Anna Anderson is a citizen of New Orleans and has worked and served in this community for over 38 years. Anna worked for the Department of Education under the Trio Programs (Upward Bound, Talent Search and Student Support Services) as a Program Operations Manager for more than 12 years. Anna then transitioned over to Customer Service as a Unit Manager with Sears Credit until the closing of its New Orleans Office. A career change moved her over to Healthcare where Anna worked with local healthcare facilities for 17 years as a Patient Access Manager and then Director of Admitting and Revenue for St. Bernard Parish Hospital. After a personal decision required Anna to adjust her career path and place it on hold she pursued other career options that would allow her to work and be available for her parents. Anna is a professionally trained mediator with the New Orleans Community Police Mediation Program since 2018 and is also a Board Member and Quality Control Committee member with Ascension Depaul Healthcare (Marillac CBM) under Ascension Depaul Healthcare formally Daughters of Charity. Anna also sits on the Louisiana Selective Service Local Board Member/ District Appeals Board Member. Anna is currently in enrollment at ULL to receive her degree in Healthcare/Business Administration.
Alice Atkinson was born and raised in New Orleans and graduated from LSU with a Bachelor’s of Landscape Architecture. Alice spent most of her professional career in Atlanta designing and managing the construction of public park projects. Utilizing these skills, she segued into residential real estate investment and renovation and eventually found her way back to New Orleans.
Currently Alice is mostly retired and has time to focus on creating art and giving back to the city she loves through social justice activism.
Veronica Bard grew up on the Westbank of the Mississippi River and has lived in East Baton Rouge, Jefferson, Orleans, St. Mary, St. Tammany, and Terrebonne Parishes. Veronica has worked for nearly seven years in government offices, including district attorney’s offices in New York, NY and East Baton Rouge and Orleans Parishes, and as a contract attorney for the City of New Orleans Office of the Independent Police Monitor. Veronica has six years of experience working for nonprofit organizations, including serving most recently as Deputy Director of Court Watch NOLA, where Veronica helped identify sentencing discrepancies among different types of criminal charges and brought awareness to the Orleans criminal court’s inconsistent and inaccurate reliance on drug screen tests.
Veronica is a licensed attorney and received her J.D. from Tulane University Law School and her B.A. from University of Pennsylvania. Veronica is a 2021 New Orleans CityBusiness Leadership in Law recipient for her steadfast commitment to the community throughout her career. Veronica is the grateful life partner of Shane Bard, and together they are proud to share Deyana, Ethan, and Xander Bard.
Gahiji Barrow has been living in New Orleans for nearly 11 years and has done transformative work within the criminal justice arena working with VOTE and other organizations. Gahiji has been mediating with the NOIPM community police mediation program for 6 years and is now joining forces with others to form a statewide organization that focuses on conflict resolution using mediations, coaching, restorative circles and other strategies. He also is a spiritual energy worker and teaches Reiki.
Andrew Doss is an award-winning attorney, writer, and strategic convener focused on collective problem solving, building coalitions, and shaping public policy to drive meaningful change at the local and systems levels. With wide-reaching experience in government, international law, and theology, Andrew produces concrete outcomes at the intersection of the local and global, the visionary and the pragmatic, and the cultural and structural.
Danielle Doussan is a native of Metairie, Louisiana. She discovered her passion for social and criminal justice while obtaining her Masters in Criminal Justice at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. Inspired by the theory of restorative justice, Danielle became a certified restorative justice practitioner through the Center for Restorative Approaches, and served as a restorative facilitator in middle and high schools in Jefferson Parish. Danielle has been involved in a variety of criminal justice reform efforts. She is an active member of VOTE (Voice of the Experienced). Danielle is passionate about working towards reform on the front and back end of the system. She is the Intake Coordinator for ReEntry Mediation Institute of Louisiana, and has also worked on a variety of other social justice issues through the Law Office of Alison McCrary and JustSpirit LLC. She has a passion for working with children and hopes to dismantle the school to prison pipeline. Danielle is the fiancé of her incarcerated partner who is serving time at Angola State Penitentiary. She understands the direct and indirect impacts that mass incarceration has on individuals and communities and is excited to serve as a mediator at the Re-Entry Mediation Institute of Louisiana.
Nancy Freeman is a retired social worker, likely best known for her work to promote high quality early childhood care and education for low-income families in her role as Director of The Institute of Mental Hygiene. She received a BA in History from Tougaloo College, a master’s in social work from Boston University, and completed a post masters fellowship at the Yale Child Study Center. Born in Louisiana and raised in Mississippi, Nancy currently resides in New Orleans where she enjoys reading, spending time with her dog, and making spirit dolls. Nancy also serves on the Board of The Center for Restorative Approaches and is a member of Gambit’s Big Easy committee.
Lou Furman, R.D.T., M.F.A., is the Restorative Practice Director for Community Mediation Services, a nonprofit organization that uses restorative and strength-based philosophy and practices to promote healthy and secure communities. Professor Emeritus at Washington State University, he has established programs in alternative and charter schools, and worked extensively with incarcerated youth, law enforcement and special populations, such as senior citizens and persons with disabilities. A Registered Drama Therapist, Furman effectively uses role-playing techniques to enhance his activities. In addition, he facilitates trainings in trauma awareness, mediation, communication skills, and restorative practices.
Angela Gordon has worked with several independent legal practitioners in New Orleans as a paralegal. She has volunteered at several organizations whose mission is to uplift and empower citizens, educate, and guide them in the right direction to effect change for themselves and their communities. She continues to work with the Justice and Accountability Center as an Intake Specialist with their Reentry Legal and Expungement Clinics.
Originally from Willingboro, New Jersey, Angela attended school in Pennsylvania where she studied Fine Arts. Prior to discovering her passion working in the legal field, she taught freestanding classes of ceramics and pottery in San Diego and Metairie in addition to operating a small business. Angela sits on the Board of the New Orleans Section of Hadassah.
Danielle Gordon is a native of New Orleans La, a graduate of Hahnville High, and she attended Delgado Community College. Ms.Gordon has been mentoring and assisting people with self-love and sufficiency for many years. Ms. Gordon has also volunteered feeding, clothing, and has also opened her home to those less fortunate in the Metro community. Ms. Gordon has worked in the medical field in several different capacities throughout the last 24 years including CNA, Medical Assistant, Ward Clerk, and Safety Coordination to name a few.
Julie Griff has served as the Director of the New Orleans Community-Police Mediation Program (CPMP), a program of the Office of the Independent Police Monitor since October 2017. She first began working with the CPMP in 2014, first as a volunteer and then as a mediator and as a contractor assisting with program operations. The program provides opportunities for community members and police officers to have facilitated face-to-face dialogues to be heard, build understanding, and resolve conflict they’ve had in their interactions with each other. In addition to her mediation work, Jules is a facilitator and trainer of Restorative Approaches and has worked with the Center for Restorative Approaches, providing conflict resolution in New Orleans schools and working to intervene in the school-to-prison pipeline.
Previously, Jules’ work has encompassed issues regarding public health, human rights, and community education. She worked for four years for Breakthrough, a human rights organization that uses art and media to raise awareness on women’s rights, HIV/AIDS, immigrant rights, and racial justice in the US and India. She served as Program Director for the HeartRescue Project in Philadelphia and has worked on issues of food security and senior health at the The Elderly Project and Santropol Roulant in Montreal. She is a co-founder of the MoBo Bicycle Co-op, a community bicycle education project in Cincinnati. Jules received a BA in history and humanistic studies from McGill University in Montreal.
Jules serves as a Board Member and the Secretary of the Re-Entry Mediation Institute of Louisiana.
Ian Honore is a native of Baton Rouge, Louisiana. He graduated with his B.A. in Business management and M.B.A from the University of Phoenix, Baton Rouge Campus. He began his leadership career as Student Government President at the University of Phoenix. As president, Ian engaged his fellow students in the political process through streamlining the organization's operations and bylaws, increasing student participation and utilization of campus resources, and encouraging his fellow constituents to develop a love for lifelong learning. Ian is currently one of Brown and Root's up and coming "blue collar" leaders working as a supervisor of the TSE Unit. The effects of poverty, poor educational systems, and societal challenges are evident in the diverse workforce that Ian manages on a daily basis. Ian has a passion for mentorship and teaching others through real life experiences. He applies his skills and abilities to guide his co-workers in making good choices and taking active roles in the decision-making processes that affect their families and communities. Ian is an alumni of the New Leaders Council - Louisiana. Ian worked as a reentry specialist while serving out time during his incarceration.
Antoinette Joiner is a member of Central City Christian Fellowship Church (CCCF), Pastor, Elder Darren & Serita Walker. Antoinette wears several hats at CCCF and she's the Administrator of various programs within Central City Community OutReach, Inc. (CCCO), a 501c3 nonprofit organization. She is very grateful for the gifts and talents given her by God and is using them to glorify Him in serving humanity. Serving the needs of people is her passion. Whatever she can do to assist, encourage, and grow someone, she will do all to her God given ability.
Renata Jones is a native of Baton Rouge. She is an active member of VOTE and volunteers on their outreach team. Renata is an entrepreneur and mother. She was incarcerated at age 19 as a young mother and knows the pain of incarcerated parents who are separated from their children and wants to work to reunite families separated by the carceral system. Renata constantly pours positivity and encouragement to her presently incarcerated son who plans to come home within a year. She loves helping her community as a mentor and volunteers often. Renata graduated from Remington College in 2007. Renata listens well to others, is self-aware, and wants to use her wisdom to help others through life's transitions. We are so excited for Renata to become a mediator with REMILA!
Roderick "Ricky" Joseph graduated high school in 2008 and pursued business management in local college for two semesters. It was until 2014 he decided to put to action what he learned and created an entertainment and marketing company by the name of Swag Crazy Coalition. Ricky is also an amazing chef with a culinary background that has expanded more than a decade. His hard work led him to managing at some of New Orleans premier restaurants ( Dick and Jennys, Couchon Butcher, Katies, and The Half Shell on the Bayou) Which provided him the financial backing to build out what his heart desired. Being a successful artist and music composer Ricky understood the importance of learning the business behind entertainment and now educate/mentor youth to be self sufficient individuals. Ricky Joseph is currently operating as marketing director of The Level Up Campaign a youth enrichment organization. During COVID-19, Level Up Campaign was awarded a proclamation from the Councilwomen of District E on their outstanding performance serving youth and families throughout the city of New Orleans, providing employment opportunities and skills training to individuals seeking any sort of employment.
Roderick "Ricky" Joseph
Stacey Williams Marcel
Stacey Williams Marcel has been a practicing mediator for 27 years as well as a civil litigator for 39 years. Stacey was a member/past officer of the Family Mediation Council of Louisiana. Stacey also helped establish the Lafayette Parish Volunteer Lawyer Office in the 1980s providing a pro bono service for members of the Lafayette community. A recipient of the LSBA Outstanding Young Lawyer Award, the LSBA Pro Bono Publico Award and a 35+year member of the LSBA’s and Louisiana State Medical Society’s Medical-Legal Interprofessional Committee which promotes cooperation between the medical and legal profession are a few of Stacey’s accolades.
Stacey has been a mediator for New Orleans Independent Police Monitor Community-Police Mediation Program since its inception, helping to build understanding and improve relationships between New Orleans Police Department employees and civilian members of the community. She has also worked with the New Orleans Community Mediation Services ( CMS) as a mediator. Stacey was a trainer for the initial class of mediators/peacemakers in the California Prison of Peace Project in 2010 at Valley State Prison for Women (VSPW) in Chowchilla, California. This program has now grown throughout prisons in California, training inmates with the skills of peacemaking and mediation.
Stacey is a qualified civil mediator and juvenile mediator with extensive experience in the domestic arena, fluent in Spanish, graduating from Louisiana State University with a BA degree in Spanish and from LSU Paul M. Hebert Law Center.
Alison McCrary is tribal citizen of the Ani-Yun-Wiya United Cherokee Nation, mediator, lawyer, restorative justice practitioner, and an internationally sought-after speaker on social justice, spirituality, and liberation. She is the founder of the ReEntry Mediation Institute of Louisiana and the founding director of the New Orleans Community-Police Mediation Program. She is also a founding board member of the Conflict Resolution Institute of Louisiana and has helped develop other community mediation programs across the country. She has served a Spiritual Advisor on Louisiana’s death row for the past 16 years and serves as a Movement Capacity Building Strategist supporting about 50 formerly-incarcerated-people-led non-profits in the United States. She formerly served as the Statewide Campaign Manager for the Unanimous Jury Coalition abolishing a 138-year-old Jim Crow law in Louisiana, the Executive Director of the National Police Accountability Project, and President of the Louisiana Chapter of the National Lawyers Guild. She received her J.D. from Loyola University’s College of Law in New Orleans and her B.A. in English at Georgia State University in Atlanta. She also completed coursework and programs at Johannes Gutenburg Universität in Mainz, Germany, University of Surrey in London, Universidade do Estado do Rio de Janeiro in Brazil, Loyola University Chicago, and Catholic Theological Union.
Alison McCrary, Esq.
Ariel Moyal has worked to support clients on Death Row throughout Louisiana with the Promise of Justice Initiative, as well as an environmental justice advocate and geographer/map-maker in the Pacific Northwest. Ariel works towards abolition, tenant rights, and liberated Jewish ritual spaces. She is very excited to be a part of this mediation movement, and to use mediation skills to build stronger relationships throughout her communities.
Dominique R. Minor is a New Orleans’ native and a graduate of John F. Kennedy Senior High. She is a mother of three, an Advocate for Social Justice, Community Organizer, a Fellow of Family Independence Initiative, Visual Artist and the Owner of Affirmative Artistry, LLC. Dominique was also a student of the Talented Visual Arts Gifted Program throughout her attendance in the Orleans Parish School system. At this time Dominique began to share her artistic scope on life from a personal lens, identifying as a child with two absent parents and raised by a committed great-grandmother, who also supported other absent-parented, immediate family members who were incarcerated at young ages. Even though both of Dominique’s parents were absent, she had continuous support from her incarcerated stepfather and his family throughout her life, starting from the age of two. This became Dominique’s first introduction into the work of criminal justice reform as a young child. Instead of becoming angry with the same system that played a role in the aftermath of broken families, additions to generational trauma and the normalization of adultifying black and brown children; as a child survivor of trauma, then as an adult survivor of trauma, she was chosen for many roles that set the tone for positive community change, while becoming educated with tools to help herself and others. This revelation of creating change for our youth stemmed from identifying the school to prison pipeline as a 4th grade elementary student. Now becoming a life’s partnership with Art & Advocacy, Dominique’s work has grown into ways that actively challenges the injustices within her native city, while addressing the traumas within her generation to create a safer city for not only her children, but future generations to come. As a Fine Arts major at Delgado City Park campus, that same passion conceived Affirmative Artistry, LLC, an Art-based company that supports trauma-stricken members of the community to find an artistic release, a new avenue of communication, shares art skills as coping mechanisms while in a safe space for creativity with no judgement. Understanding that trauma has no age, or scheduled appointment to show up in a person’s life; her motivation is to bridge the gap of our learning young people and our wise elders, by uplifting young people, giving them hope to want better, while exorcising the theory that even though we are all different, we can still share common interests. “I share my gift as an Artist throughout the community to assist others in releasing some of the negative energies we encounter throughout our journey. You never know what people are dealing with, until your energies cross. I have been that person, so I help others through. Art produces positive results, regardless of any situation. By sharing the artistry, one becomes introduced to their creativity, which allows their self-growth to create a refreshed visual perspective for their lives.”
Rachel Nelson (she/her) is a professor of Humanities at Bard Early College in New Orleans. She is a performance maker and a writer who believes that we are always in the process of writing our collective future together, and she believes mediation is an important part of the process.
Richard H Saxer is trained in the Inclusive Model of mediation through Community Mediation Maryland with New Orleans’ Independent Police Monitor mediation program. He is a founding board member of Community Mediation Services, Inc and has been trained in restorative practices. Active in prison ministry for over ten years, Richard has helped lead Kairos retreats as well as twice a month Bible studies at the Louisiana State Penitentiary at Angola. He is a retired teacher of special education, currently teaches English as a Second Language, and is active in interfaith dialogue.
Dana Walker was born and raised in Bogalusa, LA. While growing up in a small, rural, country town, Dana learned the importance of giving back to the community at a young age. Dana obtained her Bachelors of Arts in Criminal Justice and Sociology at Southeastern Louisiana University. It was after an intense tour of Angola with her Professor, that Dana knew she needed to get more involved with the criminal justice/ prison system. Dana has had hands-on experience on the operation of the prison system during her internship at Rayburn Correctional Institution. Dana’s professional career includes working at NOPD Juvenile Division as an Intake Counselor, Child Protection Investigator and Social Services. Dana is currently a Rape Prevention Educator and is the founder of Brilliant Mindz Community Center & Youth Organization. Dana also sits on numerous Boards in her hometown that she loves dearly.
Sandra Starr is a native of Monroe Louisiana but has relocated to Baton Rouge.
Sandra is a formerly incarcerated person who served 26 years in prison due to living a lifestyle of domestic violence. In prison she received her Associates and Bachelor degree in Theology. Sandra also became a Lead Social Mentor overseeing a Reentry Drug Court, and facilitated a domestic violence group. She practiced as a peer minister and peer counselor to the prison population for 10-15 years. Sandra has been out of prison for a year, and works two jobs. Sandra has goals of reaching back to help the incarcerated as well as working with mothers and children from domestic abuse.
Lasonja S. Washington is a licensed master social worker. She attended Southern University at New Orleans for her undergrad degree in social work as well as her masters in social work. Ms. Washington has worked with numerous social service agencies throughout the city of New Orleans advocating and assisting our most vulnerable populations. She has also worked in the criminal justice system with re-entry, mental health diversion, and an opioid use program that linked clients to proper treatment. Ms. Washington is a native of New Orleans and is a mother of three. She is dedicated to her community and the people she serves because she says social work is her calling!
Louis “Jack” Ward is a native New Orleanian who manages a landscaping business and works at The Ubuntu Village mentoring young people. He served time for more than three decades at correctional facilities across Louisiana since he was twelve years old. He served as inmate counsel in the law library at Angola State Penitentiary and returned home in 2012.
Louis serves as the Vice President of the Re-Entry Mediation Institute of Louisiana.
Louis "Jack" Ward
Karron Williams has been serving the Greater New Orleans area community for many years. Karron has worked in mental health at The Institute for Networking Community Service where she served as the Area Representative, for over 4 years, where she worked on setting case plans, assessing clients needs and supports systems, resolving crisis, supervising over workers, and performing home visits. Karron is also serving as a professionally trained mediator with New Orleans Community Police Mediation Program since 2018. Karron also worked in education from 2004 -2009 at Metro Outreach Christian Academy, and in 2020 became a case manager for the organization Shadow’s for Life Journey, working with children with disabilities. Karron is attending Purdue University to receive her degree in Human Services.