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Two SFPUC Employees Honored in Sun-Reporter Talented 25

Two SFPUC Employees Honored in Sun-Reporter Talented 25
  • Marina Garcia

The Sun-Reporter recently highlighted two San Francisco Public Utilities Commission (SFPUC) employees for their advocacy and community involvement. Emily Rogers-Pharr, Director of the Southeast Community Center, and Michelle Peters, Equity & Outreach Specialist, both employees of the SFPUC's External Affairs team, received the recognition in the Sun-Reporter's Talented 25 edition. 

The Sun-Reporter is a local San Francisco Bay Area publication for the African American community. The Talented 25 editions of the publication highlight and honor Black and African American leaders in Northern California. According to The Sun-Reporter's website, the Talented 25 issues have given exposure to a new generation of leaders who are working to improve the lives of African American residents of the Bay Area, while featuring pioneers and longtime community leaders.

Emily Rogers-Pharr
As the Executive Director of the Southeast Community Facility, Rogers-Pharr is responsible for the day-to-day operations at the center, including programs, staff, facilities, budget, community engagement, and Southeast Community Facility Commission support. She was previously with the City of East Palo Alto where she served as the Community Programs Manager. 

Rogers-Pharr is the daughter of the late Bayview community activist, Adam Rogers, and has personal and longstanding ties to the community. Rogers-Pharr has worked with some of the most dynamic policy leaders in the Bay Area. She was the Legislative Aide to former District 10 Supervisor Sophie Maxwell and oversaw a foster care task force convening, coordinated legislation to strengthen the Citywide Surety Bonding Program, and organized legislative efforts to ban the free distribution of tobacco in San Francisco. 

Rogers-Pharr also worked with former District 6 for Councilwoman Desley Brooks in the City of Oakland. She also worked for the Bayview Hunters Point Project Area Committee (PAC), providing administrative, policy research, and analysis support to the 21-member community advisory body. Her policy and program efforts have focused on social justice and equity initiatives for Black and Brown, especially youth and seniors. 

She is an advocate for community improvement and transformation. She has been both a supporter and a lobbyist for transportation programs that remove barriers to self-sufficiency. Rogers-Pharr is a graduate of Holy Names High School. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice from the California State University - East Bay and a Master’s in Public Administration from the University of San Francisco.

“It is such an honor to be recognized by my community. Like many of the honorees, this is simply the work I do.  It is a blessing to be of service."

Michelle Peters
Just like many church girls, Michelle Peters grew up working in ministry serving under 3 generations of Bay Area pastors in her family. From singing in the children’s choir to becoming a lead soloist in the “big choir” at 12 years old; to directing, arranging vocals and instrumentation weekly. She expanded her gift of music under her father’s pastorship by directing a 25-50 voice youth & young adult choir; winning singing competitions for scholarships and money to support the inner-city youth members who were accepted into colleges and for the operational cost of running the Victory Baptist Church Youth & Young Adult Ministry, renaming it, “The CLIC,” Committed Leaders In Christ which encompassed a comprehensive music & arts program. 

Professionally, Peters studied Communications at San Francisco State University, and after completion, she garnered a position at KPIX Channel 5, a CBS affiliate in San Francisco. Peters' professional career has always centered around equity. She is an Equity Communications Specialist and a member of the External Affairs Racial Equity Working Group at the SFPUC. She holds the trademark to “ChurchGurl” and is the Executive Director of a non-profit community-based program, Peters Family Enterprise/ChurchGurl Foundation, and the T-Shirt line.

In fact, she was one of the first to create message-wear blinged-out T-shirts back in 2004. Today, you will find many walking in her footsteps with a T-shirt line to brand their various endeavors. Peters is also a freelance digital and film producer creating shows like “ChurchGurl Champions and ChurchGurls Rock.”

“I’ve admired many Bay Area Black leaders who are Talented 25 honorees. I never thought my name would be among them. I just simply try to be useful and compassionate. I’m very grateful.”