About Us

Mahagany Gillam

Executive Director


Mahagany Gillam brings a unique passion to her role at Oakland Women’s Center. She is a powerful voice advocating for people living with disabilities, women, families, and children in need of support. She is able to teach these individuals how to navigate the systems in order to best receive their necessary support for a better  quality of life.


Mahagany has an extensive history of human rights activism, powerful public speaking, fighting for educational equality, knowledge of administrative policies, and justice-based coaching. Her work centers on equipping community leaders with outreach strategies that enable public entities to effectively serve marginalized communities.. She has held positions as a strength-based administrative support in the Berkeley Unified and Oakland School Districts,, non-profit, and private sectors as well as serving on numerous boards. These work experiences fueled her desire to become a voice speaking as part of our communities to accentuate the extensive basic needs of many families in the Bay Area. 


Mahagany was led to community activism after continually experiencing profound racial discrimination in her attempts to access essential services throughout the East Bay and Contra Costa counties, including housing assistance, trauma support, equity in education and police protection. As a mother of five and survivor of violence, she offers an indispensable lens to understanding the barriers and missing links between marginalized groups and access to the programs designed to serve these populations.


Through system refinement and innovative liaison coaching, Mahagany is a disruptor and trailblazer in community activism. She is determined to annihilate generational poverty through truly equitable access to essential community services.