A dynamic social justice leader, Corey Matthews has devoted his career to uplifting impoverished communities through research, organizing, and community-based programming. After graduating with his MA in urban education, he worked for the City of Oakland, helping them to re-imagine and strengthen the city’s violence reduction program. He later served as Vice President for LeadersUp, a social enterprise founded by the Starbucks Corporation, to connect young people from marginalized communities to full-time job opportunities. There, Matthews created a network for young people starting careers in government and business, engaged employers in solving retention and promotion challenges, and curated experiences for businesses and their employees to have a positive impact on the communities that they operated within. He is currently Chief Operating Officer for Community Coalition, working alongside African American and Latinx residents of South Los Angeles to address criminal justice reform, educational equity and environmental justice. Matthews demonstrated his commitment to social justice as an undergraduate at UCLA. One of the few African Americans in his class, he chaired the Afrikan Student Union, which advocated for the creation of an African American Studies Department, better relations with UCPD, a reversal of tuition fee hikes, and the implementation of a holistic approach to undergraduate admissions to increase diversity at UCLA.
“I believe that the time for decisive, courageous, and creative public policy leadership, has come.”