Skip to main content.

Boona Cheema

Expert Profile

Boona Cheema

Executive Director
Building Opportunities for Self-Sufficiency (BOSS)
disabled and homeless people in Alameda County
health advocacy for the disabled and the poor
community-based partnerships for change
urban ministry
political, social and economic justice


Boona Cheema is executive director of Building Opportunities for Self-Sufficiency, or BOSS, an Alameda County nonprofit organization serving poor people with disabilities and special needs since 1971. BOSS seeks to help homeless, poor and disabled people achieve health and self-sufficiency, and fight against the root causes of poverty and homelessness. As executive director, Cheema has forged partnerships with faith groups, schools, business leaders and service providers, and has worked with equal commitment alongside policy makers and poor and disabled community members. Cheema was born and raised in India in a Sikh family. After working with wounded children in Vietnam during the war, she immigrated to the United States in 1971. A trained Unitarian Universalist Minister, she holds a B.S. in economics and master's in journalism and divinity. She was awarded an honorary doctorate of humanitarian letters for her work as an urban minister. She has an extensive portfolio of political, social, and economic justice work.

2065 Kittredge Street, Suite E
Berkeley  California  94704
United States
Office Phone: 
(510) 649-1930
Office Fax: 
(510) 649-0627


More than 100 anti-transgender rights bills were introduced in state legislatures this year. Many focus on children and teens. Join us for our next Health Matters webinar, where we'll explore the health and well-being of transgender youth as states such as Arkansas and Tennessee seek to limit their rights. Our expert panel will share the latest research, seed story ideas and offer reporting advice. Sign-up here!

Are you passionate about helping journalists understand and illuminate the social factors that contribute to health and health disparities at a time when COVID-19 has highlighted the costs of such inequities? Looking to play a big role in shaping journalism today in the United States?  Apply now for one of our positions. 

The best journalism these days wraps compelling narratives around scrupulous data analysis. Apply now for our 2021 Data Fellowship to learn the skills necessary to use big data to inform your reporting on health and social welfare issues. Learn more in this webinar on Aug. 3.


Follow Us



CHJ Icon