Bernida is Director of Social Responsibility at the Port of Oakland and an award-winning public interest lawyer. She is responsible for developing and implementing a comprehensive approach for directing the Port's involvement in the communities which the Port serves. The Social Responsibility Division includes the Employment Resources Development Program, Contract Compliance and implementation of the Social Justice components of the Maritime and Aviation Project Labor Agreement.
Before her position at the Port, she was the executive director of the East Bay Community Law Center, a nonprofit legal service office that provides free legal services to low-income clients in the areas of housing, public benefits, HIV-related law and economic development. A graduate of UCLA School of Law, she has worked with the Legal Aid Foundation of Los Angeles and Public Counsel.
She has served on the board of the Lawyer's Committee for Civil Rights of the San Francisco Bay Area, Urban Habitat, and the CitiCentre Dance Theater. She is a member of the Alameda County Women's Hall of Fame and received the State Bar of California Legal Services Achievement Award for Northern California in 1996. She is a co-recipient of the 2002 William Pincus Award for Outstanding Contributions to the Cause of Clinical Legal Education and the Achievement of Justice. Additionally, in 2002, she was nominated as one of the Top Ten Most Influential African Americans in the Bay Area by City Flight Newsmagazine.