04 19 2018 1408G De Mario Lewis

De'Mario Lewis

Oakland

Program & Administrative Coordinator, United Roots Oakland

De’Mario Lewis was raised in West Oakland, California, the community he now serves as Program and Administrative Coordinator with United Roots, a grassroots nonprofit organization. He was raised by his grandmother due to his mother being on drugs and has overcome enormous obstacles including losing over 350 friends to gun violence.

In 2013, De'Mario started learning graphic design skills with the nationally renowned DetermiNation Black Men’s Group and founded BLK Graphics (Born Living Kings), which offers affordable graphic design to the community and has provided free obituary services to at least 30 community members. In 2016 he completed Public Allies, a 10 month AmeriCorps program that focuses on social justice leadership, and he is now a proud co-facilitator of DetermiNation. De'Mario played a key role in passing “Ban the Box” legislation (Assembly Bill 1008) and testified before legislators at the CA State Capital about the need to prohibit private employers in the state from inquiring about a job applicant’s conviction history prior to a conditional offer of employment.

In 2017, De'Mario was selected as a facilitator for the Western Regional Convening on Dropout Reengagement in Tacoma, WA and was featured in the CBMA "Journey to Radiance" podcast and webisode series. In his limited spare time, De'Mario enjoys hanging out with his son Elijah, listening to rap and jazz music, and playing sports like basketball and bowling.