Team Member

Michael-Sesen Perrilliat

Message Michael-Sesen Perrilliat

Michael-Sesen Perrilliat

Higher Education Policy Analyst

Sesen (he/him) joins the team as a Higher Education Policy Analyst. Sesen is, first and foremost, a student advocate. His non-traditional educational journey both informs and motivates this work. At Chabot College, he founded the Student Advocacy/ Outreach Office as Legislative Director. He worked extensively with SBBC (a trailblazing organization nationally recognized for its efforts to make education attainable and equitable for black males). At UCLA, he served on staff with the Afrikan Student Union to help secure sustainable funding for its student-initiated retention programs and secured several other lasting resources for Black Bruins.

He also served as a URFP research fellow with the then-Chair of the Af-Am department, Dr. Marcus Hunter as a faculty advisor: investigating transgenerational housing and employment disparities in Oakland and how this history affects tech/startup culture. He was an Internet Research Initiative (IRI) fellow at UCLA, where he worked with Dr. Kleinrock (co-collaborative creator of the internet) and founded TIED to bridge gaps outlined in his research to help marginalized (yet, community-minded & socially-driven) founders who are traditionally excluded from resources in the startup space. He continued this work via Startup UCLA, Blackstone Launchpad, Clinton Global Initiative University, UCLA’s Center for Community Engagement and Social Change, etc.

As a University of California Advocacy Network Ambassador, he advocated on behalf of California Community Colleges and the UC for budgetary increases that impact non-traditional students. He further built upon this work in his UCDC cohort by submitting policy recommendations regarding the quality of education within California’s public Higher Education landscape for Black Students.

Sesen is a 4th-generation Oakland resident and great-grandson of the first black woman to own a business in Alameda: a historical fact he’s proud of. In his own words: [He] seek[s] to share access and accompanying skills [he’s] benefited from with those more marginalized. He’s passionate about utilizing his education, network, research, and resources to develop collaborative, informed, inclusive, and sustainable solutions. He believes that by recognizing and addressing intersectionality in people, problems, and social structures – obstacles can be faced, reduced, and resolved: that only through communal responsibility and earnestness can we create the world we want to see.