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  • Exploring Pretrial Justice: Community Workshop (February 9, 2021)

    Contains 4 Component(s) Includes a Live Web Event on 02/09/2021 at 11:00 AM (EST)

    A five-hour introduction to pretrial justice for advocates and other community members.​


    Please use a current browser like Chrome, Edge, Safari, or Firefox to register and attend the course. Internet Explorer, Netscape, and other older browsers are not supported. Windows 10, or a current version of the MacOS, are the preferred operating systems that will provide the best possible experience.


    Exploring Pretrial Justice Banner

    Tuesday, Feb. 9, 2021
    11 a.m. to 4 p.m. ET

    Organizers, advocates and community members interested in championing pretrial justice and racial equity... we created this virtual workshop just for you! Join us for an inside look at the front end of the legal system in a casual setting where people’s lived experience is valued. 

    During this five-hour class, we will:

    • Explore the history of pretrial justice through racial lens;
    • Investigate and explain the roles and power of system stakeholders;
    • Articulate and illustrate history’s influence on present day practices and policies; 
    • Analyze current controversies in pretrial decision making; and
    • Identify next steps for pretrial system improvement in your own work.

    Cost: FREE, but space is limited to 30 participants. 

    Got questions? Email Wendy Blackwell at blackwell@pretrial.org.

    When registering, you will be asked to briefly describe your work and why you are interested in taking this workshop. 

    We look forward to you joining us!


    *This workshop a beginner's overview of pretrial justice intended for community members. System professionals and others seeking a more advanced curriculum, please check out our Fundamentals of Pretrial Justice offerings.

    Wendy C. Blackwell

    Senior Associate, PJI

    Wendy Camilla Blackwell has joined PJI as a Senior Associate, where she will lead PJI’s portfolio of interactive learning events. Prior to joining PJI, Wendy was the Director of the Practitioner’s Leadership Institute at the Center for Urban Families (CFUF), where she developed capacity-building relationships and collaborations with individuals and community. Previously, Wendy served as the Executive Director of the National Children’s Museum, where she began as the Director of Education. During her decade of service, she grew the education and programs departments, developed education initiatives, and shaped the Center for Learning and Innovation. Wendy championed community collaborations that produced replication-model child and caregiver learning together programs.

    Wendy enjoys the intersection of family, literacy, and art and shared her passion at CFUF with the Family Reading Circle and other two-generation efforts. Wendy’s museum-school collaboration won a Promising Practice recognition from the Association of Children’s Museum for her work at Port Discovery Children’s Museum. She and her staff were honored with the Judith P. Hoyer Award for Outstanding Service to Children by the Prince Georges County Early Childhood Interagency. She is also an award-winning teacher. Wendy and her eighth grade students received the Daily Point of Light of the Nation from President George H. Bush at the U.S. White House.

    Wendy is a mother of two who enjoys being a textile artist and leading programs with children in her spare time. She is a 2016 BaltimoreCorp Elevation Award winner for her ART POWER project where she offers art activities to children ages 5-12 in West Baltimore.

    Cherise Fanno Burdeen

    Executive Partner, Pretrial Justice Institute

    Cherise Fanno Burdeenhas spent more than 20 years working to improve public safety policies and practices across the country. After earning a bachelor’s in public administration from Miami University (Ohio) and a master’s in criminal justice from Indiana University, she began her career with the DOJ's National Institute of Justice. After fieldwork that included time with the Safer Foundation in Chicago and post-9/11 federal service with the Department of Homeland Security, Cherise joined PJI.

    Since 2006, Cherise has developed innovative strategies to raise awareness of pretrial justice issues, amassed a broad constituency of criminal justice stakeholder groups, provided technical assistance and training on policy reforms, and engaged in communications and media efforts. She has extensive experience with strategic planning, initiative management, and change efforts across the criminal justice system. She serves as an issue expert for legal and correctional professionals, national and community advocates, the media, influencers, and artists.

    Zaria Davis

    Senior Associate, Advocacy & Community Engagement

    Contact: zaria@pretrial.org

    Dr. Zaria Davis began her career in social work over 20 years ago with experience in mental health and social services in various settings. She has also worked in K-12, higher education, and out-of-school time settings. Zaria served as Executive Director for a local nonprofit in Lincoln Heights, OH for two years, working to move families towards self-sufficiency. In addition, Zaria has worked with various initiatives to support higher education access for those currently and formerly incarcerated. She is passionate in her community advocacy in the areas of pre- and post-incarceration reform.

    A graduate of Wilberforce University, Zaria holds a bachelor of the arts in sociology. She obtained her master of social work degree from the University of Cincinnati and doctor of social work degree from Capella University. Zaria is a participatory action researcher and believes that those who are an active part of the community are the voices that lead to change. She is a 2019 Leading with Conviction Fellow with JustLeadershipUSA, and a board member of Dress for Success Cincinnati and the Robert O'Neal Multicultural Art Center (ROMAC).

    Her interests include mentoring, social justice, and coaching individuals in their life journey. She enjoys spending time with family, traveling, sci fi, and the arts. Zaria continues to support reentry efforts for women returning home from incarceration and children impacted by mass incarceration.

  • Post-webinar Discussion on Diversity, Equity and Inclusion throughout the intersection of Criminal Justice and Behavioral Health

    Contains 1 Component(s) Recorded On: 12/15/2020

    How the topic of diversity, equity and inclusion is approached within the community, law enforcement , detention, courts, reentry and community corrections, truly can be the key to unlocking some of the doors of mistrust certain communities of color maintain. After the death of George Floyd, many individuals, organizations and communities identified systemic racism as a barrier to justice and equity across our country. Many organizations and communities have begun diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives in response to their commitment to do "something" to address the impacts of systemic racism and oppression. But what do we do after we have finished talking? Ideas + Action = Change Join us for this compelling, thought provoking, Post-webinar Panel Discussion that will detail how in order to truly create an organizational culture of diversity, equity, inclusion and engagement, we must first establish a foundation of safety, trust, transparency, collaboration, mutuality, peer support, empowerment, voice and choice.

    image


    How the topic of diversity, equity and inclusion is approached within the community, law enforcement , detention, courts, reentry and community corrections, truly can be the key to unlocking some of the doors of mistrust certain communities of color maintain.

    After the death of George Floyd, many individuals, organizations and communities identified systemic racism as a barrier to justice and equity across our country. Many organizations and communities have begun diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives in response to their commitment to do "something" to address the impacts of systemic racism and oppression. But what do we do after we have finished talking? Ideas + Action = Change

    Join us for this compelling, thought provoking, Post-webinar Panel Discussion that will detail how in order to truly create an organizational culture of diversity, equity, inclusion and engagement, we must first establish a foundation of safety, trust, transparency, collaboration, mutuality, peer support, empowerment, voice and choice.

    Lisa Maye

    Senior Project Associate, Policy Research, Inc.

    Lisa Maye is a Senior Project Associate with PRI and joined the company in 2019. She provides technical assistance, meeting facilitation, and project management to jurisdictions involved in the MacArthur Safety and Justice Challenge, specifically to those who have developed behavioral health and criminal justice strategies. Prior to joining PRI, she served as a Public Service Assistant faculty member with the University of Georgia (UGA), Carl Vinson Institute of Government (CVIOG). 


    Ms. Maye’s career experience has provided her with sound knowledge of organizational and programmatic development. Ms. Maye previously held management positions at the state level, including the Georgia Department of Corrections’ Office of Health Services, Mental Health Department, where she provided technical oversight to mental health programs, policy, ancillary services, training and comprehensive audits. She has also served as Program Director with the Georgia Department of Human Services, Division of Family and Children Services, in the Permanency, Adoptions and Resource Development programs. She is a Licensed Master Social Worker and earned a Corrections Leadership Institute certificate from UGA/CVIOG. Ms. Maye has a special interest in systems theory, solution focused decision making, program planning and design, meeting facilitation, governmental administration and management, and organizational social work.


    Ms. Maye received her Master’s degree in Social Work from Columbia University, in the city of New York, and her Bachelor’s degree in Social Welfare from Adelphi University, located in Garden City New York.

    Michael Finley

    Chief Of Strategy And Implementation, W. Haywood Burns Institute; Roundtable Participant, The Square One Project

    Michael Finley is the Chief of Strategy and Implementation with the W. Haywood Burns Institute. Michael has nearly two decades of experience working to reduce racial and ethnic disparities on a national policy level and in local jurisdictions across the country.

    Michael joined the Burns Institute in 2001 as a site manager working collaboratively with stakeholders to implement the BI process and reduce racial and ethnic disparities in local youth justice systems. He helped develop the BI’s site based strategies and tools such as the Readiness Assessment Consultation. Most recently, Michael served as the Director of Site Management where he supervised BI’s site based work, trained new site managers and conducted hundreds of disparities related trainings around the country. Prior to joining the BI, Michael was the Disproportionate Minority Confinement Coordinator in the State of Maryland where he worked with local and state leaders to develop plans to reduce racial disparities throughout the state.


    Michael began his legal career as a Soros Justice Postgraduate Fellow with the Youth Law Center in Washington, D.C, a non-profit public interest law firm. At the Youth Law Center, he was involved in reform litigation and policy work focused on improving the conditions of confinement for children in state custody and racial and ethnic disparities in the youth justice system.


    Michael is the recipient of the National Juvenile Detention Association’s Service Award, the American Bar Association's Young Lawyers Division Child Advocacy Award and the Frederick Abramson Memorial Foundation Fellowship for his advocacy on behalf of children. Prior to joining the Youth Law Center in 1999, Mr. Finley served as the judicial clerk for the Honorable David B. Mitchell in the Circuit Court for Baltimore City. He is a graduate of Morehouse College and George Washington University School of Law.

    Jacqueline Bunn

    Board Member, Georgia State Board of Pardons and Paroles

    Currently, Ms. Bunn serves on the State Board of Pardons and Paroles and is also a member of the Georgia Bar Journal’s Editorial Board.


    Ms. Bunn began her career with the state of Georgia in 1997 as an assistant attorney general in the Civil Rights Section for the Georgia Department of Law. In December of 2006, she served as deputy director in the Legal Services Unit of the Georgia Department of Public Safety. Ms.Bunn was appointed by Governor Deal to serve as the executive director of the Criminal Justice Coordinating Council in 2013.


    She earned her bachelor’s degree in broadcast journalism and her law degree from the University of Georgia.

    Menelik Alleyne

    Deputy Division Director, Equal Employment Opportunity Office, Georgia Department of Transportation (GDOT)

    With over 25 years of leadership experience supporting equity initiatives and underserved communities, Menelik Alleyne currently serves as the Deputy Division Director of the Equal Employment Opportunity Office of the Georgia Department of Transportation (GDOT).  However, constant in Mr. Alleyne’s career has been an interest and commitment to criminal justice issues. 


    To that end, his earlier experiences reflect a focus on equity in criminal justice.  For over a decade in Georgia, his varied roles within the Department of Human Services (DHS), including within its Office of General Counsel and as a Senior Policy Administrator, Mr. Alleyne addressed the macro-level needs of the child welfare and juvenile justice systems; bolstering its continuum of care. Among other successes, working closely with the Department of Juvenile Justice (DJJ), the Juvenile Courts and other key stakeholders, his efforts led to the successful statewide implementation of H.B. 242 – Children in Need of Supervision (CHINS) around issues of community planning, reentry, access and service delivery.  He also worked to support equity for Georgia’s Native American Tribes regarding the Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA).  Still, in other roles, he served Georgia with a focus on reentry and workforce development for returning citizens as a key priority as the State’s Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) Director. 


    As an Adjunct Professor in the Criminal Justice Department of Westwood College for 5 years,  he was a member of the nationwide Criminal Justice Curriculum  Committee and taught key courses, including Mental Health Issues in Criminal Justice, Probation & Parole and Cultural Diversity in Criminal Justice, among others.  Mr. Alleyne was recognized as Westwood’s Faculty of the Year in 2010.


    Some of Mr. Alleyne’s earlier experiences include roles at the Monroe County Public Defender’s Office in New York, and later the Neighborhood Defender Service of Harlem, Inc. (NDS).  The latter, chaired by Haywood Burns and supported by The Vera Institute of Justice, provided a dynamic, community-centered approach to criminal defense and equity within the criminal justice system.  Moreover, NDS sought to address the comprehensive needs of each client, including mental and behavioral health with its own in-house interdisciplinary service teams as well as through collaboration.


    Mr. Alleyne possesses a B.S. in Criminal Justice with a concentration in Race Relations from the Rochester Institute of Technology and a Juris Doctorate from the University at Buffalo, School of Law.   He is admitted to practice law in the District of Columbia, and the States of Georgia and New York. 

  • N.O.T. JAIL! - Exploring Alternatives to Incarceration

    Contains 1 Component(s) Recorded On: 12/04/2020

    The Misdemeanor Mental Health Court (MMHC), formerly known and established as the Diversion Treatment Court, is the longest-running mental health court of its kind in Georgia. It’s now recognized as one of 43 Georgia certified adult mental health accountability courts. Serving a diverse and targeted population in DeKalb County, Georgia, the MMHC’s focus is on treatment instead of incarceration. This webinar will highlight how the MMHC incorporates fairness, equity, and inclusion for its participant base. Participants enter the Court through Sequential Intercepts 1 through 3.

    The Misdemeanor Mental Health Court (MMHC), formerly known and established as the Diversion Treatment Court, is the longest-running mental health court of its kind in Georgia. It’s now recognized as one of 43 Georgia certified adult mental health accountability courts. Serving a diverse and targeted population in DeKalb County, Georgia, the MMHC’s focus is on treatment instead of incarceration.

    This webinar will highlight how the MMHC incorporates fairness, equity, and inclusion for its participant base. Participants enter the Court through Sequential Intercepts 1 through 3.

    Lisa Maye

    Senior Project Associate, Policy Research, Inc.

    Lisa Maye is a Senior Project Associate with PRI and joined the company in 2019. She provides technical assistance, meeting facilitation, and project management to jurisdictions involved in the MacArthur Safety and Justice Challenge, specifically to those who have developed behavioral health and criminal justice strategies. Prior to joining PRI, she served as a Public Service Assistant faculty member with the University of Georgia (UGA), Carl Vinson Institute of Government (CVIOG). 


    Ms. Maye’s career experience has provided her with sound knowledge of organizational and programmatic development. Ms. Maye previously held management positions at the state level, including the Georgia Department of Corrections’ Office of Health Services, Mental Health Department, where she provided technical oversight to mental health programs, policy, ancillary services, training and comprehensive audits. She has also served as Program Director with the Georgia Department of Human Services, Division of Family and Children Services, in the Permanency, Adoptions and Resource Development programs. She is a Licensed Master Social Worker and earned a Corrections Leadership Institute certificate from UGA/CVIOG. Ms. Maye has a special interest in systems theory, solution focused decision making, program planning and design, meeting facilitation, governmental administration and management, and organizational social work.


    Ms. Maye received her Master’s degree in Social Work from Columbia University, in the city of New York, and her Bachelor’s degree in Social Welfare from Adelphi University, located in Garden City New York.

    Judge Rhathelia Stroud

    Magistrate

    Georgia Magistrate Court

    Judge Rhathelia Stroud is the presiding judge of the Misdemeanor Mental Health Court (MMHC) of Dekalb County, GA. She has served as presiding judge for the past nine years, and also served as the court’s director for seven years. Judge Stroud has been a Magistrate for eleven years. Judge Stroud has served as faculty for the Institute of Continuing Judicial Education (ICJE) eLearning 20-Hour Jail Diversion Online Course and for Emory University’s School of Law Kessler-Eidson Trial Techniques Program. Before serving on the bench, Judge Stroud was a practicing attorney and partner with Mitchell Graham & Stroud, P. C. in Decatur, Georgia and worked as Deputy General Counsel and Executive Director for the Department of Community Health (DCH) and the DCH’s Division of Health Planning, respectively.  Her civic and professional affiliations include the State Bar of Georgia, DeKalb Lawyers Association’s Community and Education Foundation, Georgia Association of Black Women Attorneys, Delta Sigma Theta, Sorority, Inc. and the Providence Baptist Church Trustee Ministry.

    Samantha Mellerson

    Chief, Strategy & Impact

    W. Haywood Burns Institute

    Samantha Mellerson is a member of the Executive Leadership Team with the W. Haywood Burns Institute. As such, her work involves strategic planning, organizational development, financial oversite, project development and managing relationships with community leaders and system decision makers, funders and other partners across the nation. Sam brings over 15 years of experience working with issues of social justice, racial and ethnic equity, education, diversity, youth justice, child welfare and wellbeing. She also brings a depth of knowledge around nonprofit capacity building and is a certified empowerment and diversity coach. Sam has worked across public and private sectors in various capacities such as non-profit direct service and management, local and state government and philanthropy.

    Samantha previously worked for the Annie E. Casey Foundation as the Senior Associate of Capacity Building.  Her primary focus was to strengthen the field of the nonprofit sector by increasing organizational effectiveness through a race equity informed and results based capacity building strategy to produce meaningful results for children and families.

    Prior to joining Casey, Samantha was the Chief Operating Officer for the Department of Social Services for Baltimore City, where she worked on and led major Child Welfare and Family Investment Administration reforms.

    Sam also served as the Chief Program Officer for Baltimore’s Local Management Board, The Family League, where she was responsible for delivering results within a portfolio of work that included Out of School Time; Food and Nutrition Programs; Community Schools; Ready by 21 Initiatives; Disproportionate Minority Contact and Reducing Racial and Ethnic Disparities; and System Reform.

    Samantha has many years of experience and expertise in community based programming such as alternatives to detention, and youth and parent engagement through her work history as the Detention Reduction Advocacy Program Director for Building Communities Today for Tomorrow, Inc.; a Case Developer for the Baltimore City Mayor’s Office Juvenile Offender Project; an Assessment Placement Specialist for an Annie E. Casey Foundation Department of Juvenile Justice Special Project; a Case Management Supervisor for the Baltimore Empowerment Project’s Center on Juvenile and Criminal Justice Detention, Diversion and Advocacy Program; and as a Forensic Adult Case Manager with the Suncoast Center for Community Mental Health in Florida.

    Samantha is a graduate from the University of Toronto, and is an active community volunteer and serves on several committees and boards focused on giving young people greater opportunities to thrive.

  • First Friday Forum: Community Supports & Public Defense

    Contains 1 Component(s) Recorded On: 10/02/2020

    Join us for the October First Friday Forum for a conversation with April Frazier Camara of the Black Public Defender Association and Raj Jayadev from Silicon Valley De-Bug on Community Supports + Public Defense. We'll be discussing what people need to be successful while their case is pending, the role that defense attorneys can play in meeting those needs, and how support can be provided in the community, by the community.

    Please use a current browser like Chrome, Edge, Safari, or Firefox to register and attend the webinar. Internet Explorer, Netscape, and other older browsers are not supported. Windows 10, or a current version of the MacOS are the preferred operating systems that will provide the best possible experience.
    image



    Join us for the October First Friday Forum for a conversation with April Frazier Camara of the National Black Public Defenders Association and Raj Jayadev from Silicon Valley De-Bug on Community Supports + Public Defense.  We'll be discussing what people need to be successful while their case is pending, the role that defense attorneys can play in meeting those needs, and how support can be provided in the community, by the community.  

    April Frazier Camara

    Director of Defender Legal Services Initiatives, NLADA

    April Frazier-Camara is the Director of Leadership and Professional Development at the National Legal Aid and Defender Association (“NLADA”). She is a nationally recognized trainer in the area of leadership, holistic defense, diversity and inclusion, and criminal justice reform. Prior to joining NLADA, April worked as a community public defender at the Public Defender Service for the District of Columbia, which is widely recognized as the national model for quality public defense. She later served as the Special Assistant in the Juvenile Defender Unit at the Law Office of the Shelby County Public Defender where she was responsible for implementing Department of Justice reforms and helping to build the first-ever holistic and team-based juvenile defense practice in Shelby County that employed both social workers and attorneys. She also has experience working on national policy reform at the American Bar Association in Washington, D.C. and Legal Action Center in NY. She is a leader within the American Bar Association currently serving as vice-chair of the ABA Criminal Justice Section and member of the ABA Women in Criminal Justice Taskforce. As a former co-chair of the ABA CJS Diversity and Inclusion Committee, she was responsible for the creation and implementation of the CJS Diversity and Inclusion Fellowship Program. She is also the co-founder of the new Black Public Defender Association, which is a membership section of the NLADA. April is a graduate of Tennessee State University and Howard University School of Law.

    Raj Jayadev

    National Participatory Defense Network

    Meghan Guevara

    Executive Partner, PJI

    Meghan Guevara is an Executive Partner with the Pretrial Justice Institute, where she serves as a member of the leadership team and oversees PJI’s learning communities and technical assistance efforts. She has spent 20 years providing training and technical assistance to criminal justice and human services professionals engaged in systemic justice system reform.

    At PJI, she works with elected officials, advocates, policymakers and practitioners in pursuit of safe, fair, and equitable pretrial systems. Meghan began her career as a health educator working with young people in the youth justice and child welfare systems. She received a Master of Public Health degree in social and behavioral sciences from Boston University.

  • Policing Black Bodies (Part 5): Police and Pretrial Justice

    Contains 1 Component(s) Recorded On: 09/11/2020

    For a decade, PJI's engagement around police reform was limited to the idea of an expanded use of pre-arrest diversion and citations in lieu of custodial arrest. The idea, of course, was that the fewer people needlessly booked into the jail, the less chance they would have of being impacted by money bond, onerous supervision requirements, and now risk assessment. But the events of this year have asked us to think more deeply about policing reforms versus defunding the police. Even if other systems —health care, child welfare, employment, housing — were fully funded, are they free of systemic racism and ready to take over? Join us for a lively debate about the history of the police, the impact of militarization, and for those of us working on pretrial justice, where we might plug in to the calls for a radical reimagining of policing.

    Please use a current browser like Chrome, Edge, Safari, or Firefox to register and attend the webinar. Internet Explorer, Netscape, and other older browsers are not supported. Windows 10, or a current version of the MacOS are the preferred operating systems that will provide the best possible experience.
    image


    For a decade, PJI's engagement around police reform was limited to the idea of an expanded use of pre-arrest diversion and citations in lieu of custodial arrest. The idea, of course, was that the fewer people needlessly booked into the jail, the less chance they would have of being impacted by money bond, onerous supervision requirements, and now risk assessment. But the events of this year have asked us to think more deeply about policing reforms versus defunding the police. Even if other systems —health care, child welfare, employment, housing — were fully funded, are they free of systemic racism and ready to take over?  Join us for a lively debate about the history of the police, the impact of militarization, and for those of us working on pretrial justice, where we might plug in to the calls for a radical reimagining of policing. 

    This Zoom event is FREE and open to ALL, but registration is required. (Please sign up for a complimentary University of Pretrial account to participate.)

    Howard Henderson

    Director, Center for Justice Research at Texas Southern University

    Howard Henderson is the founding director of the Center for Justice Research in the Barbara Jordan – Mickey Leland School of Public Affairs at Texas Southern University. He is a professor of justice administration and former graduate program director in the Administration of Justice Department. Howard is an expert on culturally responsive criminal justice research, program evaluations and assessment instrument validations. Dr. Henderson serves as an advisory board member of the Vera Institute’s Rural Jail Research Policy Network and as a member of the National Scientific Advisory Committee at the Institute of Justice Research and Development at Florida State University.

    Recently, Dr. Henderson served as the chair of the data subcommittee for Houston Racial/Ethnic Disparities Committee Data Workgroup supported by the MacArthur Foundation. Recently, Howard completed the National Science Foundation-funded project with the Baylor College of Medicine’s Initiative on Neuroscience and Law that designed an iPAD risk assessment application that determined decision-making characteristics of the criminal justice involved through a range of cognitive traits. Dr. Henderson has also developed a multi-university research collaborative that provides mentoring opportunities for minority graduate students and university-level faculty. This program seeks to develop a synergistic pairing of mentee-mentor through mutual p rofessional interest and technical expertise.

    He is a former member of the Texas Department of Criminal Justice Multidisciplinary Advisory Board overseeing the U.S. Department of Justice – U.S. Department of Labor’s Prison Reentry Initiative. Dr. Henderson also was an instructor in the United States Department of State’s International Law Enforcement Academy (ILEA). In previous work, he has examined the effect of perceived procedural justice and legitimacy on inmate behavior, predictive equity among risk assessment instruments, and a host of culturally-responsive criminal justice program evaluations.

    Howard’s research on predictive bias and program evaluation has been supported by the National Science Foundation, Department of Justice, and most recently the collaborative efforts of the Center for Advancing Opportunity, Thurgood Marshall College Fund and the Charles Koch Foundation. Dr. Henderson has served as an expert advisor for state and federal legislators and a host of criminal justice agencies along with reform-oriented non-profit organizations.

    Dr. Henderson received his B.S. in criminal justice administration from Middle Tennessee State University, his masters of criminal justice from Tennessee State University, and his PhD in Criminal Justice from Sam Houston State University in 2006.

    Keturah J. Herron

    Policy Strategist, Juvenile Justice at the ACLU of Kentucky

    Keturah J. Herron, born and raised in Kentucky, is a social justice advocate and change agent with over 15 years experience working with youth and families involved in the social service and the criminal justice systems. While in graduate school, Herron focused on the effects of parental incarceration on youth and disproportionate minority contact within the juvenile justice system in Kentucky. Since then, she has mentored and supported youth and families in rural and urban Kentucky as well as communities in South Carolina and Hawaii working in a variety of settings - juvenile youth facilities, community-based organizations and in the court system.

    More recently, Herron’s work has focused on policy change through a social justice lens. She is working closely with the Jefferson County Public Schools System Alternative School Task Force and Race Equity Policy in, Louisville, KY with a focus to end the school to prison pipeline. She is also active with several local groups: Kentuckians For the Commonwealth; Black Lives Matter Louisville; ACLU Kentucky; and Louisville Family Justice Advocates. 

    Currently, Herron is building a culturally responsive curriculum for justice-involved youth that integrates trauma-informed healing and leadership development.

    Herron is a graduate of the University of Louisville and holds a Masters in Juvenile Justice from Eastern Kentucky University.

    Dr. Earl Smith

    Author, Policing Black Bodies

    Earl Smith, PhD is Emeritus Professor of Sociology and the Rubin Distinguished Professor of American Ethnic Studies at Wake Forest University. He is the Director of the Wake Forest University American Ethnic Studies Program. Professor Smith has numerous publications (books, articles, book chapters etc.) in the area of professions, social stratification, family, urban sociology, and has published extensively in the area of the sociology of sport. His sport-focused books are: Sociology of Sport and Social Theory (2010) and Race, Sport and the American Dream (3rd edition 2014). He has also published: African American Families: Myths and Realities (2nd ed., 2014), The Social Dynamics of Family Violence (3rd ed., 2020), Prisoner Reentry and Social Capital (2010), Interracial Intimacies (2009); Interracial Relationships (2009); African American Families (2007). His most recent books are: Policing Black Bodies: How Black Lives Are Surveilled and How to Work for Change (2018) and Gender, Power, and Violence: Responding to Sexual and Intimate Partner Violence in Society Today (2019). He is currently finishing a book based on ethnographic research in a state prison system interviewing COs and inmates (2020). He received his M.A. and PhD from the University of Connecticut at Storrs.

    Cherise Fanno Burdeen (Moderator)

    Executive Partner, Pretrial Justice Institute

    Cherise Fanno Burdeenhas spent more than 20 years working to improve public safety policies and practices across the country. After earning a bachelor’s in public administration from Miami University (Ohio) and a master’s in criminal justice from Indiana University, she began her career with the DOJ's National Institute of Justice. After fieldwork that included time with the Safer Foundation in Chicago and post-9/11 federal service with the Department of Homeland Security, Cherise joined PJI.

    Since 2006, Cherise has developed innovative strategies to raise awareness of pretrial justice issues, amassed a broad constituency of criminal justice stakeholder groups, provided technical assistance and training on policy reforms, and engaged in communications and media efforts. She has extensive experience with strategic planning, initiative management, and change efforts across the criminal justice system. She serves as an issue expert for legal and correctional professionals, national and community advocates, the media, influencers, and artists.

  • Policing Black Bodies (Part 4): Gender-Based Violence and Pretrial Justice

    Contains 1 Component(s) Recorded On: 08/19/2020

    How do we honor the presumption of innocence while dealing with violence between people? Harm between people is the “property” of the state – they bring the charges, they decide the fate, they issue the punishment. Over the decades, a focus on victims’ rights – particularly around victims of intimate partner violence – has meant harsher laws with harsher punishment, rather than a centering of accountability inside those relationships and to provide what’s needed to restore people – all of them. In this next edition of Policing Black Bodies, we are going to talk about interpersonal violence in the context of pretrial justice. In addition to Drs. Hattery and Smith we will be joined by special guests who will help us rethink the causes of interpersonal violence, our status quo solutions, how to balance the accused’s liberty and the harmed person’s right to be free from fear.

    Please use a current browser like Chrome, Edge, Safari, or Firefox to register and attend the course. ()Internet Explorer, Netscape, and other older browsers are not supported.) Windows 10, or a current version of the MacOS, are the preferred operating systems that will provide the best possible experience.

    image


    How do we honor the presumption of innocence while dealing with violence between people? Harm between people is the “property” of the state — they bring the charges, decide the fate, and issue the punishment. Over the decades, a focus on victims’ rights — particularly around victims of intimate partner violence — has meant harsher laws with harsher punishment, rather than a centering of accountability inside those relationships and to provide what’s needed to restore people. 
     
    In this next edition of Policing Black Bodies, we'll talk about interpersonal violence in the context of pretrial justice. In addition to Drs. Hattery and Smith, we will be joined by special guests who will help us rethink the causes of interpersonal violence, our status quo solutions, how to balance the accused’s liberty and the harmed person’s right to be free from fear. 

    This Zoom event is FREE and open to ALL, but registration is required. (Please sign up for a complimentary University of Pretrial account to participate.)

    Dr. Angela Hattery

    Author, Policing Black Bodies

    Angela J. Hattery is a professor and director of the Women and Gender Studies Program at George Mason University. She earned her BA in sociology and anthropology from Carleton College and her MS and PhD in sociology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Her teaching and research focus on all forms of inequality including racism, classism, and sexism. She is the author of 11 books, including her most recent book, Gender, Power and Violence: Responding to Intimate Partner Violence in Society Today (2019) which followed on the heels of Policing Black Bodies: How Black Lives are Surveilled and How to Work for Change (2018) as well as dozens of book chapters and peer reviewed articles. She has written several books on the impact of social inequality on Black families and she has been researching and teaching about violence against women for more than 20 years. She has produced numerous articles on sexual abuse and domestic violence, as well as three books on these topics, including: The Social Dynamics of Family Violence, which was published in a second edition in 2016 and Intimate Partner Violence, which was published in 2008. On a regular basis, she is asked to comment on stories about violence against women for the Washington PostUSA TodayNew York Times, and other outlets. She serves as a consultant to agencies that seek to combat violence against women and she regularly appears as an expert on these issues with major US TV and radio news media. From 2014-2019 she served on SWS Council of SWS, first as Secretary and then as Treasurer.  She teaches classes on feminist research methods, social stratification, African American families, and family violence.

    Dr. Earl Smith

    Author, Policing Black Bodies

    Earl Smith, PhD is Emeritus Professor of Sociology and the Rubin Distinguished Professor of American Ethnic Studies at Wake Forest University. He is the Director of the Wake Forest University American Ethnic Studies Program. Professor Smith has numerous publications (books, articles, book chapters etc.) in the area of professions, social stratification, family, urban sociology, and has published extensively in the area of the sociology of sport. His sport-focused books are: Sociology of Sport and Social Theory (2010) and Race, Sport and the American Dream (3rd edition 2014). He has also published: African American Families: Myths and Realities (2nd ed., 2014), The Social Dynamics of Family Violence (3rd ed., 2020), Prisoner Reentry and Social Capital (2010), Interracial Intimacies (2009); Interracial Relationships (2009); African American Families (2007). His most recent books are: Policing Black Bodies: How Black Lives Are Surveilled and How to Work for Change (2018) and Gender, Power, and Violence: Responding to Sexual and Intimate Partner Violence in Society Today (2019). He is currently finishing a book based on ethnographic research in a state prison system interviewing COs and inmates (2020). He received his M.A. and PhD from the University of Connecticut at Storrs.

    Teresa M. Stafford

    CEO and Principal Consultant at Inspiring Change, LLC

    Teresa M. Stafford is the CEO and Principal Consultant at Inspiring Change, LLC where she is dedicated to shifting thoughts through transformative conversations that inspire individuals and organizations to change. Teresa is an Executive Coach specializing in diversity, equity, and inclusion. Teresa expertly create safe spaces that encourage individuals to lean into discomfort and seek self-awareness. Teresa is a nationally sought out speaker and trainer. She is a contract consultant with International Association of Chief of Police and RTI International.
    Teresa also serves at the Chief Advocacy Officer at Cleveland Rape Crisis Center, the largest independent rape crisis center in the nation. The Center is a non-profit organization that leverages 70 plus employees. Its mission is to support survivors of rape and sexual abuse, promote healing and prevention and advocate for social change in our community.
     
    Teresa has over 25 years of experience providing direct service to both offenders and victims of crime, with a specialization in sexual violence, domestic violence and families of homicide victims. As Chief Advocacy Officer, Teresa advocates for system change needed to create a climate that is trauma informed for all survivors. She provides support, consultation and training to staff and the community at large both locally and nationally. She provides expertise and consultation to communities developing their Sexual Assault Response Teams (SART), training to law enforcement agencies regarding the dynamics of sexual violence, human trafficking, intimate partner violence and working with sexual assault survivors. Teresa specializes in working with faith-based communities, multi-disciplinary teams and systems to enhance their ability to respond to all in a trauma informed manner. She is a social justice activist who is committed to eliminating factors that marginalize survivors and increase their ability to access services. 

    In addition to her current role, Teresa is the Lake County SART Coordinator, a member of the Ohio Attorney General’s SART Training Team, advisory board member for Safe Harbor Docket, Cuyahoga County Untested Sexual Assault Kit Taskforce member, and former Board President for Ohio Alliance to End Sexual Violence.  

    Bridgette Stumpf

    Executive Director of Network for Victim Recovery of DC

    Bridgette Stumpf, Esq. is the Executive Director of Network for Victim Recovery of DC (NVRDC), a position she has held since co-founding the organization in May 2012. As part of this role, Bridgette developed the Legal Services and Pro Bono Programs at NVRDC, which offer assistance to victims of all crime types in asserting their rights throughout the criminal justice process, civil legal assistance to survivors of sexual assault, intimate partner violence, and stalking in DC Superior Court, and representation to college campus survivors through administrative judicial hearings, appeals, and formal complaints to the Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights for Title IX violations. For over a decade, Bridgette has spent her legal career advocating to ensure those impacted by crime are afforded meaningful rights and access to supportive services to mitigate the negative effects of trauma post-victimization.

    During her time at NVRDC, Bridgette has led local and national policy efforts to advance the rights of survivors—providing expertise to members of the U.S. Congress to increase the transparency of sexual assault prosecutions and enhance the rights of crime victims and offering legal testimony and analysis to the DC Council on multiple pieces of legislation impacting the rights of survivors locally. As one of the few victims' rights experts in the country, Bridgette is frequently called to participate in local and national policy conversations around victims’ issues. In 2014, Bridgette served on the Department of Education's Negotiated Rule-making Committee to address Clery Act amendments under Campus SaVE through the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA). In 2013, she served on an advisory panel hosted by the Financial Crimes Resource Center to create “Assisting Victims of Financial Crimes,” a manual for victim service providers. She pushed for the passage of ground-breaking legislation for survivors of sexual assault in DC under the Sexual Assault Victims Rights Amendment Act of 2014. In 2015, Bridgette provided consultation to the Office of the Federal Ombudsman for Victims of Crime for the Department of Justice Canada. In 2010, she served as a panelist at the National Day of Remembrance for Homicide Victims Forum. Additionally, Bridgette has served as a national expert in crime victims’ issues at conferences including those hosted by the National Center for Victims of Crime (NCVC), the National Crime Victims' Law Institute's (NCVLI), the American Society on Aging (ASA), National Organization for Victim Assistance (NOVA), End Violence Against Women International (EVAWI), and other leading victims’ rights and services organizations.

    Bridgette has a distinguished track record working across a broad spectrum of issues impacting survivors and was recognized for her work in non-profit service and was honored in 2014 by the Women’s Information Network (WIN) Young Women Achievement Award (YWA) for her efforts in non-profit advocacy and the 2019 Center for Nonprofit Advancement with the Excellence in Chief Executive Leadership (EXCEL) Award, which recognizes and spotlights outstanding chief executives among nonprofits in the region in the areas of innovation, motivation, community building, ethical integrity and strategic leadership. Under her direction, NVRDC’s legal team was recognized in 2015 by NCVLI’s Legal Advocacy Award—recognizing crime victims’ rights attorneys who have dedicated and committed their time to representing victims of crime in the criminal justice system and the 2019 American Bar Association Criminal Justice Section Frank Carrington Crime Victim Attorney Award, recognizing attorneys or legal service providers and organizations who have directly represented specific victims in criminal, juvenile, or appellate courts and who have worked to promote or implement policies to improve the treatment of crime victims in the criminal justice system.

    Bridgette has worked as a consultant to inform the work of the Mass Violence and Victimization Resource Center building best practices in responses to incidents of mass violence and domestic terrorism and as a consultant for the national non-profit, I Have The Right To, aiming to eliminate sexual violence and its consequences in private high schools and boarding schools. As a certified Police Instructor, Bridgette has trained at several Maryland academy and the Metropolitan Police Department of the District of Columbia in-service trainings on topics such as Trauma Responses, Instructor Liability, Victims’ Rights, Elder Abuse, Sexual Assault on Campuses, and Domestic Violence Awareness. Bridgette is currently an adjunct professor at the University of Maryland University College, where she teaches the Study of Victimology. 

    Bridgette is licensed to practice law in Maryland (active) and the District of Columbia (active).

    Cherise Fanno Burdeen

    Executive Partner, Pretrial Justice Institute

    Cherise Fanno Burdeenhas spent more than 20 years working to improve public safety policies and practices across the country. After earning a bachelor’s in public administration from Miami University (Ohio) and a master’s in criminal justice from Indiana University, she began her career with the DOJ's National Institute of Justice. After fieldwork that included time with the Safer Foundation in Chicago and post-9/11 federal service with the Department of Homeland Security, Cherise joined PJI.

    Since 2006, Cherise has developed innovative strategies to raise awareness of pretrial justice issues, amassed a broad constituency of criminal justice stakeholder groups, provided technical assistance and training on policy reforms, and engaged in communications and media efforts. She has extensive experience with strategic planning, initiative management, and change efforts across the criminal justice system. She serves as an issue expert for legal and correctional professionals, national and community advocates, the media, influencers, and artists.

  • First Friday Forum: What's Happening in Pretrial Justice: COVID-19 + Black Lives Matter

    Contains 1 Component(s) Recorded On: 08/10/2020

    COVID-19 continues to overwhelm jails across the country. Join us for the August First Friday Forum for a look at how civil rights groups and defenders are responding, through filing lawsuits over failures to provide basic sanitation supplies and medical care, and creating motion banks for challenging pretrial detention. We will also discuss how Black Lives Matter protesters are being treated in the criminal legal system, and what communities are doing to change that.

    Please use a current browser like Chrome, Edge, Safari, or Firefox to register and attend the course. Internet Explorer, Netscape, and other older browsers are not supported. Windows 10, or a current version of the MacOS are the preferred operating systems that will provide the best possible experience.

    COVID-19 continues to overwhelm jails across the country. Join us for the August First Friday Forum for a look at how civil rights groups and defenders are responding, through filing lawsuits over failures to provide basic sanitation supplies and medical care, and creating motion banks for challenging pretrial detention. We will also discuss how Black Lives Matter protesters are being treated in the criminal legal system, and what communities are doing to change that.


    Speakers:

    • Brandon Buskey, ACLU Criminal Law Reform Project
    • Mona Jenkins, Greater Cincinnati Homelessness Coalition
    • Marlina David-Martin, Michigan State Appellate Defender Office
    • Meghan Guevara, Pretrial Justice Institute (moderator)
  • Policing Black Bodies (Part 3): There is no Pretrial Justice without Racial Justice

    Contains 1 Component(s) Recorded On: 07/31/2020

    The events unfolding across our nation today renew a long-standing call for fundamental changes to our nation’s institutions. While today’s cries echo the protests following the deaths of Trayvon Martin, Freddie Gray, Sandra Bland, and so many other Black people killed by the police—and the hopes expressed during the marches of the Civil Rights Movement—the story of race, racism, and white privilege in America has its roots firmly planted in over 400 years of history. Only by fully understanding our nation’s legacy of chattel slavery we can begin to combat the current social structures that perpetuate institutional racism.

    Please use a current browser like Chrome, Edge, Safari, or Firefox to register and attend the webinar. Internet Explorer, Netscape, and other older browsers are not supported. Windows 10, or a current version of the MacOS are the preferred operating systems that will provide the best possible experience.

    The events unfolding across our nation today renew a long-standing call for fundamental changes to our nation’s institutions. While today’s cries echo the protests following the deaths of Trayvon Martin, Freddie Gray, Sandra Bland, and so many other Black people killed by the police—and the hopes expressed during the marches of the Civil Rights Movement—the story of race, racism, and white privilege in America has its roots firmly planted in over 400 years of history. Only by fully understanding our nation’s legacy of chattel slavery we can begin to combat the current social structures that perpetuate institutional racism.  

    Join us on July 30th for the third installment of the virtual discussion with sociologists Angela Hattery and Earl Smith, co-authors of Policing Black Bodies, who will be joined by John Clark of the Pretrial Justice Institute (PJI) and Yolonda Young-Adisa, MSW, ADW. Moderated by PJI executive partner Cherise Fanno Burdeen, this 90-minute conversation will pick up where the NACDL installment left off—digging deeper into the historical context of actuarial tools and racism, and PJI’s new position opposing pretrial risk assessment.

    This event is FREE and open to all, but registration is required. You can view parts 1 and 2 of the series here: www.nacdl.org/Content/Race-and-the-Criminal-Justice-System-Series

    Panelists:

    • Drs. Angela Hattery & Earl Smith, co-authors of Policing Black Bodies
    • John Clark, Pretrial Justice Institute
    • Yolonda Young-Adisa, MSW, ASW
    • Cherise Fanno Burdeen, Pretrial Justice Institute (moderator)


    Cherise Fanno Burdeen (Moderator)

    Executive Partner, Pretrial Justice Institute

    Cherise Fanno Burdeenhas spent more than 20 years working to improve public safety policies and practices across the country. After earning a bachelor’s in public administration from Miami University (Ohio) and a master’s in criminal justice from Indiana University, she began her career with the DOJ's National Institute of Justice. After fieldwork that included time with the Safer Foundation in Chicago and post-9/11 federal service with the Department of Homeland Security, Cherise joined PJI.

    Since 2006, Cherise has developed innovative strategies to raise awareness of pretrial justice issues, amassed a broad constituency of criminal justice stakeholder groups, provided technical assistance and training on policy reforms, and engaged in communications and media efforts. She has extensive experience with strategic planning, initiative management, and change efforts across the criminal justice system. She serves as an issue expert for legal and correctional professionals, national and community advocates, the media, influencers, and artists.

    Dr. Angela Hattery

    Author, Policing Black Bodies

    Angela J. Hattery is a professor and director of the Women and Gender Studies Program at George Mason University. She earned her BA in sociology and anthropology from Carleton College and her MS and PhD in sociology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Her teaching and research focus on all forms of inequality including racism, classism, and sexism. She is the author of 11 books, including her most recent book, Gender, Power and Violence: Responding to Intimate Partner Violence in Society Today (2019) which followed on the heels of Policing Black Bodies: How Black Lives are Surveilled and How to Work for Change (2018) as well as dozens of book chapters and peer reviewed articles. She has written several books on the impact of social inequality on Black families and she has been researching and teaching about violence against women for more than 20 years. She has produced numerous articles on sexual abuse and domestic violence, as well as three books on these topics, including: The Social Dynamics of Family Violence, which was published in a second edition in 2016 and Intimate Partner Violence, which was published in 2008. On a regular basis, she is asked to comment on stories about violence against women for the Washington PostUSA TodayNew York Times, and other outlets. She serves as a consultant to agencies that seek to combat violence against women and she regularly appears as an expert on these issues with major US TV and radio news media. From 2014-2019 she served on SWS Council of SWS, first as Secretary and then as Treasurer.  She teaches classes on feminist research methods, social stratification, African American families, and family violence.

    Dr. Earl Smith

    Author, Policing Black Bodies

    Earl Smith, PhD is Emeritus Professor of Sociology and the Rubin Distinguished Professor of American Ethnic Studies at Wake Forest University. He is the Director of the Wake Forest University American Ethnic Studies Program. Professor Smith has numerous publications (books, articles, book chapters etc.) in the area of professions, social stratification, family, urban sociology, and has published extensively in the area of the sociology of sport. His sport-focused books are: Sociology of Sport and Social Theory (2010) and Race, Sport and the American Dream (3rd edition 2014). He has also published: African American Families: Myths and Realities (2nd ed., 2014), The Social Dynamics of Family Violence (3rd ed., 2020), Prisoner Reentry and Social Capital (2010), Interracial Intimacies (2009); Interracial Relationships (2009); African American Families (2007). His most recent books are: Policing Black Bodies: How Black Lives Are Surveilled and How to Work for Change (2018) and Gender, Power, and Violence: Responding to Sexual and Intimate Partner Violence in Society Today (2019). He is currently finishing a book based on ethnographic research in a state prison system interviewing COs and inmates (2020). He received his M.A. and PhD from the University of Connecticut at Storrs.

    John Clark

    Senior Associate, Technical Assistance

    John Clark is a Senior Manager for Technical Assistance at the Pretrial Justice Institute (PJI).  In over thirty years at PJI, John has provided technical assistance to thousands of entities around the country on implementing evidence-based pretrial justice practices. He has authored numerous articles relating to pretrial justice in such publications as: the American Bar Association’s The Improvement of the Administration of Justice series; The Encyclopedia of Criminology and Criminal Justice; the Journal of Court Innovation; and Judicature.

    He began his career in the pretrial justice field in the 1970s as a pretrial services officer in the District of Columbia. He has a Master’s Degree in the Administration of Justice from American University. He is the recipient of the Ennis J. Olgiati Award from the National Association of Pretrial Services Agencies for lifetime commitment to pretrial justice.

    Yolonda Young-Adisa, MSW, ASW

    Racial Healing Psychotherapist

    Yolonda applies psychodynamic inquiry into her passion for racial justice. Born in Birmingham, Alabama on the heels of the civil rights movement, Yolonda is committed to helping others heal from racial trauma. She mindfully explores racial legacy and its impact on human relationships. Growing up in the South during a pivotal time in United States’ history, Yolonda experienced societal norms that were steeped in racism, and these experiences influenced her commitment to work to advance racial equity. In her capacity as a Racial Healing Psychotherapist, Yolonda’s therapeutic approach integrates narrative therapy with mindfulness, along with a myriad of other holistic frameworks for healing racial trauma, un-learning racism, and embodying racial justice. 

  • First Friday Forum: The Prosecutor and Sheriff’s Role in COVID-19 Decarceration

    Contains 1 Component(s) Recorded On: 06/05/2020

    To mitigate catastrophic outbreaks of COVID-19 in custodial settings, justice system stakeholders across the nation have collaborated to significantly and rapidly reduce the number of people brought into the justice system and held pretrial, although much work remains to be done. Join PJI for a conversation on what this looks like in action from the prosecutor's and sheriff's perspective.

    To mitigate catastrophic outbreaks of COVID-19 in custodial settings, justice system stakeholders across the nation have collaborated to significantly and rapidly reduce the number of people brought into the justice system and held pretrial, although much work remains to be done. Join PJI for a conversation on what this looks like in action from the prosecutor's and sheriff's perspective.

    Panelists:

    • Miriam Krinsky, Executive Director, Fair and Just Prosecution
    • Chesa Boudin, San Francisco District Attorney
    • Satana Deberry, Durham, NC District Attorney
    • Jerry Clayton, Washtenaw County, MI Sheriff


  • First Friday Forum: Building Community Remotely - Tips for Working and Convening Online

    Contains 1 Component(s) Recorded On: 03/06/2020

    With COVID-19 causing interruptions, cancellations, and quarantines, we wanted to take some time to share with you some practical ways to advance pretrial justice from wherever you may find yourself. Join PJI for an informal conversation about strategies we have found beneficial when working remotely, facilitating online events, and how we might be able to help you!

    With COVID-19 causing interruptions, cancellations, and quarantines, we wanted to take some time to share with you some practical ways to advance pretrial justice from wherever you may find yourself. Join PJI for an informal conversation about strategies we have found beneficial when working remotely, facilitating online events, and how we might be able to help you!

    Wendy C. Blackwell

    Senior Associate, PJI

    Wendy Camilla Blackwell has joined PJI as a Senior Associate, where she will lead PJI’s portfolio of interactive learning events. Prior to joining PJI, Wendy was the Director of the Practitioner’s Leadership Institute at the Center for Urban Families (CFUF), where she developed capacity-building relationships and collaborations with individuals and community. Previously, Wendy served as the Executive Director of the National Children’s Museum, where she began as the Director of Education. During her decade of service, she grew the education and programs departments, developed education initiatives, and shaped the Center for Learning and Innovation. Wendy championed community collaborations that produced replication-model child and caregiver learning together programs.

    Wendy enjoys the intersection of family, literacy, and art and shared her passion at CFUF with the Family Reading Circle and other two-generation efforts. Wendy’s museum-school collaboration won a Promising Practice recognition from the Association of Children’s Museum for her work at Port Discovery Children’s Museum. She and her staff were honored with the Judith P. Hoyer Award for Outstanding Service to Children by the Prince Georges County Early Childhood Interagency. She is also an award-winning teacher. Wendy and her eighth grade students received the Daily Point of Light of the Nation from President George H. Bush at the U.S. White House.

    Wendy is a mother of two who enjoys being a textile artist and leading programs with children in her spare time. She is a 2016 BaltimoreCorp Elevation Award winner for her ART POWER project where she offers art activities to children ages 5-12 in West Baltimore.

    Jess Bizik

    Director of Engagement, PJI

    Jessica Bizik is the former editor-in-chief of Baltimore STYLE magazine and numerous other local and national publications and websites. She is a seasoned storyteller and marketing strategist with a 20-year track record for engaging and activating audiences, harnessing the latest technology to create seamless user experiences, and launching/re-launching brands. From 2016 to 2019, Jess served as a communications consultant for nonprofits, social entrepreneurs, and a select group of Baltimore-ara businesses dedicated to uplifting the community. This work included consulting for the Pretrial Justice Institute, whose staff she joined full-time on November 1, 2019, as the Director of Engagement. Her specialty is helping organizations unearth and tell the stories that bring their brand to life — and pairing those stories with best practices across multiple industries to help strengthen their relationships with current customers/stakeholders and attract new ones.

    Toni Shoola

    Associate

    In her role as a community manager with PJI, Toni Shoola focuses on community engagement and provides technical assistance and training to entities around the country on implementing evidence-based pretrial justice practices. Toni began her nonprofit career by providing direct service to low- income individuals in her community. Most recently, she assisted hundreds of nonprofit organizations in capacity building, professional development, and program evaluation through technical assistance, workshops and additional resources.

    A graduate of Bowling Green State University, Toni holds a bachelor of arts in international studies and a master of public administration. During her studies, she focused primarily on social justice issues in sub-Saharan Africa and is a published author on the topic. Additionally, she earned her green belt in Lean Six Sigma in 2017 from Owens-Illinois.

    Her special interests include, social justice, racial and gender equity, investing in others, and making the world a better place. When she is not working or volunteering, Toni enjoys playing board games, spending time with her friends, family and pets, and exploring her artistic side.