in leadership and organizational growth. She is a visionary and is skilled in program development, implementation, and sustainability.

Zima spent three years of her career working with the team at the National Alliance for Mental Illness in California (NAMI CA) under the direction of their former Executive Director, Grace MacAndrews.  While working at NAMI CA,

Zima was able to gain a deeper understanding of the needs of family members of people living with mental illness, especially those caring for adult children.

Zima’s passion for mental health policy, advocacy and education stems from mental health and substance abuse issues in her family and the loss of her sister to suicide.  She is committed to defeating mental health stigma and discrimination as well as access issues that prohibit Californians from receiving the mental health services they need when they need them.

Imo Momoh

Imo Momoh is currently the Cultural Competency Officer and Executive Member of the San Bernardino County, Department of Behavioral Health. Over the years, with his career starting in Contra Costa County, Mr. Momoh has taken lead roles on projects and programs that promote cultural competency, health equity, efforts to raise behavioral health awareness, reduce stigma and increase access to care for the unserved, underserved and inappropriately served populations.

Nenick Vu

Nenick Vu is a nonprofit consultant and grantwriter with an emphasis on developing programs and improving strategies that increase access of underserved and hard to reach populations to resources and services. He currently serves as the Director of the Care Navigation Council, with a network of community based organizations and primary care clinic dedicated to increase health navigation and care coordination services, research, training, and implementation. He has also participated in mental health Public Service Announcement video projects with Sacramento’s Crossings TV station, co-hosted a community television program at Hmong TV in Fresno, and starred in a fictional short film with local artists in the Sacramento community exploring gender and generational issues. His professional experience includes coordinating youth development programs, educating Limited English Proficient (LEP) youth and adults on state and federal healthcare policies, organizing LEP advocates against budget cuts to Medi-Cal and SSI, and developing culturally competent and linguistically appropriate programs that increase underserved communities’ access to health coverage and services, such as health navigation and education programs.

If you are experiencing an emotional crisis, are thinking about suicide or are concerned about a friend, call or text 988 for the Suicide & Crisis Lifeline (24/7)
Directing Change is part of statewide efforts to prevent suicide, reduce stigma and discrimination related to mental illness, and to promote the mental health and wellness of students. These initiatives are funded by counties through the Mental Health Services Act (Prop 63) and administered by the California Mental Health Services Authority (CalMHSA), an organization of county governments working to improve mental health outcomes for individuals, families and communities.
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