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Baz Dreisinger - NYC

Dr. Dreisinger works at the intersection of race, crime, culture and justice. She earned her Ph.D. in English from Columbia University, specializing in American and African-American studies. At John Jay she is the Founding Academic Director of John Jay's Prison-to-College Pipeline program, which offers college courses and reentry planning to incarcerated men at Otisville Correctional Facility, and broadly works to increase access to higher education for incarcerated and formerly incarcerated individuals. Dr. Dreisinger's book Incarceration Nations: A Journey to Justice in Prisons Around the World (2016) was heralded by the New York Times, NPR and many more, and was named a notable book of 2016 by the Washington Post

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Khalil Cumberbatch - NYC

Khalil A. Cumberbatch is a formerly incarcerated advocate for social justice movements within the NYC area. He has worked within the reentry community in NYC since 2010 when he was released after serving almost seven years in the NYS prison system. Since his release, Khalil has worked with various non-profits as a service provider, policy analytic, advisor, board member, collaborator, and consultant.

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Victoria Lanier - LA

As an East Coast native, founding Executive Director Victoria Lanier had worked extensively as a music educator and violin instructor for inner-city New York programs including ETM, Carnegie Hall's Weill Institute Seminar and a Harlem based foster youth program.  Upon moving to Los Angeles, Lanier became immersed in the music scene and witnessed and witnessed first hand the lack of equitable in-school music education among disadvantaged Los Angeles Communities.  She founded Education Through Music- Los Angeles ETM-LA the first 501(c)3 non profit to bring the ETM Model and its benefits to Los Angeles Area youth.  ETM-LA began programming in 2 schools reaching 800 students its first year to a planned 30 schools reaching approximately 14,000 students this 12th year.  As a professional violinist, she has recorded with artists including Kanye West and Christina Aguilera.

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Thomas F. Lennon - LA

Thomas F. Lennon has alternated between historical and contemporary subject matter. His work, broadcast on PBS and HBO, has been nominated three times for an Academy Award, winning once, and has received major television awards including two George Foster Peabody Awards, two national Emmys and two DuPont-Columbia Journalism awards. He co-directed the HBO film Unchained Memories, along with Ed Bell, based on readings from the WPA slave narratives. With filmmaker Ruby Yang, he mounted a vast multi-year AIDS prevention campaign seen over 900 million times on Chinese television. Together they made a trilogy of short documentary films about modern China, including The Blood of Yingzhou District, which won an Oscar in 2007, and The Warriors of Qiugang, nominated in 2011, which profiles an Anhui Province farmer's multi-year campaign to halt the poisoning of his village water by a nearby factory.

Jamal Wilkerson - NY

Jamal Wilkerson is the former youth counselor and director of athletic for the Dept. of Juvenile justice in Newark New Jersey. After working there for 3 1/2 years Jamal was asked to be a community liaison for City Councilman James Sanders. After a year of being there he went on the Join Southern Queens Parks Association (SQPA) where he was in charge of recruitment, media relations and marketing.  After a few years there he went on to serve as community liaison and special assistant to former City Council member Leroy Comrie who is the current state senator of senate district 14.

Jamal is 1st African American to be Vice President of the Queens County Young Democrats. And is currently working as Assistant Project Manager for New York State Affordable Housing Corporation. Also, Mr. Wilkerson was born and raised in Southeast Queens and attended schools in the area. He was ranked # 1 in the country for the 600m run and went on after college to run professionally. Mr. Wilkerson believes in giving back to his community and its young people. Whether through his families’ non-profit organization Metro Eagles Sports Club where he is a coach or just volunteering to help clean up the neighborhood with other local organizations.


Norris dorsey - LA

Dr. Norris Dorsey is an Adjunct Assistant Professor of Business Administration at the University of Phoenix.  He also teaches at Los Angeles Mission and Los Angeles Pierce colleges.  Dr. Dorsey's research interest focuses on the study of minority leaders in nonprofit organizations.  His current research includes identifying success stories using the value leadership model.  Dr. Dorsey has extensive expertise in organizational leadership which combines the art of leadership and the science of management with the aim of guiding an organization. Organizational leadership requires leaders to be familiar with the work force and the organizational goals. Such leadership supplies direction and work force management for a corporation to accomplish its goals. Dr. Dorsey earned a B.S. degree in Management and an M.B.A and Ed.D. in Organizational Leadership from the University of La Verne in Southern California.

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Mark Cofield - LA

Mark Cofield grew up in South Central Los Angeles. As a youth, he was introduced to a Los Angeles based street gang known as the Crips. This gang lifestyle led to him serving over 30 years of incarceration throughout his juvenile and adult life. While Cofield consistently upheld his innocence for the crime which sent him to prison, he’s clear that had he not engaged in street organizations, he would not have been charged and convicted of a crime.  He is now a leader in the Fair Chance Project (FCP) organization.

According to Cofield, “working with FCP has given me the opportunity to have a positive impact on a community that I once impacted in a negative way.  My work is involved with changing the injustices of the so called Justice System.  I lead a group called Life Changers, which is a peer mentoring group for formerly incarcerated men and women.  Current recidivism studies show us that the first 48 hours to a week after a person is released from prison is absolutely critical to that person’s successful transition back into society. the Fair Chance Project Life Changers’ Program was developed by liberated lifers to fill that gap.  

We train ourselves and others to be keenly sensitive to post- incarceration trauma, pre-recidivist signs, self-destructive triggers as well as anti-social symptomology which exhibits itself in the frustration festering inside the newly released person. We have completed4 successful sessions of Life Changers

One of the most important things I do is mentor youth to assist them in avoiding getting caught up in a destructive lifestyle that can easily result in incarceration or loss of life.



CJ worked with 3 Artificial Intelligence based start-ups in Los Angeles, CA before venturing on this new journey at . Currently, he serves as a full stack data scientist and product lead building and deploying custom end to end AI, machine/ deep learning data products on the cloud leveraging big data and IIoT. He earned his bachelor's degree in Electrical Engineering and master's degree in Engineering from University of Southern California.

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Yusef Wiley - LA

Yusef Wiley, legal name Andre’ Lovell Wiley was born in 1969 and raised in South Los Angeles, California, attended Centennial High School and Gardena High School for a short period. At the age of 13, Andre started gang bangin’ and was arrested and sentenced to life in prison in February 1991. During a time in solitary confinement Andre later converted to Islam, taking on the name "Yusef", and it was his spiritual faith that took him away from the destructive lifestyle of the gangs to a more purposeful way of life. Yusef has now been working for many years to end gang and youth violence through intervention and skills development programs. He is the creator and cofounder of the Timelist Group program which operates inside CDCR, Alameda County and Los Angeles. The Timelist program has helped many people turn away from detrimental lifestyles through a self-help rehabilitation curricula. Yusef has gained an AA degree in Small Business Management as well as a paralegal degree. Yusef is a proud father, Reentry Coach, Regional Director of Roots Community Health Center who resides with his wife and family in the Antelope Valley area.

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Tiffany Johnson - LA

Tiffany first heard about A New Way of Life Reentry Project (ANWOL) on the grounds of Central California Women’s Facility (CCWF), while serving a 15 to life sentence. After 10 years of incarceration, she contacted ANWOL to ask if a bed would be available if she became eligible for parole. Susan Burton wrote back, extending a bed in her home. Although there was a place in the community for Tiffany, it took an additional 6 years before she was released. True to her word, Ms. Burton had a bed available and on April 28, 2010, Tiffany walked through the doors of ANWOL to start her new life. It was a cultural shock being back in society, but through ANWOL’s guidance and connections, she went on to begin a career in electrical assembly and live on her own. In 2011, Tiffany was asked to become a board member of A New Way of Life. In December of 2013, she left her career in electrical assembly to join ANWOL’s staff as a full-time community organizer for All of Us or None-Southern California (AOUON-SC). As of January 1, 2015 she is now Associated Director at ANWOL.


Horacio Arroyo - LA

For the last 15 years, Horacio Arroyo has served the immigrant community as a community organizer, youth advocate, legislative advocate, and directed several statewide civic engagement and community education campaigns. 

Growing up in South LA as a 12-year-old immigrant from Mexico, Horacio quickly learned and identified with the challenges of the immigrant community in Los Angeles. During the early 2000s as a high school student, he helped found a youth organization dedicated to winning in-state tuition for undocumented students, a law now known as AB540. He tirelessly worked on both state and national campaigns through the Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles (CHIRLA) to advance comprehensive immigration reform and piece-meal legislation such as the DREAM Act and the Student Adjustment Act. He also founded a statewide network of college and university clubs, as well as numerous high school clubs in Los Angeles to promote access to higher education for undocumented students.

While earning his Masters in Social Entrepreneurship from the University of Southern California (USC), he sought ways to leverage his business education and explored how social enterprises could help advance immigrant integration in LA. This gave birth to ImmiConnect - a social enterprise designed to reduce immigration fraud and help clients access legal services from trusted immigration attorneys. For nearly a year, Horacio and his two other co-founders have worked tirelessly to help immigrants navigate the various legal processes with a shared vision to help create a world where immigrants can freely contribute to society, and thrive socially, culturally, and economically.

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Tiffony Jacobs - LA

Tiffony is an original Freedom Writer. She co-authored the #1 New York Times bestselling book The Freedom Writers Diary with 149 classmates, then graduated from Wilson High School in 1998, and earned a Bachelor’s Degree from California State University, Long Beach in 2006. The book has since been turned into a movie featuring Hilary Swank, Freedom Writers (2007.) Tiffony works closely with the Freedom Writers Foundation as Program Coordinator.  She trains educators to bring Erin Gruwell’s Freedom Writer methodology into their classrooms.  Tiffony speaks to audiences about the resilience of humanity, the importance of financial literacy, an college planning.

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Gina belafonte - NY

Native New Yorker, Gina Belafonte has spent her life in the arenas of entertainment and activism where her professional work thrives today.  As the youngest child of Julie and Harry Belafonte, whose impact in these fields is among the most influential and progressive in the world, Gina’s passions come as no surprise. Gina lives in LA and New York, working with diverse artists, activists and organizations worldwide to promote cultural and civic engagement in the 21st century. An Actress, Director and Producer, Gina is now the Co-Director of, a social justice organization founded by her father, that enlists the support of today's most celebrated artists and influential individuals in collaboration with grassroots partners to elevate the voices of the disenfranchised and promote peace, justice and equality.


Toni Welch

Tonesa Welch is a woman with a dark past but much brighter future. As the founder and chairwoman of Sylent Heart Foundation, Tonesas’ background as a single mother and one time convicted felon has given her the knowledge and insight to a world with a repetitive destructive cycle. Her first hand experience with raising children with an incarcerated father and the other side of herself being a mother behind bars has given her a new passion and drive to help those who find themselves in her shoes.

In 2012 newly released from federal custody Toni decided to change her life around and make a difference. Seeking to steer woman like her and the children affected in a better direction while using her own life as a testimony of what can happen when you get involved with the wrong people.

With the help of her son Corey and friend/partner Kari Gopaul, Sylent Heart launched it’s first fundraiser in August 2013 in Detroit, MI where they distributed over two hundred fully stocked book bags to underprivileged children effected by parent of incarceration and drug abuse.

“When I'm asked why helping the child of an incarcerated parent is such an important issue, the first things I mention is that these children deserve a chance.  As a mother, convicted felon, and mother of a convicted felon, I truly understand the detriment that incarceration plays on families because I am a statistic. This vicious cycle is prominent amongst African Americans but it affects every race, and it is the goal of Sylent Heart to help provide resources, mentorship, and opportunities to the true victims of this circumstance – the children.”


Alfonso Flores - LA

Born and raised in Los Angeles, CA. After attending LAUSD schools I enlisted and served as a Special Forces Operator earning the prestigious Green Beret. Injured in combat I was awarded two Purple Hearts, two Bronze Stars and the Silver Star. After my honorable discharge and graduating from college, I was honored to become a teacher in South Los Angeles where I was awarded the LAUSD Teacher of the Year award in 2008. After climbing the latter within the district, I decided to be a founding principal for Global Education Academy, an independent charter school within LAUSD boundaries.  It is after having our charter school awarded as one of the top ten schools in California that I realized and decided to push for better schools and school choice through different nonprofits until I became an expert in grassroots organizing. At this point, I decided to start my own consulting firm and Excellent Educational Solutions was born. I currently hold a Juris Doctorate degree as well as Masters degrees in both School Leadership and Public Policy.

Husband, Father, Green Beret Combat Veteran, Lawyer


Fury Young - NYC

Fury Young is a multi-disciplinary artist from Manhattan's Lower East Side. He grew up without a TV and hence movies became a fascination of his from a young age. He planned to be a film director for many years, and made several short films, until he became heavily involved in activism and music.

Young's main current project is Die Jim Crow, a concept album about racism in the U.$. prison system written and performed by formerly and currently incarcerated black musicians from across the country. Fury is the producer (alongside co-producer dr. Israel) and founder of the project, which he began in early 2013. Young continues to shoot and edit films, though the content he produces is mainly in service of Die Jim Crow.

Fury's debut book of poetry was released in Fall 2016, titled "Meat & Milk." He continues to produce, write, sing, direct and edit.

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Beth Baker

Beth Baker is an anthropologist and activist living in Los Angeles. She has an M.A. and Ph.D. in anthropology from the University of New Mexico and is a Professor at the California State University, Los Angeles. Her research is on immigration, deportation, citizenship, and globalization. She is the author of Salvadoran Migration to Southern California (University Press of Florida, 2004) as well as numerous articles and book chapters on immigration, deportation, citizenship, mobility, and anthropology. She has written about deportation for The Nation and The Los Angeles Times. She is an activist for immigrants’ rights, against incarceration, and for food justice and environmental sustainability.

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earl turner

Turner is a seasoned entrepreneur with a passion for education. Throughout his career, Turner has been a strategic leader with a result driven orientation. Having spent a portion of his career as a Residential Developer in New Orleans LA, Turner made the decision to transition from the role of president of his company in 2013, to join the Teach For America program. As a middle school mathematics teacher, Turner championed the induction of the Common Core State Standards for his placement school, ICEF Inglewood Middle Charter Academy. Outside of the classroom, Turner was one of 540 Fellows selected from 6500 top graduate students and emerging leaders nationwide for 2015 Education Pioneers leadership development program. He executed a High-impact project for The Los Angeles Fund for Public Education developing a business plan that will expand partnerships for Linked Learning Pathways. The plan opened summer internship access to LAUSD’s High School juniors and seniors at prominent local and international organizations in Los Angeles (i.e. William Morris Endeavor (WME), Space X, The Mayors Fund, Participant Media, Bad Robot). Turner sat on the Corp Member Advisory Committee for Teach For America and leveraged his wealth of experience in business and education to build social impact in Education Policy across Los Angeles. Turner is a member of the Regional Strategy Team at Leadership for Educational Equity (LEE) and a member of the Restorative Justice committee at Angelenos Organizing for Education (AO4E). Turner also worked as a policy analyst for LAUSD’s school board president where he made recommendations for the districts Superintendents 2016 - 2019 Strategic Plan; he analyzed expenditures for the districts $7.6 billion budget; and he drafted a research report highlighting factors driving down student achievement in mathematics. Turner holds a BA in Business Administration from Nebraska Wesleyan University, a M.Ed in Digital Learning at Loyola Marymount University and is a Doctoral student at Johns Hopkins University in the School of Education.

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Rafael Flores

Rafael Flores is Phi Beta Kappa Scholar who specializes in Directing, Social Justice Film Production, Chicano Cinema, and Third Cinema. Flores is the Arts Director for non-profit United Roots, and the Co-Founder of production company Green Eyed Media, organizations both based in Oakland, CA. His work has been praised by various institutions that include: The White House, The Grammy Foundation, TED-X lecture series, the Cannes International Film Festival, the Writer’s Guild Theater of America, the London Guardian, and the Chicano International Film Festival.

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Geri Silva - LA

Geri Silva was born and raised in Los Angeles where she spent the past 40 years in all forms ofstruggle for human, political and economic rights.  Her activity has covered the span from immigration rights to welfare rights to the right to decent housing for all in need to the movement against the rampant and ongoing abuses in the courts and at the hands of the police.

 For the past 25+ years she has fought against the types of “criminal” laws which have led to the massive incarceration of whole generations of people and their subsequent permanent status as a 3rd class population of people.

 Silva was a founding member of Mothers Reclaiming Our Children (Mothers ROC) in 1992, Families to Amend California’s Three Strikes (FACTS) in 1996, Fair Chance Project (FCP) in 2009, and California Families Against Solitary Confinement (CFASC) in 2011.  She is a board member of FCP and is actively engaged in coalition with organizations advocating for just sentencing laws, fair parole practices and the de-

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Kristina Roth

Kristina Roth is Amnesty Senior Program Officer for AIUSA’s Criminal Justice Program, concentrated on abolishing the death penalty and ending unlawful killings by police. She came to AIUSA with other nonprofit experience serving at organizations such as the Jewish Council for Public Affairs, the American Civil Liberties Union, National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health, and the Leadership Conference for Civil and Human Rights. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Communications Management and Design and a minor in Politics from Ithaca College. Preferred gender pronouns she/her/hers.


Harold C. Miller Jr. - NYC

Harold C. Miller Jr. was born and raised in Brooklyn, New York in the home of his grandparents(The late Ilene and Harold Miller Sr.). As a result of their family values and philosophies on getting a solid education, Harold learned about hard work, being a good neighbor, and enjoyment of learning. Those values helped him throughout his academic and professional career.

After graduating from Ithaca College in 2003 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in History, Harold pursued a career working for nonprofit organizations called New York- Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (NY ACORN) as Community Organizer in Brooklyn, NY. His mission and passion was to help low income people fight for their rights on issues such as; affordable housing, education, living wage, clergy and against predatory lending. His passion for helping other continued into Upstate New York, where he developed a local chapter for the organization called Schenectady ACORN. Harold was promoted to the position of Upstate Director for NY ACORN. He helped organize thousands of ACORN members to lobby in Albany for Affordable Housing and lobby local city council members to put up proper lighting in a community park.

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Jean-Francois Cavelier - LA

Jean-Francois Cavelier, originally from Paris, France, has over 30 years of international sales and distribution experience. He is an astute business executive with a strong combination of cross functional and cross-cultural experience in sales. He is known among his peers for his strong communication and relationship-building abilities. He was the Domestic and International Distribution Consultant for Comerica Bank (Los Angeles), Liberty International (Los Angeles), Pueblo (Geneva, Switzerland), and Syrena (Warsaw, Poland). He has been active for the past ten years in the acquisition/Production of media content in Asia and Worldwide distribution of Hollywood content.

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Page Ostrow - LA

Page Ostrow, president of Ostrow and Company has participated in the financing and or distribution of over 250 narrative feature and documentary films. Ostrow is known as the most hardworking and honest producers reps in Hollywood. Born in "Hollywood North," also known as Toronto, Canada, Page Ostrow is a first-generation Canadian born of Holocaust survivors, which is inevitably where she acquired her drive to survive in Hollywood proper. She began her career in film as a second assistant director on major Hollywood productions with companies such as Orion, Viacom, Alliance, and H.B.O.

A career opportunity as a development and acquisitions executive drove her from her hometown, to the celluloid capitol of Los Angeles. After working within a Los Angeles-based arm of Alliance Entertainment, Canada's largest distribution and production company, Ostrow became a "gun for hire" for some of the largest international film distribution companies, Trident, G.E.L., J.L. Media, Initial Entertainment ("The Aviator", "The Departed"), and many more. She has brokered deals at MIFED, Cannes, NATPE, and AFM in German, French, Spanish, Yiddish, and English. Due to her strong language skills, savvy business acumen, and worldwide contacts over time she has earned a reputation of top negotiator in the film markets and festival circuit closing deals worldwide.

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Aixa Rodriguez - NYC

Aixa Rodriguez is Bronx born ESL teacher of Puerto Rican heritage, and education activist. Founder of Bronx Educators United for Justice, she believes in public schools as the foundation of our democracy. An alumna of Fordham University, she works with her mentor and cofounder of BxEU4J, Dr. Mark Naison to host events, and translate his Bronx History course curriculum at Fordham for high school students. Last year she piloted a Bronx Memoir course at Fannie Lou Hamer HS, and student work can be seen in the fb page Bronx History Collaborative.

 Aixa has been on multiple education panels to discuss, testing, and opting out, and local school control most notably as part of Badass Teachers Association at the Network for Public Education (NPE), at United Opt Out in PhIladelphia, at Union Theological seminary in New York by invitation of Felipe Luciano, as well as on a panel on Education at The People's Summit in Chicago.As an ESL teacher Aixa has become alarmed at how her students have now come into the crosshairs of an intolerant and shortsighted political climate. She strongly believes that charters, even the independent ones are being used to plunder public tax funds and set up to weaken and damage public education as a step toward privatization. She believes race and ethnicity are being used as tools to manipulate the public and justify policies that lead to lucrative spending on tests that disrupt learning, justify school closure and are a boon to private testing industry. She wants to shift the conversation to equity in quality, options, culture and opportunity for city students. Concerned about paternalism toward parents of color, she wants an end to invader outsider astroturf groups, and billionaires making decisions for parents without parents. 


Thomas Porter

Focused on Re-Entry, Youth, Board of Parole Hearings (BPH) issues, Prison Litigation regarding Pre-Post conviction.  Thomas works actively with litigation for Homelessness, Mental Health and Poverty issues.  


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Gerard Roebuck - NYC

Gerard Roebuck is a native New Yorker born and raised in Harlem New York. He attended Catholic and NYC Public Schools. He integrated a lower Manhattan Catholic School as the first African American elementary school student to attend in 1963. He is a graduate of Bishop Dubois Catholic High School.

He attended the City College of New York where he received his B.A. and has a Master’s Degree in Information Science with a Law Specialty from Pratt Institute. He attended Fordham Universities Principal’s Leadership Academy for post graduate studies.

Mr. Roebuck worked for the New York Public Library for 18 years in over 20 Branch Libraries starting as a Page advancing to a Supervising Branch Librarian at Harlem’s largest Branch Library.

Mr. Roebuck is also a renowned entrepreneur. Known as Jerry Productions in the 70s he became one of New York City’s biggest Promoters. In the 80’s he managed several Rap Artist and along with former College classmate Russell Simmons was instrumental in the early stages of Rap Music development. In 1989 Mr. Roebuck founded Black Expo which was held annually at Jacob Javits Convention Center and toured over 21 America Cities over 16 years becoming the largest event in the history of Black America.

Mr. Roebuck taught undergrad at the College of New Rochelle Rosa Parks Campus. He worked in 3 New York City Public Schools retiring from the world famous Boys Choir of Harlem School in 2011. Upon his retirement the entire City Council of the City of New York presented him with a Certificate for his 30 plus years of educating and serving the children and the people of the City of New York.

Mr. Roebuck now resides in New York and Kissimmee, Florida.

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Greg Lucas - NYC

Greg Lucas is the Director of School Culture and Climate at New Visions for Public Schools. New Visions is organization serving over 82 district and charter high schools across New York City and serving over 40,000 students. Greg is responsible for leading school staff in the implementation and continuous improvement of positive school culture and climate across the New Visions Charter High Schools Network.

Greg has over 20 years of school-based youth development experience serving as a trainer, educator, director and public speaker. Greg has served as a consultant for both local and national organizations including the NYC Administration for Children Services, World Vision, and Girls Scouts of America. Greg has been a featured guest addressing education and youth issues on a number of media programs including: 103.9, Z100, and BET. 

Greg is also an ordained reverend and serves as associate pastor for New Light Baptist Church in Harlem. As a pastor, Greg oversees urban ministry work that seeks to support male development and has served on missions initiatives across Spain and Haiti. Greg holds a Bachelor's Degree in Psychology from Long Island University, and a Master's Degree in Social Welfare from the University at Albany with post-graduate studies at Liberty Christian College and NYU School of Social Work.

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Senator Brian Benjamin - NYC

Born in Harlem, Brian A. Benjamin is the son of Caribbean immigrants who came to this country seeking new opportunities for themselves and their family. Although they didn’t have a college education, his parents were fortunate enough to eventually find good-paying union jobs, which allowed them to provide a middle-class upbringing for Brian and his siblings. His parents instilled in him a deep commitment to education, so Brian attended local schools before earning his undergraduate degree in Public Policy from Brown University and his MBA from Harvard Business School.

Currently, Brian develops affordable housing as a partner in Genesis Companies. Genesis’ unique community engagement model has allowed Brian to develop over a thousand units of environmentally sustainable, affordable housing while helping young people develop work skills and secure good construction jobs through the Sobro Youthbuild program. Prior to Genesis, Brian worked in finance, served as the Richmond Field Director in Terry McAuliffe’s gubernatorial campaign and interned in the office of Bill Lynch & Associates.

Brian is heavily involved in his community, serving as Chair of Community Board #10, where he formerly chaired the Land Use Committee, a position he used to preserve the character of our community and help keep Harlem affordable. He has helped countless young people at Harlem’s Wadleigh High School achieve a brighter future since launching a mentoring program in 2013, and he is honored to serve as an alumni-elected trustee of Brown University. In addition to his work in the community, Brian has long been active in progressive politics, serving as a 2012 delegate for President Barack Obama and as a member of President Obama’s National Finance Committee.

Brian is an active member of Harlem’s historic First Corinthian Baptist Church. After graduating from business school, Brian wanted to return to the neighborhood that gave his family a start in life over 40 years ago. It was Harlem Hospital that opened its doors to his pregnant mother without health insurance years ago and while it’s a coincidence that Brian presently lives a few short blocks from that same hospital it is purposeful that Brian looks to give back to Harlem as much as it has given to him

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dr. bidhan chandra roy

Born in England, Bidhan received his PhD from Goldsmiths College, University of London. Trained in postcolonial studies and the twentieth-century British novel, Bidhan has published articles and book chapters on Hanif Kureishi, Muslim identity and the novel, literary representations of South Asian ethnicity, Buddhism and literature, Christopher Isherwood’s A Single Man, as well as the travel writing of V.S. Naipaul. His recently published monograph is entitled, A Passage To Globalism: Globalization and the Negotiation of Identities in South Asian Diasporic Fiction in Britain.

Since being hired at CSULA, the mission and history of the university have significantly shaped Bidhan’s research interests. His experience teaching at CSULA has inspired two current projects in critical pedagogy and service learning. The first,  “The New Uses of Literacy: A Pedagogical Diptych of Literature and Community Engagement,” re-examines the work of Richard Hoggart and Raymond Williams in the context of community engagement projects that Bidhan has worked on at CSULA. The second,  “The “Storying Wyvernwood Project”: Rethinking English Studies through Community Engagement and Undergraduate Research,” explores new directions for undergraduate research in English studies through an analysis of the ”Storying Wyvernwood” community research project at CSULA.


Marie smith

Marie Smith’s ambitious entrepreneurial spirit has led her to be a founding contributor in her 20 year career to nearly 50 media, tech and wellness companies and projects which have contributed to over $100 million in transactions. After bringing her talents to work at Warner Brothers in their Consumer Products division, Marie Smith began developing her skills in the areas of advertising, sales, dynamic and automated operations, and marketing, working with companies such as Computer Associates, Electronic Arts, Viewpoint Datalabs, Digital Domain, Saatchi & Saatchi and the Nobel Foundation.

Additionally, through various ad agencies, Marie has worked with the following companies over the last 10 years: United Healthcare, Bausch and Lomb, Mercedes Benz, Oprah Store, Lindsay Phillips, Valley Crest, Wal-Mart, Macys, Blue Cross Blue Shield and Aetna. Also, Marie has managed outside program, product and services development with both Twitter and Microstrategy.

Marie has continued her educational goals over the last 10 years by attending summer and online graduate programs with Harvard Program on Negotiation and Stanford Center for Professional Development. She is currently pursuing a JD and PhD in legal informatics from Stanford University. Lastly, Marie has recently become an instructor for corporate data analysis and technology development with Harvard Innovation Lab. 

In 2016, Marie and the Data 360 team co-founded the Freshstart Bootcamp with the Mayor's Office of Economic Opportunity.  The goal of the Freshstart Bootcamp is to provide key computer literacy skills and gap education to give major Los Angeles corporations and tech companies a jump start on and a new avenue for their diversity and inclusion initiatives.  You can learn more about Freshstart Bootcamp by viewing


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