Alicia Tolbert Executive Director

Alicia Tolbert Executive Director

As the daughter of a civil rights attorney and a New Thought minister, Alicia has had one foot in social justice and the other in spirituality her entire life. She has been studying and then teaching the Buddhist path since 2005 with an emphasis in Refuge, Logic, and Vinaya. 

Prior to coming to Insight LA, she spent two decades in the entertainment industry (Paramount Studios, Netflix), most recently overseeing the NBCUniversal film and TV archive which is a superb way to practice all 10 perfections. She has a BA and an MA from UCLA where she taught French for five years. 

Alicia completed the four-year Buddhist curriculum of the Asian Classics Institute under Lama Sumati Marut, Geshe Michael Roach, and her heart teacher, Lauren Benjamin. Alicia took her Lifetime Lay and Bodhisattva vows from His Holiness the Dalai Lama (along with 12,000 other people) and most recently completed an 18 month Mindfulness course for caregivers.

For fun Alicia loves swing dancing, ocean swimming, and mentoring students. In her spare time she volunteers as a public speaker and hospice trainer for the Alzheimer’s Association of Greater LA. 

After so many years studying and teaching, it is Alicia’s great honor to be working with the staff, board, and renowned teachers at Insight LA. Her (virtual) door is always open, so please reach out anytime.

Personal motto: All things are possible with the community.

Rosamaria Segura Director of Insight in Action

Rosamaria Segura Director of Insight in Action

Rosamaría leads the Insight in Action program, bringing a life commitment to social justice and meditation, and experience in managing non-profit programs.

Her dedication to meditation has inspired her to mitigate suffering using insights from mindfulness-based practices. She is passionate about sharing meditation practices with groups dedicated to changing injustices in environmental, socio-economic, and political arenas and in communities that have limited exposure to the benefits of meditation.

She facilitates meditation groups in Spanish for refugees in shelters in Tijuana, Mexico, in Spanish and English in East Los Angeles and East Hollywood.

Rosamaría is a graduate of the mindfulness meditation teacher program with Jack Kornfield and Tara Brach, and a graduate of InsightLA’s Facilitator Training Program with Maureen Shannon-Chapple and Trudy Goodman. She continues studying under the guidance of Jokai Blackwell Sensei. She has also practiced with various teachers in different institutions, including Spirit Rock, InsightLA, Long Beach Meditation, Deer Park Monastery, and Yokoji Zen Mountain Center.

Before becoming dedicated to mindfulness teaching, her career was dedicated to working for just health care access, immigrant rights, grassroots and labor organizing. Rosamaría holds a Master’s in Geography, Bachelor’s in Cultural Geography and Urban Analysis, and an AA Degree in Human Services.

Anisa Charucksiri Director of Programming

Anisa Charucksiri Director of Programming

Anisa helps with programming, event management, community outreach, marketing campaigns, student and teacher relations, and corporate trainings. 

Anisa began her meditation journey when she moved to LA in 2013 which allowed her to establish not only a Youngish Adult sangha (community) in a new city, but also a rooted circle of friends and a fulfilling career path. She has sat 33 nights of silent retreat, has done 100+ hours of floatation therapy, and completed a 200hr and a 75hr Yoga Teacher Training. She previously volunteered at Shambhala Meditation and continues to volunteer for Transcendental Meditation. Born a second generation Thai Buddhist in Washington DC, Anisa lived in Hawaii for 10 years, obtained a BBA from University of Hawaii, and held various Director of Development positions for 10+ years in industries including tourism, restaurant, and wellness.  She has also sat on the board for Hawaii Food Manufacturers Association, United Cerebral Palsy, and her home owners association.

She believes in enabling and empowering others to live awakened lives and she loves the saying, “Give a woman a fish and you feed her for a day; teach a woman to fish (via mindfulness meditation) and you feed her for a lifetime.”

Tracy Yassini Director of Development

Tracy Yassini Director of Development

As Development Director, Tracy brings resources to help forward InsightLA’s programs and initiatives.  With over 20 years of fund development experience in city and state funding, federal grants, corporations and foundations, major gifts from individuals, endowment and capital campaigns, individual sustainer programs, direct mail, and events.

In addition to several years spent at larger “institutional nonprofits” which include key positions at City of Hope National Medical Center and the Muscular Dystrophy Association, her “on the ground” experiences with social justice and grassroots organizations has given her the ability to address real life issues with strategies and approaches that are rooted in authenticity. 

Tracy views her work as a bridge to her personal beliefs around unity, social and racial justice, mindfulness, and compassion.  She began her meditation journey 23 years ago through Buddhism at a time when she felt most isolated in her hometown of Huntington Beach, California.  She looks forward to deepening practice as she continues her personal and professional journey at InsightLA.  

Salsa dancing, surfing, paddle boarding, good food, music, friends and family keep her grounded.  Her neurodiverse adult son and teen aged daughter keep her inspired and motivated.  

Akemi Osajima Community Relations Manager

Akemi Osajima Community Relations Manager

Akemi manages InsightLA’s volunteer programs and coordinates board relations & diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives, along with strengthening community throughout the organization. 

Akemi spent every weekend of the first 18 years of her life at the Orange County Buddhist Church, learning the meaning of Sangha through the empowering Japanese American community youth groups there. Her meditation journey started in 2017 when she traveled to Thailand for a month to live at a mindful permaculture community and meditate at a Thai forest monastery. Upon returning to the US, she started sitting with the Against the Stream People of Color group which led her to the many offerings of InsightLA.

Prior to InsightLA, Akemi spent ten years working in various political non-profits, doing everything from registering new voters to issue-based campaigning to starting internship programs for college students. Her experience in organizing for social change in the local, state and national level of government is the foundation on which her mindfulness practice rests, and she’s passionate about connecting inner with outer transformation to heal ourselves and the world. 

Akemi expresses her own love for life through dancing, singing, painting, writing, and trail running. She teaches music and creative expression to kids, and started a spiritual soul band with her best friends (Mystic Tiger), performing regularly at InsightLA and other spiritual centers around California. 

Abby Uriarte Marketing Consultant

Abby Uriarte Marketing Consultant

Abby Uriarte is a consumer marketing, business, and strategy consultant with over 12 years of experience driving revenue and growth for businesses.  A powerful storyteller with a keen eye for customers, strong marketing instincts, and extensive digital and tech expertise, she keeps a pulse on cultural trends and brings fresh, innovative thinking to her work.  Abby brings a never-ending stream of creative ideas coupled with an analytical, data-driven mindset.  She constantly pushes the envelope, fusing industries and identifying partnerships that elevate brands in new ways.

Abby’s experience spans a variety of industries and ranges from Fortune 500 companies (American Express, Adobe) to startups (Rent the Runway, TabbedOut), and everything in between (MedMen, Beachbody).  She is passionate about health & wellness and has been fortunate to work in this space for the past 6 years.  For the past 3 years, she has been working as a pioneer in the legal cannabis market, serving as executive across several dispensaries and brands.  

Abby came to InsightLA through MBSR after experiencing corporate burnout.  MBSR kickstarted her daily meditation practice, which has helped her become more calm, present, and at ease.  She’s excited to bring the benefits of mindfulness to more people through her work with InsightLA.

Sam Doubek ASSISTANT PROGRAMMING MANAGER

Sam Doubek ASSISTANT PROGRAMMING MANAGER

Sam helps with student and teacher relations under Anisa, assisting with logistical and technical support for programming and the management of retreats. 

Sam began his meditation journey in high school with an MBSR course, which snowballed into an interest in the various meditation lineages and eventually a minor in Post-Colonial Asian Studies. Majoring in Visual Arts and Cultural Semiotics, Sam conducted research in Mongolia, Japan, China, Thailand, and India on how we make drawings of shared universal concepts. This generated a sketchbook shared by a hundred+ volunteers throughout those countries, accompanied by a lengthy analysis of its phenomena.

Sam is excited to deepen his meditation practice at InsightLA and explore conversations on how the American spiritual community can be more critical consumers of visual culture and spot commodification, mistranslations, and appropriation when they occur. 

Sam uses art in his own meditation practice, making images which process how simulacra mediate our relationship to perception and reality. Most often, his work depicts information manifest as writhing inhabitants of the cyberspace, a bionic extension of our collective visual subconscious.

 

 

 

Bria Royal Email Marketing Manager

Bria Royal Email Marketing Manager

Bria Royal is an eco-femme animator, story artist, and healing justice advocate from Chicago, IL dedicated to expanding the fathomable limits of what our world can be. They are constantly constructing and activating spaces of affinity on the block and on the web in the spirit of transformative justice and theorems of human-technology interaction. As a member of the InsightLA Marketing team, Bria utilizes their research practicum-based studies in Communications, Film & Media, and Psychology (Northwestern University, 2016) to bring evidence-based legitimacy to their engagement strategies and generally facilitate the organization of both people and ideas.
 
Aside from being a professional meme-maker for community orgs and Netflix shows alike, bria is also the creator, writer, and artist behind the Black Girl Mania comic and graphic novel, the My Unapologetic… Pocket Healing Zine series, and – most recently – their trippy-but-‘woke’ animated series The Lost In Transmission Theater Show. Bria also runs community management for Indefinite Village, an interdependent community of media artists constructing accessible production spaces in virtual environments and studio sites throughout Los Angeles, CA.

Allison Du Social Media Manager

Allison Du Social Media Manager

Allison Du is our social media manager. She works with her team on marketing strategies as well as keep our community informed with the latest at ILA through social platforms. Her goal is to support ILA’s vision by best communicating it to the community. 

Allison worked as a marketing brand strategist, art director, and events specialist  in the beauty, fashion and entertainment industries. Although she has gained a big part of her skillset in larger corporations, she hopes to build a more personal clientele that better aligns with her core values. She is passionate about wellness, health, music, and art as it has positively impacted her life greatly. She hopes to bring that same positivity to inspire the community with her work through InsightLA. 

Pepe Rodriguez Facilities Management

Pepe Rodriguez Facilities Management

Pepe handles all of the maintenance and upkeep of InsightLA’s facilities across multiple locations.
Pepe has also completed InsightLA’s facilitator training program in 2018. He loves to share his meditation practice with others. On his spare time, he enjoys studying the writings of early philosophers with a special affinity for Socrates. He is happily married to his wife Maria for more than 20 years.

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