PHOTO: MICKEY WELSH / MONTGOMERY ADVERTISER
Formerly Incarcerated & Convicted People & Families Movement
1st NATIONAL CONFERENCE
September 9-10, 2016 Oakland, California
Download the Full Program Here: FICPFM Program Final
FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 9th
Registration & Continental Breakfast (including cold and hot cereal) 7:30 – 8:30
Welcome Remarks 8:30-8:45
Dorsey Nunn, Legal Services for Prisoners with Children
Susan Burton, A New Way of Life Reentry Project
Opening Plenary 8:45-10:00
FICPFM History and Accomplishments
In February, 2011, a number of formerly incarcerated and convicted people gathered in Alabama to discuss how we could coordinate efforts to build a movement comprised of organizations led by formerly incarcerated people: organizations engaged in the fight but individually not large or strong enough to be effective at a national level. We then met later that year in Los Angeles to set an agenda. Since that initial gathering the Formerly Incarcerated & Convicted People & Families Movement’s Leadership Council have held a number of retreats, organized regional conferences, and met with the U.S. Department of Justice’s Re-entry Council and the White House. This plenary is an opportunity for the Leadership Council to report back on the work we have done and start the conversation on where we go from here.
Daryl Atkinson, Second Chance Fellow, US Dept. of Justice
Dorsey Nunn, LSPC / All of Us or None
Vivian Nixon, College and Community Fellowship
Glenn Martin, JustLeadershipUSA
Susan Burton, A New Way Of Life Reentry Project
Norris Henderson, Voices of the Experience
Pastor Kenneth Glasgow, The Ordinary Peoples Society
manuel la fontaine, LSPC / All of Us or None
DOJ Reentry Council Representatives – Updates 10:00-11:00
The historic election of President Barack Obama immediately triggered expectations from activists within the criminal justice reform movement that his Administration would begin to end mass incarceration. Over the course of 8 years some progress has been made but much much more needs to be done. During this intimate conversation between Glenn Martin, President and Founder, JustLeadershipUSA, and Assistant Attorney General Karol Mason the two will discuss some of the steps the Obama Administration, Department of Justice, and the Federal Interagency Reentry Council have taken to end mass incarceration and restore the rights of people with records. In addition, Mr. Martin and AAG Mason will specifically highlight the unique and important role that formerly incarcerated leaders played in shaping the criminal justice reform agenda of the Administration of the Department of Justice.
Glenn E. Martin, JustLeadershipUSA
Karol Mason, Department of Justice
FIP Plank Evaluation and Feedback 11:00-11:15
Transition to Breakout Rooms 11:15-11:30
Concurrent Breakout Session 1 11:30-12:45
Employment – Our Current Civil and Human Rights Struggle
This panel will explore the work we have done in relation to Ban the Box, and how to expand employment opportunities for formerly incarcerated people and those with conviction histories. President Obama took executive action, but the next Administration needs to issue an executive order extending Ban the Box to private contractors. Private Contactors employ such a significant number of people that altering their hiring practices would be extremely meaningful to our movement and represent real progress towards dismantling structural discrimination in the private sector.
Alex Berliner, LSPC / All of Us or None
Justin Terrell, Justice 4 All / TakeAction Minnesota
Marilynn Winn, Women on the Rise
James Kilgore, First Followers Reentry Program
Patty Katz, Beyond Barriers / Partnership for Safety and Justice
Housing Needs Are More Than A Cage – We Need Access to Public and Private Housing
Our release from prison, jail or arrest should not mean an immediate threat to the living situation of our loved ones. Going home should not mean going homeless. Nor should an arrest or conviction history mean denial of such a basic human need as housing. This panel will explore the current relationship between our conviction or arrest histories and public housing. Local state and federal governments often issue permits and/or encourage housing development in a city: should a conviction or arrest be the basis on which access to private housing is denied?
Bruce Reilly, VOTE-NOLA
Alfred Marshall, Stand with Dignity
Marie Claire Tran-Leung, Shriver Center
Deborah Thrope, National Housing Law Project
Pamela Marshall, A New Way Of Life Reentry Project
Stanley Richards, Fortune Society
Education – A Tool for Career and Community Change
Access to quality education while we are incarcerated as well as supportive services once we are released should be a fundamental right. How do we use education to challenge the dominant narrative that suggests we are unqualified to access living wages, good jobs or support our families? This panel will help people to understand the concept that access to education is an integral part of the overall struggle to end Mass Incarceration. Please join us in discussing the role of government in expanding education during incarceration and the current struggle to access institutions of higher learning upon release.
Vivian Nixon, College and Community Fellowship
Yolanda Johnson Peterkin, New York City Housing Authority
Jared Walker, Office of the City Administrator, San Francisco
Ivelisse “BiBi” Gilestra, NJSTEP
Steve Czifra, Underground Scholars
Civic Participation – Am I A Citizen If I Don’t Have the Rights?
Access to democracy should be the right of all people living in this country. In the face of voter suppression through so many different tactics, how do we keep the question of felony disenfranchisement relevant and on the table in the general fight to protect voter access and the right to vote for all? As people who currently do not enjoy the right to vote everywhere in the country, do not have the right to sit on juries, and are unlikely to be able to hold public office—are we citizens? We pay taxes and we demand a right to vote.
Desmond Meade, PICO Florida Live Free Campaign
Benny Lee, National Alliance for the Empowerment of the Formerly Incarcerated
Lillie Branch-Kennedy, Resources, Information, & Help for the Disadvantaged
Harrison Seuga, Asian Prisoners Support Committee
Steve Huerta, All of Us or None
Transition to Lunch 12:45-1:00
Lunchtime Plenary 1:00-2:15
Ban the Box in Philanthropy
This panel will allow for a frank discussion by people working in Philanthropy. It will include a report about the toolkit—designed to identify innovative approaches in hiring formerly incarcerated people as staff for foundations—that is currently being developed by the Executive Alliance for Boys and Men of Color. Panelists will also discuss ways in which the philanthropic community can increase support funding organizations led by and employing formerly incarcerated people so that we can take a leadership role in determining the most important issues, policies, and services that reflect our needs and aspirations
Lateefah Simon, Akonadi Foundation
Christina Voight, Open Society Foundations
Damon Hewitt, Executive Alliance for Boys and Men of Color
Leonard Noisette, Open Society Foundations
FIP Plank Evaluation and Feedback 2:15-2:30
Transition to Afternoon Breakouts 2:30-2:45
Concurrent Breakout Session 2 2:45-4:00
Restorative Justice – A Large Step Towards Healing and Wholeness
A different approach is needed that allows both people with a conviction history and those who have been victimized by crime to be made whole again. The dominant narrative fails to recognize that those roles are often interchangeable especially in poor neighborhoods. Maintaining the dichotomy between the deserving and the undeserving reinforces unhealthy environments and relationships. Restorative justice should be a practice that will grant the entire community access to greater health and safety. The punishment model leaves little room to invest in the community in a holistic way.
Marlene Sanchez, LSPC Board Member / CURYJ
George Galvis, Communities United for Restorative Youth Justice
Jerry Elster, All of Us or None
Garry Malachi Scott, Oakland Youth
Political Prisoners: Connecting Generations of Struggle
Contemporary activists and community organizers are all potential political prisoners when profiled, labeled, detained, incarcerated for actions against the state. Already we have seen the state attacking contemporary movements and individual activists. No social movement is worth anything if it cannot protect the people on the front-line, including political prisoners in the U.S. who fought in the anti-colonial war against U.S. domination in the 60s, 70s, and onward. This panel will raise awareness of Political Prisoners, the need to change the narrative around them in the U.S., and share ways that people can get involved in supporting the liberation of our current PP/POWs.
Linda Evans, All of Us or None
Sekou Odinga, activist, former political prisoner
Laura Whitehorn, Release Aging People in Prison
Hank Jones, activist, former political prisoner
Cisco Torres, activist, former political prisoner
Dr. Robert King, activist, former political prisoner
Albert Woodfox, activist, former political prisoner
Legalization of Marijuana – What About Pooky?
This panel will encourage people to critically look how ending cannabis prohibition would impact poor and marginalized communities. This is a national issue. This panel will also focus attention on those people who have directly born the burden of disproportion arrests, convictions, fines, fees, incarceration, subsequent suspension of rights and access to public benefits. With the emergence of this multi-billion dollar industry, we will explore the future roles of the people who have maintained segments of this market in our neighborhoods. Will we once again advantage the privileged over those who we targeted for punishment in the drug war? It makes good economic sense that we engage in a conversation now and develop strategies that protect the common interest of our community, especially for those who have not yet developed a political apparatus to amplify their own voices. Let’s not screw Pookie again.
Desley Brooks, Oakland City Council
asha bandeli, Drug Policy Alliance
Greg Akili, Institute of the Black World 21st Century & L.A. Black Workers Center
Tony Coleman, One Fam
FAMILY: The Most Powerful Voice
There are many voices on the forefront, calling for true justice, sentencing fairness, prison reform, humane treatment, ending solitary confinement, reentry resources, and many other aspects of deconstructing mass incarceration in our country. Some of those voices are professional advocates, organizers, and lawyers. Yet none are more powerful than the collective “Voice” of directly impacted families, including members who are formerly incarcerated.
Don Gurule, California Families Against Solitary Confinement
Ebony Underwood, filmmaker, Criminal Justice Reform advocate
Esi Mathis, minister
Grace Bauer, Justice For Families
Sammy Nunez, Fathers & Families of San Juaquin
YOUTH PANEL: Claiming Our Power Developing a Movement Built on Youth Leadership
Young people are disproportionately affected by incarceration, whether imposed by generational incarceration or their own racial or socioeconomic backgrounds. It is important to recognize that many of the Movement’s leaders are Youth: there is a resilience and passion in Youth from which everyone—young and old—can draw inspiration and wisdom. This panel will explore the inclusion of young people in the struggle for our collective liberation.
Ruben Leal, Communities United for Restorative Youth Justice
Daniel Mendoza, Communities United for Restorative Youth Justice
Dorian Lara, Communities in Harmony Advocating for Learning & Kids
Gloria Gonzalez, Youth Justice Coalition
Shaquille Woods, All of Us Or None
Val Axtle, Project WHAT!
Transition to Closing Plenary 4:15-4:30
Closing Plenary 4:30-5:45
Women In The Movement
Women who possess an entrepreneurial spirit tend to soar despite any obstacles facing them. Sitting in a prison cell we have dreams and plans for being better, for making a difference in the world. Few, however, are able to make them a reality. This panel will introduce you to 5 leaders in this movement who had dreams of making a change in the world, of being examples to other women as well as the society post incarceration.
Hamdiya Cooks-Abdullah, LSPC / All of Us or None
Andrea James, Families For Justice As Healing
Vonya Quarles, Starting Over, Inc.
Dolores Canales, LSPC / All of Us or None
Kim Carter, Time for Change Foundation
FIP Plank Evaluation and Feedback 5:45-6:00
Optional Dinner (Bus Ride) 6:20
SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 10th
Registration & Continental Breakfast (including cold and hot cereal) 7:30 – 8:45am
Opening Plenary 9:00-10:00
Prop 47: A Model for Replication?
On our road to ending mass incarceration, we will explore some significant policies aimed at reducing the number of people sentenced to prison or hastening their release, and their significance for the broader movement. In 2014, California ballot initiative Proposition 47 reduced a number of low-level drug possession and property felonies to misdemeanors, allowing people with qualifying felonies to have their sentences reduced. Not without its shortcomings, Prop 47 excludes people with violent convictions from eligibility. However, Prop 47 has significantly reduced the impact on segments of our population by reducing the number of people convicted of felonies by 50,000 every year and leading to the lowest arrest rate in California history. This year, California will vote on Proposition 57, an initiative that will remove prosecutorial power to charge youth directly in adult court, restore the prison system’s ability to award time credits for good behavior, and allow parole for people with nonviolent offenses. Developed by community leaders and formerly incarcerated people in collaboration with Gov. Brown and law enforcement leaders, Prop 57 represents a unique set of challenges and opportunities for the future.
Vonya Quarles, Starting Over, Inc.
Jerron Jordan, Californians for Safety and Justice
John Jones III, Communities United for Restorative Youth Justice
FIP Plank Evaluation and Feedback 10:00-10:15
Second Plenary 10:15-11:30
The Hunt for the Undeserving
This panel will explore the frequent use of our conviction histories to excuse homicides, in-custody deaths, assaults and extended incarceration at the hands of law enforcement. No one is safe if we fail to challenge the dichotomy of the deserving verses the undeserving. It appears that our conviction records surface more quickly than the information or facts surrounding our deaths when we are gunned down in the street or die in custody. In many cases, our demise is often excused or overlooked as a result of our RAP sheets being publicized. Our arrest, conviction and in-custody histories are subject to scrutiny when law enforcement personnel records and prior behavior are sealed out of respect for their privacy and safety. All of us should be entitled to safety.
Arthur League, LSPC Board Member / All of Us or None
Minister Caliph Muab El, Breaking Barrier Mentoring, Ex-Prisoner Organizing
Cephus Johnson, Oscar Grant Foundation / Love Not Blood Campaign
Phelicia Jones, San Francisco Sheriff’s Office / City College of San Francisco
manuel la fontaine, LSPC / All of Us or None
Leave for Lunch 11:30 – 1:00
Justice Fair & #SchoolsNotPrison Concert 1:30 – 5:00
The Justice Fair will convene over twenty legal service providers, grassroots advocates, and social justice organizations who work alongside formerly incarcerated people to build healthy communities and advance social justice. Advocates will provide resources and answer questions about substantive legal issues like housing rights for people with convictions, Prop 47 and clean slate options, applying for public benefits, and preparing for parole board hearings. Organizers will provide information about their campaigns and offer opportunities for directly-impacted people to join their struggles for civil and human rights. People will also be able to apply for a FREE copy of their California statewide record of convictions. (LiveScan sponsored in part by UFCW International)
Panelists and Moderators:
Daryl Atkinson, FICPFM Leadership Council, is the first Second Chance Fellow for U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), an advisor to the Second Chance portfolio of the Bureau of Justice Assistance, a member of the Federal Interagency Reentry Council, and a conduit to the broader justice-involved population to ensure that DOJ is hearing from all stakeholders when developing reentry policy. Prior to joining DOJ, Daryl was the Senior Staff Attorney at the Southern Coalition for Social Justice (SCSJ) where he focused on drug policy and criminal justice reform issues, particularly removing the legal barriers triggered by contact with the criminal justice system.
Dorsey Nunn, FICPFM Leadership Council, the Executive Director of Legal Services for Prisoners with Children, has over thirty-five years’ experience working on prison related issues. He is the Co-Founder of All of Us or None, a project of LSPC started by formerly incarcerated people in 2003, and originator of the Ban the Box Campaign. He has been in the forefront of many social justice organizations from their beginnings, including Critical Resistance and the California Coalition for Women Prisoners. Dorsey was sentenced to life in the California Department of Corrections when he was 19 years old. He paroled in 1981, and discharged from parole in 1984.
The Reverend Vivian Nixon, FICPFM Leadership Council, is Executive Director of College and Community Fellowship (CCF), an organization committed to removing individual and structural barriers to higher education for women with conviction record histories and their families. While incarcerated, Rev. Nixon spent time as a peer educator for the adult basic education program at Albion State Correctional Facility in New York. She currently serves as an associate minister at Mt. Zion AMEC in New York City. She is a co-founder of the Education from the Inside Out Coalition (EIO), and serves on the advisory board of JustLeadershipUSA.
Glen E. Martin, FICPFM Leadership Council, is the Founder of JustLeadershipUSA (JLUSA), an organization dedicated to cutting the US correctional population in half by 2030. Prior to founding JLUSA, Glenn spent six years in NYS prisons, served for seven years as VP of Public Affairs at The Fortune Society, and six years as Co-Director of the National HIRE Network at the Legal Action Center. In 2016, Glenn was appointed to the Independent Commission on New York City Criminal Justice and Incarceration Reform; at the invitation of New York State Chief Judge Jonathan Lippman to look at the possibility of closing Rikers Island.
Susan Burton, FICPFM Leadership Council, is Founder and Director of A New Way of Life Re-Entry Project. She gained freedom and sobriety in 1997 and made it her life’s work to help other women coming home from prison. Susan understood that real change could only happen through a powerful, grassroots community organizing effort, one that could amass enough political power to bring an end to discriminatory practices that operated to deny women access to employment, student loans, permanent housing, public assistance and many other services, and shift public attitudes in a way that would break the cycle of mass incarceration.
Norris Henderson, FICPFM Leadership Council, is Executive Director of VOTE and has had tremendous success impacting public policy and public discourse about police accountability, public defense for poor and indigent people, and reforming the notorious Orleans Parish Prison (OPP). Wrongfully incarcerated for 27 years, Norris has applied his self-taught legal expertise and community organizing skills to a number of leadership positions, including Co-Director of Safe Streets/Strong Communities and Community Outreach Coordinator of the Louisiana Justice Coalition.
Pastor Kenneth Glasgow, FICPFM Leadership Council, is the Executive Director for The Ordinary People’s Society (TOPS), a faith-based organization that provides rehabilitation to repeat offenders while creating a program that target youth before they reach the Criminal Justice System. Since his own release from prison, Pastor Glasgow has helped pass the Sentencing Guidelines through the Alabama State Legislature in 2006, and has been instrumental in registering of over 18,000 ex-felons to vote in the state of Alabama. He is Ex. Dir.of the Prodigal Child Project, Co-Convener of the National Criminal Justice Coalition, and State Chairman for the N.A.A.C.P. Prison Project.
manuel la fontaine, FICPFM Leadership Council, is Program Manager at LSPC. As a former captive and survivor of California’s Dept. of Corrections, he strives to help transform the narrative dominant society frames current and formerly-incarcerated people into one that promotes a culture of healing through restorative and transformative practices. In 2015, manuel was recognized by NELP with the “Exceptional Leadership Award” for his work on the Ban the Box Campaign and other methods to remove structural barriers to formerly incarcerated people. Prior to joining AOUON in 2008, manuel was Outreach Coordinator for Project Rebound at San Francisco State University.
Karol Mason is the Assistant Attorney General for the Office of Justice Programs, where she oversees an annual budget of more than $2 billion dedicated to supporting state, local, and tribal criminal justice agencies; an array of juvenile justice programs; a wide range of research, evaluation, and statistical efforts; and comprehensive services for crime victims. She received her A.B. from The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and her J.D. from the University of Michigan Law School, where she was note editor for the University of Michigan Journal of Law Reform. She served as a member of the university’s board of trustees from 2001 to 2009.
Alex Berliner is an Organizer with LSPC / All of Us or None. Before coming to LSPC, Alexandra worked as a community developer and outreach worker for Communities in Harmony Advocating for Learning & Kids (CHALK), a program for formerly incarcerated youth. She organizes LSPC’s annual Re-Entry Law Conference, facilitates life skills workshops, lobbies at local and state government, and publicly speaks at community events. Alex has been impacted by the system since her teens, and her partner’s current incarceration drives her to fight for justice inside and outside of the courtroom.
Justin Terrell is the Justice 4 All (J4A) Program Manager at TakeAction Minnesota, where he focuses on removing barriers to employment and democracy for families impacted by the justice system. J4A passed a statewide Ban the Box law, and for this work Justin was awarded the 2014 Facing Race Ambassador Award by the Saint Paul Foundation. Justin has a Bachelor’s Degree in Social Work, with over ten years’ experience working with youth and families in crisis, and has led racial justice and leadership development training across the country and in Central Europe, and served for 6 years on the Minneapolis Civilian Review Authority advocating for police accountability.
Marilynn B. Winn is Co-Founder and Lead Organizer of Women on the Rise, a grassroots organization led by formerly incarcerated women working for healthy families, justice for all women, and a reduction of the number of women under correctional control in the state of Georgia. In 2011, as Co-Chair of 9 to5 Atlanta’s Board of Directors, she was Lead Organizer for 9 to 5’s initiative to “Ban the Box.” In 2013 Marilynn received the Lilly Ledbetter Award from 9to5 Atlanta Working Women for initiating the Ban the Box Campaign in Georgia and for working to end employment discrimination for people with prior convictions and to end mass-incarceration.
James Kilgore paroled to Champaign-Urbana in 2009, where he is now an activist, writer, and co-director of First Followers Reentry Program, an organization founded and led by convicted and formerly incarcerated people. He has written widely about mass incarceration and reentry, and played a leading role in the campaign for the successful Ban the Box measure adopted by the Urbana City Council in 2013.
Patty Katz is a Cultural Competency Trainer and a Prevention Specialist certificated by the State of Oregon. As the Beyond Barriers program director for Partnership for Safety and Justice, she sits on the Governor’s Re-entry Council for the employment working group. Patty is on the board of directors for Faces and Voices of Recovery, a national recovery movement, and she is the frontier representative for Oregon, Washington, Alaska and Hawaii. Most recently, Patty—a formerly incarcerated woman—has been instrumental in Banning the Box in Multnomah County and in the city of Eugene, Oregon.
Bruce Reilly, J.D., is the Deputy Director V.O.T.E. and founding member of FICPFM. Bruce is a graduate of Tulane Law School, and organizer with Direct Action for Rights & Equality (DARE) in Rhode Island, which passed significant criminal justice reforms such as the restoration of voting rights, eliminating mandatory minimums, a statewide Ban the Box, the Good Samaritan Overdose Prevention Act, unshackling pregnant prisoners, and probation violation reform. Bruce co-founded Transcending Through Education Foundation (TTEF) with two other formerly incarcerated friends who also earned law degrees after being released.
Alfred Marshall is an organizer with Stand with Dignity, a project of the New Orleans Workers’ Center for Racial Justice. Alfred’s work has included developing strategies to enforce HUD Section 3 hiring requirements, winning a Ban the Box and family reunification policy at the Housing Authority of New Orleans, and building a Community Evaluation Commission to develop innovative new strategies for public contracting. He currently leads a #BlackWorkersMatter campaign in New Orleans. Alfred was the first organizer in the nation to be awarded the Discount Legacy Award in 2016.
Marie Claire Tran-Leung is a Shriver Center staff attorney and Soros Justice Fellow. Her fellowship project focuses on promoting use of the Fair Housing Act to challenge housing discrimination against people with conviction records. After graduating from Northwestern University with a B.A. in political science in 2002, she arrived at the Shriver Center to work on housing issues initially as a volunteer and then as an AmeriCorps*VISTA. She received her J.D. from Loyola of Los Angeles Law School in 2007, where she was a Public Interest Scholar and an articles editor for the Loyola of Los Angeles Law Review.
Deborah Thrope joined National Housing Law Project (NHLP) in June 2013 as a staff attorney. With extensive experience working at the various intersections of federally assisted housing, mental health, people with disabilities, and homelessness, Deborah works on NHLP’s initiatives on reasonable accommodation for persons with disabilities, preservation, sequestration impacts, and California-based affordable housing and tenants’ rights issues. She also leads NHLP initiatives related to the voucher program and public housing. She is a graduate of the University of Michigan and Northeastern University School of Law.
Pamela Marshall is the Housing Program Director, Re-Entry Family Re-unification Pilot Program at A New Way of Life Re-Entry Project. The Pilot Program reunites formerly incarcerated individuals with family members currently living in HACLA’s Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher Program. If eligible, clients are added to the voucher and legally allowed to live with their families. The program’s main goal is to reunite formerly incarcerated people with their families. We want to end homelessness and help prevent individuals from returning to jail or prison.
Yolanda Johnson-Peterkin, Chief of Housing Community Activities for the Family Services Department at the New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA), is also a College & Community Fellowship Board Member. She formerly worked as the Director of Program Operations for Reentry Services at the Women’s Prison Association. Mrs. Johnson-Peterkin received her MSW from Hunter College in 2004, and is an active alumna of CCF. She has performed with TSC at Rikers Island, Riverside Church, The New School, Columbia University, Lycoming College, and Talking Transition, among other venues.
Jared Walker is a recent graduate of San Francisco State University and Project Rebound. He is currently an intern in the Office of the City Administrator at San Francisco City Hall.
Ivelisse “BiBi” Gilestra was born in Puerto Rico, raised in New York, and convicted in New Jersey. She became an active member of NJSTEP’s Advisory Board at Edna Mahan Correctional Facility where she served 13 years. Ivelisse earned an Associates of Arts while incarcerated at the Edna Mahan Correctional Facility. She is currently enrolled at Rutgers University majoring in Social Work and Women’s Studies. Ivelisse notes that her justice involved background hinders many opportunities, but knows no other way than to keep altering what is meant to knock her down. She sees education as her opportunity into transitioning back into society.
Steve Czifra has been working on behalf of formerly incarcerated people in higher education since his junior year (2012) at UC Berkeley. While at Berkeley he helped found the Underground Scholars Initiative along with eight other formerly incarcerated students. Since his graduation in 2015 he has served as the director for USI, and is currently a Soros Justice Fellow. Steven has spent many years in California’s prisons, and security housing units, experiences which invigorate his desire to work towards a world without prisons. He is the father of two sons, nine years and eleven months, and lives in Oakland, California with his partner Sylvia Garcia.
Desmond Meade is formerly incarcerated and formerly homeless, and who overcame many obstacles to eventually become the current State Director for PICO Florida Live Free Campaign, President of the Florida Rights Restoration Coalition (FRRC), the Chair for the Florida Coalition on Black Civic Participation’s Black Men’s Roundtable, and a recent graduate of Florida International University College of Law. Desmond has spoken before national organizations such as the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, and Bread for the World, and has testified before Congressional members and staffers concerning disfranchisement.
Benny Lee is the founder and CEO of the National Alliance for the Empowerment of the Formerly Incarcerated (NAEFI), a community based organization serving formerly Incarcerated and convicted people living in the State of Illinois. Mr. Lee received his associate’s degree in Mental Health and Substance Abuse at Kennedy King College (Chicago). He received both his bachelor’s and master’s degree at Northeastern Illinois University, where he’s now an adjunct professor in the Justice Studies department.
Lillie Branch-Kennedy is the Founder and Executive Director of Resources, Information & Help for the Disadvantaged (RIHD) and the Virginia Mobile Justice Tour (MJT). Through the Mobile Justice Tour, RIHD has organized educational workshops on navigating the criminal justice system for over 60 Virginia cities, organized the implementation of Ban-the-Box, and pressured the FCC to curtail prison phone costs. RIHD is committed to educating policymakers and elected officials on the need to address the errors committed by Virginia’s General Assembly in implementing its “Truth in Justice” laws in 1995 which eliminated parole.
Harrison Seuga is a member of Asian Prisoners Support Committee (APSC) and the Reentry Director for APSC’s Roots2Reentry community immersion program. A culturally competent focused program assisting recently released individuals immerse back into their communities as productive and contributing members, while simultaneously educating communities of the issues of incarceration and the negative impact related to Asian and Pacific Islanders.
Steve Huerta is a FICPM Steering Committee member and member of All of Us or None, President of LULAC Council 4994 and the elected Senate District 26 Committeeman for The Texas Democratic Party State Executive Committee.
Lateefah Simon is president of the Akonadi Foundation in Oakland, California. Since 2011, Lateefah served Program Director of the San Francisco-based Rosenberg Foundation, a statewide grantmaker that takes on systemic barriers that stand in the way of full access to equity and opportunity for Californians. In 2016, Lateefah helped launch the Leading Edge Fund, a new $2 million fund created to seed, incubate and accelerate bold ideas from the next generation of progressive movement leaders in California. Prior to joining Rosenberg, Lateefah was Executive Director of the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights of the San Francisco Bay Area.
Christina Voight is a senior program administrative specialist for the Soros Justice Fellowship program at Open Society Foundations. Before coming to OSF, Christina served a four year sentence in Bedford Hills Correctional Facility, where she developed and or facilitated three inmate programs: The Foster Care and Child Custody Workshops, The Foster Care and Child Custody Legal Clinic, and Mother’s in Touch. Currently she holds a BA from Marymount Manhattan College, an MA from Queens College, and is entering her PhD candidacy with the City University of New York.
Damon Hewitt is a senior advisor for U.S. Programs at the Open Society Foundations and also doubles as director of the Executives’ Alliance for Boys and Men of Color. Prior to entering philanthropy Damon worked for over a decade as an attorney at the NAACP Legal Defense Fund (LDF). He founded LDF’s Dismantling the School to Prison Pipeline initiative and worked on assignment in his hometown of New Orleans to coordinate post-Hurricane Katrina litigation and advocacy on education, housing, and voting rights issues. He holds a B.A. in political science from Louisiana State University and a J.D. from the University of Pennsylvania Law School.
Leonard Noisette is the director of the Justice Fund for U.S. Programs at the Open Society Foundations. In this role, he leads the foundation’s efforts to reduce mass incarceration, eliminate harsh punishment, and promote system accountability. Prior to joining the foundation, Noisette served as the longtime executive director of the Neighborhood Defender Service of Harlem, and was a member of the Executive Session on Public Defense, sponsored by the Federal Bureau of Justice Assistance and the Kennedy School of Government. Noisette received his B.A. from Queens College, City University of New York, and his JD from NYU School of Law. He is an adjunct professor at Fordham University Law School.
Marlene Sanchez is Associate Director of CURYJ, co-chair of the Community Justice Network for Youth, a national organization of community-based programs that serve youth of color in the juvenile justice system, and, as a formerly incarcerated person, a founding member of All of Us or None.
George Galvis is Co-Founder and Executive Director of CURYJ, which advocates restorative justice and healing to address the violence plaguing Bay Area communities. As a board member of LSPC, Galvis helped create All of Us or None. Fundamentally opposed to gang injunctions as both ineffective and destabilizing, Galvis was a leader of the Stop the Injunctions Coalition, which successfully prevented Oakland’s 2010 gang injunction from being fully implemented. He holds both a Bachelor of Arts in Ethnic Studies and a Master’s in City Planning from UC Berkeley where he was a Ronald E. McNair Scholar and Public Policy & International Affairs (PPIA) Fellow.
Jerry Elster is a Formerly Incarcerated man and a proud member of All Of Us Or None. He works for American Friends Service Committee (AFSC) as the Healing Justice Coordinator. He believes that people without a voice are a people without hope. His focused is toward the achievement of full human and civil rights for everyone. His life pursuits are based on the Restorative Justice concept of universal healing toward wholeness. Jerry holds two Associate of Arts degrees (Ministry, General Education), a BS in Psychology, and an MS in Psychology, and he is currently working on his PhD in Psychology.
Garry “Malachi” Scott is a re-entry/community restorative justice coordinator for Oakland Youth. He co-founded the North Oakland Restorative Justice Council and is on the Safety and Services Oversight Commission (Measure Z) in Oakland. He also supports families who recently lost a family member to homicide. He came to restorative justice through Victim-Offender Education Group, a program of the Insight Prison project, while incarcerated at San Quentin State Prison.
Linda Evans was an anti-imperialist political prisoner for 16 years, released in 2001. She is a co-founder and proud member of All of Us or None.
Sekou Odinga grew up in Jamaica, Queens-New York in a family of nine. He was inspired by the revolutionary principles of Malcolm X when he joined the Organization of Afro-American Unity, followed later by the Black Panther Party and the Black Liberation Army. He is a Muslim, a citizen of the Republic of New Afrika, and for thirty-three years was a U.S.-held political prisoner of war. After doing 28 years in federal custody Sekou was paroled to NY state custody. After a five-year struggle to get a hearing, he was finally released on parole on November 25th, 2014.
Laura Whitehorn served 14 years as an anti-imperialist political prisoner, part of the “Resistance Conspiracy case.” Released in 1999, she now works with Release Aging People in Prison/RAPP (RAPPCampaign.com) in NY. She edited The War Before, writings by the late Safiya Bukhari.
Hank Jones is a former U.S.-held political prisoner. He has been an activist since the 1955 savage torture and murder of fourteen year old Emmett Louis Till in Money, Mississippi. He was one of eight former Panthers, known as the SF8, targeted by a joint anti-terrorist task- force under the direction of the Department of Homeland Security for investigation and prosecution of a 1971 killing of a police officer. All charges were dismissed against him in 2009.
Francisco “Cisco” Torres is a former political prisoner and one of the San Francisco 8 (SF8). He is currently working for the release of political prisoners and for the abolition of prisons.
Dr. Robert King is a prison reform activist and the first of the Angola 3 to win his freedom after serving twenty-nine years in solitary confinement in Louisiana. He was a member of the Black Panther Party in Angola, LA., the only official chapter of the BPP in the country. In the fifteen years since his release in February of 2001, King’s life’s focus has been to campaign against abuses in the US criminal justice system, the cruel and unusual use of solitary confinement and for the freedom of the remaining imprisoned, Angola 2.
Albert Woodfox is the last of the Angola 3 to be released. He was released on his birthday, February 19th, 2016 after his conviction had been overturned a total of three times from 1992-2015. Motivated by the many years it took to be heard, Albert has made a life-long commitment to continue his activism and advocacy on behalf of all those wrongfully imprisoned due to the multiple abuses of the criminal justice system; prosecutorial misconduct, missing or false evidence, bad science, racism. As a former member of the Black Panther Party he hopes to be a voice for the voiceless, suffering under brutal prison conditions.
Desley Brooks is an Oakland City Council Member representing District 6. She is the Chairperson of the City of Oakland’s Life Enrichment Committee, and is a member of the Council’s Finance and Budget Committee. She was formerly the Chief of Staff to Alameda County Supervisor Keith Carson; a Trial Attorney with the U.S. Department of Justice Immigration & Naturalization Service; Assistant District Council with the Department of Housing & Urban Development; Staff Attorney with the Washington State Legislature; and a Public Defender with Northwest Defenders. She has a B.A. in Political Science from the University of Washington and a J.D. from Seattle University.
asha bandele is Senior Director of Grants, Partnerships and Special Projects at Drug Policy Alliance. She is the author of The Prisoner’s Wife, and four other books, as well a journalist whose articles have appeared in The New York Times, the Nation, Vibe, Ebony and Essence, where she covered a broad range of people from Winnie Mandela to Denzel Washington, from Assata Shakur to Mary J. Blige. asha completed her B.A. at The New School, her M.F.A. at Bennington College and served as a Revson Fellow at Columbia University in which her cohort unpacked issues of economic disparity in a post-9/11 New York City.
Greg Akili has over 45-years of experience as a labor, community organizer and political leader, including positions as Campaign Coordinator for the Institute of the Black World 21st Century, Project Coordinator for Corporate Accountability International, Senior Advisor for the Los Angeles Black Workers Center, He’s on the Steering Committee for the Black Community Clergy & Labor Alliance, on the Action & Labor Committee for Black Lives Matter-Los Angeles, as well as on the Board of Directors for the Institute of Black World 21st Century and for the Center for Policy Initiatives. Akili has a B.A. in Political Science from City University, Los Angeles.
Tony Coleman is a long-time Bay Area activist with a strong commitment to social justice and empowering citizens impacted by the war on drugs. Upon his release immediately helped ignite a community response to an unjust killing of an unarmed citizen Aaron Williams. The campaign for justice resulted in policy changes and ultimately the firing of a Police Officer. Through the auspices of establishing a non-profit organization One Fam, he’s established a social enterprise business Bikes 4 Life, A bicycle shop in West Oakland repairing and selling affordable bicycles which he plans to assist him in establishing a self-sustainable organization.
Sammy Nunez is the Executive Director of Fathers & Families of San Juaquin, and is a state and nationally recognized expert in the field of youth development and responsible fatherhood. As an alumnus of a fatherhood development program in Northern California and a past coordinator of a nationally recognized Male Involvement and Male Responsibility program, Sammy has the unique background of being a participant and success story of the type of services offered through grassroots youth and fatherhood development programs.
Ebony Underwood, a daughter of an incarcerated father, is a creative consultant, filmmaker, and criminal justice reform advocate. She produced “Hope for Father’s Day”, a documentary short about her family’s ordeal, spearheaded the Google-initiated digital #LoveLetters campaign, and created the INPRISON.net website. She also has 15 years’ experience a producer and marketing consultant of grassroots campaigns and special projects for subsidiaries of Sony Music and Universal Music. Ebony holds a B.A. in political science from the City College of New York, where she was a Skadden Scholar.
Esi Mathis, M.A.T., is a family justice advocate and 2014 Soros Justice Fellow. Having lost her grandson and nephew to violent crime, and her then-17-year-old son to prison three life-without-parole sentences for non-violent offences, Esi has dedicated herself to the fair treatment of youth accused of crimes and works to empower directly impacted families through education and training. Esi is an ordained minister, having earned a M.A.T. at Fuller Theological Seminary, and is currently a Ph.D. student in the Leadership and Change program at Antioch University.
Grace Bauer is the Executive Director of Justice For Families (J4F), a national network of family leaders working to end mass incarceration, particularly for youth and in communities of color. The mother of three children, Grace’s first exposure to the juvenile justice system came as the parent of a court-involved youth who, at age 14, was sent to the notorious Tallulah Correctional Center for Youth, where he was abused and mistreated.
Don Gurule is an organizer with California Families Against Solitary Confinement. Don’s journey into organizing was an unusual situation: he was already feeling alone because his two sons were in solitary confinement, and then the California hunger strike went into full affect. During this time he met other families who were supporting their loved ones in solitary confinement and has committed himself to fighting alongside these families ever since. Over the years he’s recognized the importance of family in the movement and is continuing the imperative work of family organizing.
Hamdiya Cooks-Abdullah is the Administrative Director at LSPC. During her 20 years of incarceration, Hamdiya led Muslim women prisoners in the struggle to honor their religious practices, including headgear and fasting. She was also a key organizer for Black Culture Workshops at the Federal Correctional Institution in Dublin, CA for over 15 years. She is the former director of the California Coalition for Women Prisoners. Hamdiya holds a B.A. degree from Columbia College.
Andrea James is the founder of Families For Justice As Healing. Andrea has committed herself to fulfilling the promise she made to the women who remain in prison, to speak their truth, advocate for an end to the war on drugs and to support a shift toward community wellness. Andrea is the author of Upper Bunkies Unite: And Other Thoughts On The Politics of Mass Incarceration. She is also the author of A Letter To My Children From A Mad, Black, Incarcerated Mother and a children’s book, My Grandparents Are Polar Bears.
Vonya Quarles is the Founder and Executive Director of Starting Over, Inc., an organization that assist low income men, women, and children in need of housing by providing low cost transitional housing and reentry services to community members in Los Angeles and Riverside Counties to foster self-reliance. Formerly incarcerated herself, Vonya is a member of All of Us or None, Riverside, and a practicing criminal law attorney.
Dolores Canales is an Organizer at LSPC and a member of All of Us or None. Her passion is rooted in her own experience being formerly incarcerated for 20 years and witnessing the ongoing imprisonment of her son in solitary confinement for 15 years. She was instrumental in co-founding California Families Against Solitary Confinement (CFASC), a collective of family members that rose in protest of California’s conditions of confinement in Security Housing Units (SHU).
Kim Carter is the Founder and Executive Director of Time for Change Foundation. Certified in accounting with an emphasis on not-for-profits, Kim was inspired by her own incarceration experience to leave the corporate world in 2002 to start Time for Change Foundation and to help women and children make the transition from homelessness and recidivism to self-sufficiency. Kim believes that by providing these women with training and the opportunity to develop life skills, in a nurturing and supportive environment, they will become independent, active, participants in their communities. Kim is also a motivational speaker, an advocate, an author and more recently a developer.
Jerron Jordan is a Program Manager at Californians for Safety and Justice. He served as one of the lead organizers for the Campaign to Ban the Box for the city of Los Angeles and co-founded Faith in Action. Jay launched the innovative youth organizing program The First50, has served as co-chair of San Joaquin County’s Boys and Men of Color Alliance Juvenile Justice Committee, and was a Board member for the African American Chamber of Commerce of San Joaquin.
John Jones III is a Life Coach with CURYJ- Communities United for Restorative Youth Justice, serving as a mentor to at-risk youth and adults between the ages of 18 -35. John draws on his own incarceration experience as a motivational speaker, organizer, and staunch advocate in the areas of public safety (Measure Z), economic dignity (Measure FF, Revive Oakland), criminal justice reform (AB 109;, Prop 47, Prop 57), education (Measure N), and housing / displacement issues. John also serves as a member of the Board of State and Community Corrections (BSCC) Executive Steering Committee for Prop 47.
Arthur League has an over 40-year history as a community activist involved in social and criminal justice work. An active member of the Black Panther Party in the 70’s and 80’s, his political beliefs and actions resulted in his serving 7 years in the California State Prison system. Arthur is a former Director of the Concord Re-Ed Project and a founding member of Timers and All of Us or None. Arthur also serves on the LSPC board. His commitment to social and criminal justice work has given him the opportunity as a Journeyman Plumber to assist many young people coming out of prison to join the building trades unions and apprenticeships.
Minister Caliph Muab El is the Co-Founder of Breaking Barrier Mentoring and a member of EXPO (EX-Prisoners Organizing). He is also an Imam, and a minister and scholar of the Word, Grand Sheikh and Adept of the Moorish Science Temple of The World. While incarcerated, Muab-El received his paralegal license at Blackstone College, and studied business administration and law at Murray State University through correspondence courses, was precluded from getting his degree due to the D.O.C.’s policies of not allowing inmates to go to college. Muab-El also became an ordained Minister through Universal Church of Christ and through New Faith International.
Minister Cephus Johnson, a.k.a Uncle Bobby, is the founder—in response to the murder of his nephew by BART police—of the Oscar Grant Foundation and Love Not Blood Campaign. He has served as a leading expert on the creation of the Fatherhood Movement of children murdered by police or racism, and leads workshops on topics such as police brutality, knowing your rights, how to survive if stopped by the police, and the criminalization of young people by criminal justice system. He served as the West Coast Organizer of the UN Working Group of Experts on People of African Descent visiting the United States at Merritt College, Oakland.
Phelicia Jones is a Rehabilitation Services Coordinator for the San Francisco Sheriff’s Office, where she’s designed programs such as Discovering Your True Self, Voices of Re-entry, and Project Breakthrough. Formerly incarcerated herself, Phelicia is also a part-time instructor for City College San Francisco in their Drug and Alcohol Certificate Studies Program, the Executive Director of Hope Preservation, Inc., and a part-time therapist for Federal Parolees. She has a B.A. in Sociology and M.S. in Counseling Psychology from Notre Dame de Namur University.
Ruben Leal started his work with CURYJ as a community outreach specialist, coordinating four mural block parties and organizing the clean-up of an abandoned site now harvesting its first community garden haul. The summer of 2012, Ruben completed a 10-week intensive training for Outdoor Educators. Ruben has been featured in local radio and newsprint, testified to the CA State Assembly Select Committee on Gun Violence, and has served on the Alliance for Boys and Men of Color Youth Policy Task Force. Ruben is also a volunteer with Xican@ Moratorium Coalition where he helps to lead the youth organizing group, Coatlnecalli.
Daniel Mendoza serves as the Youth and Community Organizer at CURYJ. He was recruited as a core group of youth leaders for a community-based participatory research project led by CURYJ which culminated in the report Forgotten Voices: Youth Solutions for Oakland. Incarcerated at 18 for two years, since his release he has continued to work with CURYJ as a staff member managing La Cultura Cultural Arts Café and as part of the program team for Homies 4 Justice. Daniel was recently the recipient of the Sargent Shriver Youth Warriors Against Poverty award from the Marguerite Casey Foundation.
Dorian Lara, 18, is Youth Facilitator for the Communities in Harmony Advocating for Learning and Kids (CHALK) program of Bay Area Community Resources. She is very passionate about helping young people use their experiences in life to make positive changes for themselves, in others going through similar experiences, and in their communities. In the future she sees herself getting into the field of social work and continuing helping the youth in her community grow up to be the best they can be.
Gloria Gonzalez, is a young mother who is also a youth organizer with the Youth Justice Coalition in South Los Angeles. In school the police were heavily present, creating an hostile environment. In 6th grade she was wrongfully arrested and forced to pay fines for the crime she was accused of. Due to these experiences with law enforcement at school and in the community she stopped going to school in fear of her safety. She began creating art which led her to Chuco’s Justice Center where she became a part of the Leading Our Brothers and Sisters Out of the System (LOBOS) Program.
Shaquille Woods, an member of All of Us Or None, is a San Francisco native who was just recently released from prison (May 2016) after having been convicted and charged as an adult when he was 17. Since he has returned home he has seen the drastic changes that have been made to the San Francisco economy and community. As an African-American man he has recognized the depleting population of black people is SF and is passionate about educating himself and his community so that we can find a solution to the issues affecting the black community and all communities of color and consciousness.
Val Axtle is a youth leader at Project WHAT! an organization that supports the leadership of children with a currently and/or formerly incarcerated parent. Val’s father was sentenced to a 26 years in prison when they were 13 years old, which is one of their driving forces to work with Project WHAT! For the past 2 years they have been involved with many advocacy days such as All of Us or None’s Quest for Democracy Day where they have spoken to state assembly members and senators about their experience as a child of an incarcerated parent while advocating for important bills to be passed.
JUSTICE FAIR & #SchoolsNotPrisons CONCERT
The #SchoolsNotPrison Concert is presented in partnership with Revolve Impact and The California Endowment
|ORGANIZING & ADVOCACY: AllScan — FREE statewide record of arrests and prosecutions. Apply for a free copy of your California record of arrests and prosecutions (RAP sheet). LiveScan sponsored in part by UFCW International|
|Voter Registration – REGISTER to vote in California and many other states.|
|All of Us or None – A grassroots civil and human rights organization of formerly incarcerated people fighting for the rights of formerly and currently incarcerated people and our families.|
|California Coalition of Women Prisoners – A grassroots social justice organization with members inside and outside prison, that challenges the institutional violence imposed on women, transgender people, and communities of color by the prison industrial complex.|
|Critical Resistance – A national organization dedicated to opposing the expansion of the prison industrial complex.|
|Communities United for Restorative Youth Justice (CURYJ) – An organization dedicated to interrupting cycles of poverty and violence by motivating and empowering young people that have been impacted directly and indirectly by the criminal justice system to make positive changes in their lives and prepare them to become the community leaders of today. Learn more about Proposition 57.|
|Justice Now – An organization that focuses on the needs of women prisoners. Justice Now works on alternative sentencing, documenting human rights abuses in prison, providing legal services around healthcare access, and offers assistance with compassionate release and parental rights issues.|
|National Lawyers’ Guild: Police and Prisons Committee – Challenges oppressive practices, policies and laws of law enforcement, prisons and jails used against communities of color, prisoners and others.|
|Young Women’s Freedom Center – An organization that empowers and inspires young women who have been involved with the juvenile justice system and/or the underground street economy to create positive change in their lives and communities.|
|Essie Justice Group – Harnesses the collective power of women with incarcerated loved ones to empower women and end mass incarceration. Essie builds a loving and powerful network to equip women with the tools and resources to heal family, community, and make social change.|
|Project WHAT! – Led by youth who have had a parent incarcerated, Project WHAT! raises awareness about children with incarcerated parents with the long-term goal of improving services and policies that affect these children.|
|California Families Against Solitary Confinement – An organization whose mission is to stop the inhumane treatment of prisoners within the California Penal System, especially those held in solitary confinement and administrative housing units.|
|US PROS – A multiracial network of women who work or have worked in different areas of the sex industry. US PROS campaigns for the decriminalization of prostitution and for justice, protection and resources so that no woman, young person or man is forced into prostitution through poverty or violence.|
|Alameda Jail Fight Coalition – A coalition of organizations and community members joining together to fight the construction of a new unit at Santa Rita Jail in Alameda County.|
|Silicon Valley De-Bug – A media, community organizing, and entrepreneurial collective based out of San Jose, CA that leads social justice campaigns to advance the rights of youth, workers, immigrants and those impacted by the criminal justice system (and does a lot of other great things!).|
|Oakland Community Organizations – A federation of 50 congregations, synagogues, and allied community organizations representing 40,000 families from East, West and North Oakland. Organizes the people of Oakland into powerful leaders for social change.|
|Black Workers Center – An organization dedicated to improving the quality of life in black communities by organizing around workplace and non-workplace issues.|