Director of Innovation
Martel Okonji has over 15 years in education, social justice, public health, community organizing, and welfare. Throughout his career, he has worked to dismantle inequitable policies, liberate and heal communities, and engage in national systems change. Before starting at SPY, Martel worked to elect Senator Ami Bera in District 7, founded the Black History Celebration at the Los Angeles LGBT Center while he developed new programming focused on healing-centered engagement at the Youth Center on Highland. Martel’s passion and impact were recognized by State, County, and local legislators in June 2017 at LA City Hall as a Leader of Change in the California and Los Angeles Community.
Martel utilizes an interdisciplinary approach to his work having a BA in Sociology and Queer Studies, a MA in Education, and currently completing a Ph.D. and MA in Leadership and Change. Martel is a LA County Commissioner for Supervisor Kuehl District 3, serves as a Founder and Board of Director for Go LEED, and an Adjunct Faculty at Antioch University.