Laney College

Umoja Faculty and Staff

Umoja-UBAKA Success Team


Antonio Watkins MFA, teaches Composition and Reading (English 201 A&B, which includes the UBAKA learning community) and Basic Reading and Writing (English 269A&B). He earned a BA in English from Stanford and a Master of Fine Arts in Fiction in 2006. He lives in Richmond, CA with his wife, and can often be found reading a book, riding a motorcycle, or playing a guitar.





Dana Grisby MA, is an African American Studies Instructor at Laney College. She received her M.A. in African American Studies from University of California, Los Angeles, and her B.A. in Journalism from Howard University. She has served in the U.S. Peace Corps twice, in both Botswana and Guyana. She has an intersectional approach to teaching that centers social justice and community involvement. She challenges students to think critically about the overlapping identities of race, sexualities, class, genders, social status and work toward dismantling systems of oppression. She creates a classroom environment that privileges the experiences of people from marginalized communities. She was recently awarded as a member of the inaugural class of 20 emerging leaders under 40 in her hometown of Merced, CA in 2017. She enjoys bike rides, camping, and trap music.


Janelle Tillotsen MS, has been enthusiastically serving the Laney College community since 2011. She hold an Associate of Arts degree in Individual Studies from Foothill College, a Bachelor of Arts degree in Spanish with a minor in Chicana & Chicano Studies from UCLA, and a Master of Science in College Student Personnel and School (K-12) Counseling from San Francisco State University. She is  passionate about informing students of the ways in which community college can be an institution of transformation and economic mobility in their lives. She has counseled and taught Counseling 224 in the Gateway to College and Puente Programs at Laney College and  also previously served as the advisor to the Laney Black Student Union.