Felton Institute Board Vice Chair Tamara Steele recalls, “My mom said that I was always the mediator on the playground, and I was always engaged in public speaking, even as young as four. My very religious grandmother would take me to church and have me speak to the congregation.” These experiences planted the seeds for a successful legal career for over 25 years as an attorney. Her legal career included representing the Department of Social Services, Child Welfare Division, and the Department of Public Health/Environmental Health for Alameda County, as well as her current role as an Administrative Law Judge for the State of California. In addition to her legal background, Ms. Steele’s expertise and compassion led her to become a certified executive/life coach and licensed minister. Following in the footsteps of her supportive mother and grandmother, Ms. Steele charted new territories in the realm of women empowerment and leadership. Moreover, her spiritual depth as a licensed minister added a unique dimension to her work, blending spiritual principles with actionable life strategies.

Tamara Steele’s family history is a testament to resilience. As part of the Great Migration of African Americans, her family left the Jim Crow South to find greater opportunities in the North, settling in West Oakland in the 1940s. Her grandparent’s carpentry business, grocery store and cafe, were not just entrepreneurial ventures but symbols of their determination and resourcefulness. Reflecting on her family’s journey, Ms. Steele shares, “Considering the odds and all the adversity, how they pressed through, and what they were able to accomplish with having very little, it’s both amazing and inspiring to me. Especially when I look at all that I have today, realizing that they didn’t have a fraction of what I have, but they were able to accomplish so much.”

Her grandmother was an important part of her life. Ms. Steele reflects, “She was just a very special person to me; wherever she would go, I was there with her. She, along with my mother, was instrumental to my growth as a woman.” Continuing this legacy of women supporting women, Ms. Steele founded Evolve, Global Women Collaborative Community (GWCC), a company that empowers women through coaching, mentoring, and training to live authentic, purpose-driven lives. “Often people, particularly women, may have a lot of success in life, but their success is not synonymous with fulfillment.” Explaining GWCC’s purpose, she shares, “I see myself as creating a safe, health and wellness space for women so they can feel heard, seen, valued, and supported.” By doing so, Ms. Steele hopes, “It allows them to unplug from all the demands of life and plug into answering questions, such as, ‘What do I really want in life? Why am I here? and What legacy do I want to leave behind?’”

Within her family, Ms. Steele’s supportive nature translates into what she fondly refers to as being a “Bonus Mom.” When she married her husband over 20 years ago, he had a daughter from a previous marriage. Ms. Steele says, “It’s rewarding taking part in the growth and development of a young child well into adulthood. She shares, ‘I developed a close relationship with my “bonus daughter” that contributes to the woman I am today.’

Ms. Steele embodies the spirit of empowerment, unity, and transformative leadership.  Her dedication to fostering a world where women support, uplift, and inspire one another is truly remarkable and a valued complement to the Felton family.

Join Ms. Steele for a speaking engagement on Saturday, March 30th, in San Francisco at the African American Art and Cultural Complex.

To RSVP: https://TheBrownGirlCollective.rsvpify.com


Felton Institute responds to the needs of our community by providing innovative, evidence-informed social services to transform lives. Our organization offers 50+ programs that address mental health, the unhoused, early care and education, those impacted by the justice system, transitional age youth, as well as aging adults. Our award-winning programs, which have been recognized as national models, combine the latest scientific research with cultural sensitivity and a deep commitment to supporting and reflecting the communities we serve.

Founded in 1889, Felton is the oldest secular non-profit social services provider in the City and County of San Francisco. We have expanded our services across most Bay Area counties and continue to be at the forefront of pioneering new approaches to meet the emerging needs of underserved populations.

We know what it looks like to successfully build community.

We foster impactful change by strengthening the community as a premiere service provider. We also strengthen other service providers by supporting them in their fiscal, human resources, communications, IT and overall agency operations. With Felton’s support, they are able to focus on providing the best services to their clients, doing the work they were meant to do.

Felton empowers the community and ensures successful outcomes to all we engage with.

Felton Institute is a tax-exempt organization registered 501(c)(3) nonprofit under EIN 94-1156530.