Ben is a native of San Francisco, spiritual leader and longtime activist for peace and justice in the Bay Area.
In 2008, he relocated his family to a difficult neighborhood in Oakland called the “Kill Zone” to understand and respond to the epidemic of gun violence, firsthand. During this tenure, he was an instrumental leader of relaunching Oakland’s first successful iteration of Operation Ceasefire, a data-driven, violence reduction strategy, contributing heavily to a 50% reduction in homicides over five years. In 2014 Ben launched Empower Initiative to support bridging and belonging work across the country
Ben is an expert at fostering belonging and serves as a national leader around reconstructing public safety systems and gun violence prevention work, including a background of training over 100 law enforcement departments and executives. Ben joined PICO California, the largest grassroots community organization in the state, representing 450,000 people across 73 cities, in 2015 and serves as the Co-Director. Ben founded the Bring the HEAT campaign, a peacemaking initiative to address police violence, and serves as the Co-Chair of California’s Racial and Identity Profiling Advisory Board focusing on ending racial profiling in California. Ben was featured in the Sundance Film Festival Award winning film, THE FORCE, focusing on his peacemaking work. Ben is also an experienced trainer around equity, diversity and inclusion; working with companies and values based organizations across the country.