HASSAN ABDUL-MALIK, M.S.W., M.P.A.
Clinical Social Work Supervisor
Born and raised in the Bronx, New York, Mr. Abdul-Malik retired after 25 years of service as a New York State correction officer. Mr. Abdul-Malik received his Bachelor of Science in human services, his Master of Social Work and later a Master of Public Administration in healthcare. His M.S.W. led him to become a social worker in the Department of Veterans Affairs. Mr. Abdul-Malik has worked on the in-patient psychiatric unit with veterans who have been diagnosed with both substance abuse and mental disorders. A veteran himself, Mr. Abdul-Malik is dedicated to his fellow veterans and finds the work quite rewarding. He is especially dedicated to helping those retuning from combat. He is currently a clinical supervisor at a large community health center in the Bronx and would like to manage a hospital.
SYED AHMED, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor of Computer Science, Xavier University of Louisiana
An engineering and science scholar, Dr. Ahmed is involved in the community as an examiner for the Louisiana Quality Foundation, a management consultant for the City of New Orleans, a member of the online advisory board at Xavier University of Louisiana, and a member of the board of the Islamic School of Greater New Orleans. He is also an investigator on multiple interdisciplinary grants and global collaborative research projects through multi-university research initiatives. He serves on Climate Reality, GNOICC Interfaith and CLEP/PRORATE research boards. Dr. Ahmed holds a B.S. in electronics and communication engineering from Osmania University (India) and two M.S. degrees from the University of New Orleans (UNO) in electrical engineering and engineering management. Dr. Ahmed was awarded his Ph.D. in engineering and applied sciences from the University of New Orleans. A 20-year veteran of teaching and research, he has taught math, physics, engineering, business and computer science courses at the undergraduate and graduate level at Dillard, Xavier, UNO, Tulane University, Southern University at New Orleans, Delgado Community College and Nunez Community College. Additionally, he is a Ph.D. and master’s degree advisor for several graduate and undergraduate students. He is also an editorial board member of the Universal Journal of Electric and Electronic Engineering.
CLARANCE J. BICKHAM, Th.D.
Program Coordinator, Orleans Parish Juvenile Court Teen Court Program
Currently in the field of juvenile justice, Dr. Bickham served in the Orleans Parish Juvenile Court for twelve years. While there, he has served as a youth advocate in the Orleans Detention Alternative Program (ODAP). He also served under former New Orleans district attorney Eddie Jordan and New Orleans public defender supervisor Darwin Buttons. He has been the director of the Electronic Monitoring Program and Dr. Bickham he also has been instrumental in the “rebirth” of Teen Court, a diversion program which stresses restorative justice whereby negative peer-pressure is transitioned to positive peer pressure. Dr. Bickham earned his Doctor of Theology degree from Kenner Christian Theological Bible College. He received his B.A. in journalism and his M.A. in philosophy from Grambling State University.
HON. PAUL BONIN, J.D.
Judge, Orleans Parish Criminal District Court, Section D
Judge Paul Bonin has been serving as a judge in New Orleans since 1997. His service has been marked by innovations in policies and practices, including for example amnesty programs, alcohol monitoring for DWI offenders, and expedited expungements. Judge Bonin was elected president of the Louisiana City Court Judges Association and served on the Judicial Council of the Louisiana Supreme Court, a policy-advisory constitutional entity. Judge Bonin also served as an assistant professor in the criminal justice graduate program at Southern University at New Orleans. During the time of his service on the appellate court, Judge Bonin served as the chair of the Court Costs Committee of the Judicial Council as well as secretary of the Conference of Court of Appeal Judges. He has also served by appointment of the Louisiana Supreme Court as the co-chair along with Chief Justice Bernette Johnson of the Price of Justice Advisory Task Force, recommending policy and legislative changes in the financing of the courts. Judge Bonin is married to the former Loree Buchert, the father of four and the grandfather of three.
DERWYN BUNTON, J.D.
Chief District Defender, Orleans Public Defenders Office
Prior to becoming chief defender, Mr. Bunton was the executive director of Juvenile Regional Services (JRS), the first stand-alone juvenile defender office in the nation and the first nonprofit law office devoted to juvenile justice reform and front-line juvenile representation. He is the former associate director of the Juvenile Justice Project of Louisiana (JJPL), a nonprofit juvenile justice reform and advocacy organization, where he was part of the litigation team that sued Louisiana over the conditions of its juvenile prisons. During Hurricane Katrina, Mr. Bunton was part of a team of advocates and lawyers assisting the Orleans Parish Juvenile Court, the Louisiana Office of Juvenile Justice and the Louisiana Department of Public Safety and Corrections locate and reunite youth and adults evacuated to multiple DOC facilities across the state after being trapped by floodwaters in the Orleans Parish Prison in the wake of Katrina. Appointed in 2009, Mr. Bunton has led OPD to be among the most highly-regarded public defense programs in the country and a leading voice for public defense and criminal justice reform. He is the 2015 recipient of the Louisiana Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers’ prestigious Justice Albert Tate Award. Mr. Bunton graduated from New York University School of Law in 1998.
DE’JONIQUE CARTER, ESQ.
Advisory, Dillard University Pre-Law Program
A native of New Orleans, Ms. Carter is a graduate of Southern University at New Orleans where she received her bachelor’s degree in criminal justice. After earning her undergraduate degree, Carter earned her Master of Social Work from Tulane University. While working as a social worker, Ms. Carter worked in various capacities, including child support, child protection, and women and infant services. In May 2020, Ms. Carter went on to earn her J.D. from Southern University Law Center, graduating in the top 15 percent of her class. There, she earned the Cali Award in Legal Research and Law and Minorities for earning the highest GPA in the class.
DENISE CHANDLER, J.D.
Project Director, Safety and Justice Challenge
Denise Chandler serves as the project director of the MacArthur Safety and Justice Challenge in the New Orleans Office of Criminal Justice Coordination (OCJC). Before making the transition to OCJC, Ms. Chandler managed compliance matters relating to a consent decree between the Department of Justice and the City of New Orleans. Ms. Chandler managed five consent decree requirements, including gender-bias, community policing and engagement, bias-free policing, transparency and oversight, and performance evaluations and promotions. Subsequently, Ms. Chandler held a direct role in obtaining compliance with many consent decree requirements through implementing reforms. She has extensive experience researching best policing and reform practices, working with subject matter experts to develop constitutional policing programs, managing funding requirements, assisting stakeholders interested in advancing the criminal justice system into a model of reform and reducing racial and ethnic disparities in police practices. Ms. Chandler received her J.D. from Marquette University Law School and her bachelor’s degree from Loyola University New Orleans.GERMIYA CLARKSenior Clerk, St. Louis City Circuit CourtAn alumna of Dillard, Ms. Clark moved on to St. Louis Public Schools where began her career as a reading intervention specialist. Having gained an interest in law, a dream Ms. Clark has had since she was seven years old, she left teaching to work for the St. Louis County Circuit Court, where she completed her internship as a clerk in the Criminal department. After two years on the job, she was promoted to the St. Louis City Circuit Court as a clerk for one of the circuit courtrooms.
EDDIE P. COMPASS, III, M.S.
Law Enforcement Expert
With over 40 years of law enforcement experience, 27 of which were in leadership, Mr. Compass served as the chief of the New Orleans Police Department (NOPD) where he led a 1,700-member commissioned department. Under his leadership, the city of New Orleans enjoyed crime reduction based on strategies he implemented including a noted community policing program. Prior to becoming superintendent, Mr. Compass received national acclaim as NOPD’s Commander of the Year in community policing this became the model, not only for the nation but internationally and was featured in Time’s, January 15, 1996 issue. Law enforcement officials from as far as India and South Africa traveled to the U.S. to study the measures that Mr. Compass implemented. When he served as the superintendent of the Louisiana Recovery School District, Mr. Compass put in place a strategy that reduced crime throughout the schools and facilities significantly. Mr. Compass received his master’s degree in criminal justice from Loyola University New Orleans. He has served as an adjunct professor at Southern University at New Orleans, Loyola and Dillard.
KENDALL T. CRAWFORD
Manager of Strategic Initiatives & Student Affairs/Associate Director of Athletics & Activities, St. Augustine High School
An alumnus of Dillard, Mr. Crawford currently oversees all student affairs and strategic initiatives at his high school alma mater St. Augustine High School. He is responsible for establishing and maintaining institutional relationships that align with student recruitment and aid in the on-going advancement of the existing student population. Mr. Crawford is currently pursuing his Master of Public Administration.
RAYMONDA P. DENNIS, M.A.
Associate Professor of Sociology, Retired
Ms. Dennis holds forty years of experience in course instruction in the areas of introductory sociology, social welfare, contemporary social problems, marriage and family, criminology, social/criminal justice research methods, juvenile delinquency and cultural diversity. She also has expertise in college wide/divisional administration and supervision, program planning and development, course design and implementation and program specific (college wide) academic advising of students all within a higher education environment. Ms. Dennis holds a Master of Arts in sociology from Clark Atlanta University and a Bachelor of Arts in sociology from Xavier University of Louisiana.
JACQUES DETIEGE, M.Ed.
Director of Assessment and Analysis, Dillard University
Mr. Detiege has 30 years’ experience providing evaluation services to public health, education, criminal justice and community service organizations. He has conducted evaluations of projects funded by the U.S. Department of Education, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration and the Office of National Drug Control Policy. Mr. Detiege has also served as evaluator for the Texas Department of State Health Services and the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals, and he has experience as a crisis counselor accredited by the American Association of Suicidology. Mr. Detiege was the founding director of the New Orleans Day Reporting Center where he developed a program of educational and life skills training for individuals assigned to probation or parole following completion incarceration, and he serves as an evaluation consultant for drug courts. Since 2018, Mr. Detiege has served on the Archdiocese of New Orleans Racial Harmony Committee and was recently appointed to the newly formed Archdiocese of New Orleans Committee for Racial Equity and Justice. Mr. Detiege’s research has been published in the Journal of Psychoactive Drugs and Computers In Human Services. Mr. Detiege studied at the University of New Orleans, earning a Bachelor of Arts in psychology and a Master of Education in curriculum and instruction with a focus on research and evaluation methods.
ROSE DUHON-SELLS, Ph.D.
Founder, National Association for Multicultural Education
Dr. Duhon-Sells has been a trailblazer in many fields of education, research and service. She is founder and first president of the National Association for Multicultural Education (NAME) and the National Association for Peace/Anti-Violence Education (NAPE). She served as the executive director for the Institute for Academic Excellence which manages one of the leading charter schools in New Orleans, Sophie B. Wright. She also served as the executive director of the Charter Implementation Consulting Firm (CSI) whose primary mission was to lead and guide groups interested in acquiring charter schools, in an effort to save America’s failing students. Dr. Duhon-Sells has authored over 25 books, book chapters and articles. To mention a few, “Education and Health in the Aftermath of Hurricane Katrina and Rita: Voices of the children,” “Alleviating Youth Violence in America’s Classrooms” and “Cancer: My Gift of Self-Actualization.” She has shared her research throughout Europe, Asia, Africa and Australia. She was selected as a 2000 Distinguished Educator for the Association of Teachers Educators (ATE), a 2007 Alumni Fellow at Kansas State University, the recipient of the 2004 Thurgood Marshall Award, and the 2006 Educator Leadership Award at Walden University.
Executive Director, Crescent City Corps
Mr. Godfrey has dedicated his life to public service and is deeply passionate about helping others find their own call to serve. As a former firefighter for the New Orleans Fire Department and executive director of the Crescent City Corps, he is working to build a movement of first responders who are committed to reimagining public safety. Also a veteran, Mr. Godfrey served as an intelligence officer, developed and taught curriculum to future naval leaders and was a strategist for the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Mr. Godfrey is a graduate of Yale University and a current J.D. candidate at the Yale Law School.
FAITH FLUGENCE, J.D.
Ms. Flugence, born and raised in Lafayette, Louisiana, is a graduate of Dillard and Howard University School of Law (HUSL). She graduated cum laude from Dillard where she majored in criminal justice and minored in English. Ms. Flugence set her mind on attending law school at a very young age and never looked back. She committed herself very early on to being a positive social change within her community. This tenacity led her to HUSL where she became a leader on campus. She served as the 2020-2021 co-captain of the Charles Hamilton Houston National Moot Court Team, a student attorney in the Investor Justice and Education Clinic, the 2019-2020 orientation vice chair, an executive board member of Epsilon Sigma Iota Sorority Inc., and a Thurgood Marshall Academy coordinator. Ms. Flugence has worked as in-house counsel within a fortune 500 company, as a government attorney with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission and as a summer associate at a law firm that she will be begin working at full time in the fall of 2021. As she passionately pursues her career, Ms. Flugence hopes that she can lift as she climbs by inspiring others to chase their dreams.
ADA GOODLY, J.D.
Director, Louis A, Berry Institute of Civil Rights and Justice at Southern University Law Center
A native of Southwest Louisiana and a 14-year veteran of the US Army Reserves, Ms. Goodly has engaged in equity-work early serving as the president of the Black Student Union at LSU and later as president of the SULC National Lawyers Guild. Ms. Goodly was also a legal fellow and supervisor of the Civil Rights and Restorative Justice Project where she investigated cases of racially motivated crimes in the Jim Crow South. She went on to develop a Know Your Rights Initiative to help teach law and procedure to marginalized people. As a movement lawyer, Ms. Goodly coordinated the legal support of movement attorneys in the wake of Alton Sterling’s murder and provided pro-bono communications and program support to communities and victims of police brutality in Southwest Louisiana. Ms. Goodly sits on the advisory board of the trauma informed training-Historical Injustice and Present Policing in partnership with Northeastern School of Law and Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Ms. Goodly received her bachelor’s from Louisiana State University and J.D. from Southern University Law Center.
ROSALYN D. HARRINGTON Ph.D.
Visiting Professor of History, Politics and Social Justice, Winston-Salem State University
Dr. Harrington has over 16 years of law enforcement experience. She began her career at the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department (CMPD). Her assignments included patrol, community coordinator, public information officer, ADW detective and homicide detective. Throughout her career at CMPD, she attended several professional trainings including General Instructor School, High Risk Warrant School and Interview and Interrogation School. Dr. Harrington also holds a FEMA Public Information Officer certification and a Social Media for First Responders certification. She taught criminal justice and forensic classes as an adjunct instructor at Johnson C. Smith University and ITT Technical Institute where she sat on the Criminal Justice Advisory Board for undergraduates. Five years ago, Rosalyn transitioned from full-time law enforcement to reserve status to pursue higher education full-time in criminal justice, forensics and emergency management. Additionally, she holds a Ph.D. in public safety leadership with a focus on emergency management and forensics from Capella University. She also holds a master’s in forensic science with a focus in investigations from National University in addition to a Bachelor of Science in health promotion and kinesiology with a concentration in biology from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. Dr. Harrington has several publications in law and emergency management journals.
INDIA HALL, M.A.
Certified Christian Life Coach, Public Speaker and Writer
Ms. Hall earned her bachelor’s from Pace University in criminal justice and her master’s in psychology from Chatham University. Ms. Hall is currently pursuing her doctorate from Grand Canyon University in organizational leadership with an emphasis in Christian ministries. Ms. Hall educates and empowers people through public speaking and writing. She currently speaks at universities, shelters and churches. Formerly, Ms. Hall was a career counselor for Army soldiers, a middle school educator on an Army base and an English professor at Grace College of Divinity in Fayetteville, North Carolina. Ms. Hall is passionate about social justice, mental and spiritual health and education. She endeavors to be a global public speaker and writer in the areas of her passions.
BRANDON HAMANN, M.A.
Criminal Justice Advocate
Brandon Hamann is a graduate of Loyola University New Orleans where he received a Master of Arts in criminal justice. He is also a 2019 graduate and valedictorian of Dillard University having received a Bachelor of Arts in criminal justice. Mr. Hamann has presented research at various conferences and has been published in a variety of books.
Criminal Justice Graduate, Dillard University
LaDrienna Howze was born in Waukegan, Illinois and is a 2020 graduate of Dillard University where she earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in criminal justice. Throughout her undergrad experience, Ms. Howze was a part of many organizations, such as the Criminal Justice Club, the Political Science Club, and the Alpha Phi Sigma Criminal Justice Honor Society where she served as vice president. Ms. Howze was honored to be one of the few fellows for New Orleans Mayor Latoya Cantrell’s Action New Orleans Fellowship during her last semester at Dillard. Ms. Howze is currently working with Dillard’s Office of Auxiliary Services as the technology coordinator. Ms. Howze takes pride in fostering close relationships with students on campus by providing constant assistance, more resources and inspiring hope among young people today is her biggest goal in life. Since arriving in New Orleans and spending time on the beautiful campus of Dillard and the amazing city of New Orleans, she is now a full time resident of New Orleans. Ms. Howze plans to begin her journey to completing her Masters in Social Work at Southern University of New Orleans.
Director of Community Outreach and Client Advocate, Orleans Public Defenders
Mr. Jones served 23 years, 7 months and 3 days in prison for crimes he did not commit. He was exonerated on his birthday, January 26, 2017, thanks to the work of Innocence Project New Orleans and Innocence Project. Since that time, he has worked as a motivational speaker and a community activist. His nonprofit, Free-Dem Foundations, Inc., mentors and guides youth. Mr. Jones sits the boards of the Innocence Project New Orleans and the City of New Orleans Safety and Justice Challenge Community Advisory Group Committee. He has received numerous awards for his work, including the Martinet Legal Society’s 2019 Earl J. Amdee Award for a non-lawyer advancing justice and the Paris Bar Association’s bronze medal of justice. Mr. Jones is a co-author of the book “Unbreakable Resolve.” Mr. Jones has facilitated trainings in partnership with Poynter Group, The Marshall Project, the Louisiana Bar Association, the University of Santa Barbara and the University of California, Los Angeles. Through his work at the Orleans Public Defenders office, Mr. Jones has helped free 28 men under the new habitual offender bill.
ZACHARY KYLE, M.Phil.
Gender/Racial Equity Analyst, Center for Equity & Justice, YWCA Greenwich and Special Projects Coordinator, Organization for Black Struggle, St. Louis
Mr. Kyle is a graduate from the University of Cambridge where he wrote on topics such as critical race theory, the insufficiency of police reform, and the systemic oppression of the carceral state against Black, Latinx, Indigenous, and gender oppressed peoples. His master’s thesis covered various perspectives and vantage points of carceral abolitionism. As a gender and racial equity analyst for the Center of Equity and Justice at YWCA Greenwich, Mr. Kyle ensures that the center has knowledge and implementation strategies for antiracism, gender justice, liberatory, and abolitionist practices. Furthermore, in-person, he works alongside abolitionist and racial justice organizers at the Organization for Black Struggle in St. Louis to assist with coalitional efforts and requests for solidarity. Mr. Kyle is looking to pursue a Ph.D. in the fall of 2022.
LTC AUDREY LEE, M.B.A.
Accountant, United States Army Financial Management Command Special Review Office
LTC. Lee serves as an accountant in the Special Review Office for the United States Army Financial Management Command, a major subordinate command of United States Army Material Command and provides oversight for Department of the Army sensitive activities and special funding procedures. In 1986, LTC. Lee, a Distinguished Military Graduate, received her commission as a second lieutenant in the USAR, Finance Branch. LTC. Lee attended and graduated from the Finance Officer Basic and Advanced Courses, the Combined Armed Staff and Service School and Command and General Staff College. She holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree from Dillard and a Master of Business Administration from Alabama A&M University. In 2010, LTC. Lee retired from the U.S. Army at the grade of lieutenant colonel after serving 23 plus years and joined the United States Army Financial Management Command.
AMY LESEN, Ph.D.
Researcher, minority health and health equity research center and Associate Professor of Biology, Dillard University
Dr. Lesen works on the coast and in urban estuaries researching the interrelatedness between environmental and human social dynamics in coastal cities and coastal communities and how those systems are influenced by climate and environmental change. Most of her current work focuses in New Orleans, Southeastern Louisiana and the Gulf Coast. Dr. Lesen also researches and writes about the intersection between science and the arts, disaster resilience, informal science learning, scientific public engagement, science communication, participatory research and interdisciplinarity. Dr. Lesen holds a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst in marine fisheries biology and a Ph.D. from the University of California at Berkeley in integrative biology with a concentration in biological oceanography and paleoceanography.
KEVIN LOPEZ, M.S.
Juvenile Justice Advocate
With over seven years’ field experience working juveniles as well as adults, Mr. Lopez’s uses his personal journey to help others understand that mistakes are nothing more than real life learning experiences. The first in his family to graduate from high school, Mr. Lopez aspired, from an early age, to break the cycle that most of his friends and family fell into. He did so by graduating from Southern University at New Orleans with his B.S.W. as well as his master’s degree in criminal justice. Mr. Lopez is now working towards his Ph.D.
PERRY LYLE, Ph.D.
Professor of Criminal Justice, Columbia College
Dr. Lyle has a combined 40 years’ experience in the public safety leadership and private security, having held responsible positions of leadership in law enforcement, intelligence and private security. At Columbia College, he teaches in both the undergraduate and graduate criminal justice programs. Dr. Lyle earned his doctorate from Capella University in public service leadership with honors and his undergraduate and graduate degrees in criminal justice from Rollins College, Winter Park, Florida. Dr. Lyle is a member in the FBI’s Infragard Program and actively participates in the World Association of Academic Doctors and the Association for Former Intelligence Officers. As an author of a number of books and journal articles, he has a passion for social equality in criminal justice and education. Dr. Lyle serves on the editorial board for the Journal of Education and Social Justice, Virginia University of Lynchburg.
SHATIQUA MOSBY-WILSON, Ph.D., J.D.
Director, Southern University at New Orleans Leonard S. Washington Memorial Library
In her current position, Dr. Mosby-Wilson has been instrumental in revitalizing community evolvement at SUNO and the redesign of the campus from a commuter college to a residential facility. Having practiced law in family and juvenile issues since 2005, her areas of research interest include educational access and juvenile delinquency. Dr. Mosby–Wilson is an accomplished speaker, presenter, leader and educator. With more than 20 years of managerial experience, she has developed a sharp eye for detecting unnecessary bureaucratic procedures, inefficiencies and miscommunication in organizations that lead to a lack of productivity so that they can redesign for a more cohesive, strategically focused organization. As an entrepreneur who has her own successful consulting business, Dr. Mosby-Wilson also empathetically helps others set priorities and create the balance they want between life and work. She earned her her earned her Ph.D. from Jackson State University, her master’s in library science as well as her juris doctorate from Louisiana State University and her bachelor’s degree from Xavier University Louisiana.
Student, Loyola New Orleans School of Law
Ms. Penn earned her bachelor’s in criminal justice from Dillard in 2019. The Palmdale, California native graduated cum laude with a minor in psychology, as well. After graduation Ms. Penn spent time working for the Orleans Public Defenders as a Pretrial Bond Release Client Advocate.
JOHN PENNY, Ph.D.
Founder, Louisiana Justice Commission
Dr. Penny is one of the most sought-after voices in criminal justice and criminology, juvenile justice and juvenile advocacy. A consultant and expert witness, Dr. Penny has served in various capacities for many institutions and organizations including Dillard, Dixon Correctional Center, the Orleans Parish District Attorney’s Office, Louisiana Department of Corrections, the City of New Orleans, the Louisiana Training Institute, Darryl S. Brister Bible College and Theological Seminary, the African World Network, DePaul Hospital, St. John’s Girls Group Home and Bethlehem Children’s Treatment Facility. Chair of the Southern University at New Orleans Department of Social Sciences, Dr. Penny is also a member of the Mayor’s Task Force, the Mayor’s Criminal Justice Council and the Orleans Parish Juvenile Justice Model Court. An accomplished theologian, Dr. Penny is an associate minister at New Light Baptist Church for a congregation of 300 members.
HON. KERN REESE, J.D.
Judge, Orleans Parish Civil District Court, Division L
Judge Reese has earned the reputation as a fair and temperate jurist. He is recognized for his involvement in professional organizations, as a teacher/coach, a community leader and mentor to youth and aspiring lawyers. A native of New Orleans and graduate of St. Augustine High School, Judge Reese graduated from Pomona College in Claremont, California and Loyola University School of Law. Prior to taking the bench in spring 2001, he maintained a solo law practice for 16 years. Judge Reese has served as an associate adjunct professor of Tulane University School of Law for more than two decades and at Loyola University School of Law for the past four years. Judge Reese has also served as a continuing education instructor and panelist for the Louisiana Bar Association, the New Orleans Bar Association, the Louisiana Association for Justice, the Louisiana Association of Defense Counsel, the American Board of Trial Advocates, the Louis A. Martinet Legal Society, Loyola Black Law Students Association and CLE of Louisiana, LLC. As part of his civic and community responsibility, Judge Reese has served on numerous boards and commissions including the Regional Planning Commission, Regional Transit Authority, New Orleans Industrial Development Board and Finance Authority of New Orleans, St. Frances Cabrini Parish School Board, Youth Development Association and Bancroft Park Civic Association. He is a member of Alpha Alpha Boule of Sigma Pi Phi fraternity, Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity and the Titans of Greater New Orleans. Judge Reese also serves as a volunteer coach for Dillard’s nationally recognized mock trial team.
BRIGID A. ROBERSON, Ed.D, MSME
Regional Director of Security Services, Memorial Hermann Healthcare System
A resident of Richmond, Texas, Dr. Roberson has over 22 years’ experience in security management, risk management, crisis management, workplace violence, de-escalation training, managing trauma, as well as emergency management. She is high-energy, customer focused, and makes a positive difference as a servant leader. Dr. Roberson holds a doctorate from Creighton University, a master’s degree in security management for executives from the University of Houston-Downtown, and a bachelor’s degree from Texas State University. She is also a fervent philanthropist, girl power advocate, motivational speaker, best-selling author and entrepreneur. At Memorial Hemann, Dr. Roberson oversees security for the Level I Adult and Children’s Trauma Institute—a 1,100 bed hospital, and the Memorial Hermann Orthopedic & Spine Hospital. In addition, Dr. Roberson is also the vice-chair for the Houston chapter of the International Association for Healthcare Security & Safety. In 2016, Dr. Roberson dared to be great when she established Bridge2Greatness, Inc., a non-profit organization that provides support to young women who are considered “at-risk” providing resources and scholarships to aid them in reaching their fullest potential. Dr. Roberson serves on the boards of Texas Executive Women and Bayou City Federal Credit Union. She is also a member of the Texas Medical Center Security Advisory Board, International Association for Healthcare Security and Safety, American Society for Industrial Security, National Organization for Women, Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated® and The Links, Incorporated.
DANIELLE ROBINSON, M.A.
United States Probation Officer, Eastern District of Louisiana
Mrs. Robinson is an agent for change in the criminal justice community. She began volunteering and organizing in her community while attending Southern University at New Orleans. There, Mrs. Robinson served as president of the Criminal Justice Club and the president of the National Criminal Justice Association. She began her career as a probation and parole agent with the Louisiana Department of Corrections (LADOC). During her tenure with the LADOC, Mrs. Robinson served as a drug court officer, a co-occuring disorder officer, a field training officer and a sex offender specialist. She was awarded the academic achievement award in her academy class and remains committed to service and carrying out the mission of her agency. She earned her Master of Arts in criminal justice and a Bachelor of Science, cum laude, in criminal justice from SUNO. Mrs. Robinson is a proud member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.
THARINIA ROBINSON, Ph.D.
Adjunct Professor of Criminal Justice and Forensic Science, Piedmont College
Dr. Robinson is passionate about sharing her knowledge and skills of and strives to bring “reality/real-life” experiences into the classroom to students aspiring to enter the field. She was employed in the field of criminal justice and forensic science for well over 20 years in various areas (coroner, juvenile detention, juvenile probation, crime lab) during her career in southern California. Previously, Dr. Robinson was with the California Department of Justice Criminalistics Laboratory. She is the author “A Qualitative Study of Job Satisfaction Experiences of Forensic Scientists” in addition to numerous articles and chapter contributions relating to forensic science, criminal justice and social justice.
Gulf/Delta Regional Manager, Race Forward, Government Alliance on Race and Equity (GARE)
Mr. Serrano works with jurisdictions in the region to apply a racial equity framework to their operations by designing and facilitating workshops and by providing technical assistance for local government leaders. He also hosts the GARE Network Arts and Culture Work Group whose mission is to build critical infrastructure and connective tissue for Arts and Cultural Affairs offices across the country, in order to move cultural narratives in more racially equitable directions. Mr. Serrano is an award-winning educator and advocate with a decade of experience working at the intersection of education, policy and social justice. He holds a B.A. in political science from Dillard University and a Master of Science in educational studies from Johns Hopkins University.
HON. SHEVA M. SIMS, J.D.
Judge, Shreveport City Court, Division D
An alumna of Dillard, Judge Sims was elected on November 19, 2011 to Shreveport City Court, Division D and re-elected in 2014. She is the first judge in Shreveport to host informational seminars entitled “Know Your Legal Rights,” educating and informing individuals of their legal rights. Judge Sims has received numerous awards including Service and Leadership Recognition from Governor John Bel Edwards (2019), the Power of Influence Woman of Inspiration Award (2018), Judge Benjamin Jones Judges in the Classroom Award (2017), HERA Award Nominee (2016), the SUSLA Upward Bound North TRiO Achiever Award (2015), the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Civil Rights Award (Shreveport, 2014), the David Raines Community Center Seminar of Excellence Award (2014), Crystal Gavel Award (2013), Dr. Jesse N. Stone Pioneer Award (2013), Women Motivating Women Award (2012), Gospel Music Living Legend Award (2011), SB Magazine Top Attorney (2009) and Leah Hipple McKay Memorial Award Outstanding Volunteer (2009). Judge Sims’ portrait was added to the Southern University Law Center’s “Wall of Fame” in Baton Rouge, Louisiana for her level of excellence and outstanding achievements in the legal profession. Judge Sims is the daughter of the late Dr. Howard Sims Jr. and Mrs. Eva L. Sims. Her siblings are Dr. Sharon D. Sims (Nia) and Ms. Shunta E. Sims. Judge Sims is the proud mother of two wonderful daughters, Taylor and K.C. She received her juris doctorate from Southern University Law Center and her bachelor’s in mathematics from Dillard.
JAS M. SULLIVAN, Ph.D.
Professor of Political Science, Psychology and African American Studies, Louisiana State University
Dr. Sullivan’s research and teaching focus on stereotyping, discrimination, implicit bias, racial identity and political psychology. He has been recognized for his work with the: 2019 Tiger Athletic Foundation Undergraduate Teaching Award, the 2012 TRiO Achiever Award, the 2012 Louisiana State University Chapter of Phi Kappa Phi Outstanding Junior Faculty Award in the Humanities and Social Science, the 2012 Anna Julia Cooper Teacher of the Year Award from the National Conference of Black Political Scientists and the 2010 Tiger Athletic Foundation Undergraduate Teaching Award at LSU. Dr. Sullivan received his Ph.D. from Inidiana University.
IRA THOMAS SR., M.S.
Training Coordinator, Juvenile Justice Intervention Center
A law enforcement veteran, Mr. Thomas was a double honors graduate of the New Orleans Police Academy. His expertise includes anti-terrorism, counter drug trafficking, crisis intervention, crisis negotiations, critical incident management, professional leadership development and active shooters. He retired as a lieutenant from the New Orleans Police Department (NOPD) and went on to serve in several other roles including: chief of police at Southern University at New Orleans, executive administrator of Security and Investigations with New Orleans Public Schools and administrator with the City of New Orleans Ground Transportation Bureau. Mr. Thomas also served the community as a two-term member of the Orleans Parish School Board. For his work, Mr. Thomas has been honored as a two-time recipient of the NOPD’S Medal for Life Saving and he received several commendations for exceptional performance in the line of duty. Mr. Thomas is a former president of the Black Organization of Police, a certified police education instructor and a former mentor for Volunteers of America. Mr. Thomas received his associate’s degree from Delgado Community College then progressed to a bachelor’s degree from Loyola University New Orleans to a master’s in criminal justice from Southern University at New Orleans. He is a member of The Apostolic Church at New Orleans.
OLIVER THOMAS JR.
City Councilperson, New Orleans, District E
Mr. Thomas is a proud New Orleans native who grew up in the Lower Ninth Ward. Having served his city as an elected official for more than 13 years, Mr. Thomas received his Bachelor of Arts from The College of Santa Fe after graduating from Joseph S. Clark High School. He is also a graduate of Harvard University’s Executive Program, The Aspen Institute, Loyola University New Orleans’ Institute of Politics. Mr. Thomas is the former host of “The Good Morning Show” on WBOK-AM and he has been known to flex his theatrical muscles. Mr. Thomas has appeared in the HBO series “Treme”, Harold Clark’s play “Fishers of Men” and Dr. Flint Mitchell’s play “The Other Black History”. He also co-wrote and appeared in the hit play “Reflections”. Mr. Thomas is a member of the Anthony Bean Theatre.
BRIAN L. TURNER, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Psychology and Director of African American Diaspora Studies, Xavier University of Louisiana
A licensed clinical psychologist, Dr. Turner’s work as a professor and clinician is grounded in his multicultural training which examines the impact of culture on mental health. Dr. Turner has worked with college students, post incarceration sex offenders; but most ardently, he has worked with Black males from adolescence to adulthood on a wide spectrum of issues. Dr. Turner is an alumnus of the Urban League Equity and Diversity (ULEAD) fellowship, the Justice Revius O. Ortique Jr. Leadership Institute and the New Orleans Regional Leadership Institute (NORLI). He serves on the boards for the Tremé Education Program and Encore Academy Charter School. The New Orleans native is also the lead mentor at Samuel J. Green for the SilverBacks Society. Dr. Turner completed his undergraduate studies at Southern University and A&M College and his doctorate in clinical psychology at Jackson State University.
KATINA WHORTON, M.S.W.
Professor of Criminal Justice, Dillard University
A certified master social worker, Ms. Whorton’s experience also includes mental health. She has worked at New Orleans Juvenile Court as a youth advocate. Ms. Whorton has also facilitated groups for local agencies for domestic violence, working with the offender and reporting to the court the progress of the offender. Her work also includes women who suffer from mental illness. In higher education, Ms. Whorton has presented at conferences on topics such as creating rubrics and first-year teacher experiences. She has also served as a mentor to first-year instructors. Ms. Whorton earned her bachelor’s degree from Wiley College and her Master of Social Work from Southern University at New Orleans.
Organizer, Singer, Songwriter, Musician, Producer and Radio Host
Williams, head of The Cole Williams Band (CWB), is described as having “the heart of Bob Marley, soul of Sam Cooke and grit of Etta James.” CWB has rooted their sound in the tradition of Gil Scott-Heron, creating songs that reflect the everyday experiences and hopes of Black people all around the world. Following frequent street demonstrations at New Orleans’ City Hall, Williams and the Greater New Orleans Citizens Relief Team organized and succeeded in getting the City to provide emergency housing in empty hotels in August 2020. Now they are renovating city-owned blighted houses with the presently unhoused people that will live in them. The bedrock of the band’s new album, “Give Power To The People,” articulates the core of their organizing–go to the poorest people, create a shared plan for advancement, raise the spirits and awareness of our people, gain broad support and make it happen. Williams is also a host of a show on WWOZ-FM.
CHECO W. YANCY
Director, Voters Organized to Educate
Voters Organized to Educate (VOTE) is an organization established to advocate for re-storing the voting rights of formerly incarcerated people. In Mr. Yancy’s capacity as C4 director of VOTE, he along with Mr. Norris Henderson, the executive director of VOTE has worked tirelessly with the Louisiana Department of Corrections and the Louisiana legislature, the Louisianans for Prison Alternatives (LPA), the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), the ACLU and other partners in pursuing the goal of restoring the voting rights and more broadly in securing the human and civil rights of formerly incarcerated individuals. Mr. Yancy gained his right to vote in 2019 and has been voting ever since. In addition to his work with VOTE, Mr. Yancy currently serves as the state president of Louisiana’s Citizens United for the Rehabilitation of Errants (CURE) a national organization whose mission is to help reduce crime through criminal justice reform. As one of Louisiana CURE’s community organizers, Mr. Yancy is also actively involved with the re-integration of persons back into society after incarceration. Mr. Yancy also works with various community services initiatives and programs such as the Kairos prison ministry, which allows him the opportunity to go back into the prisons to minister the Word of God, something he felt benefitted him greatly while he was incarcerated. Before joining VOTE, Mr. Yancy served as the mentoring program director for the Capital Area Reentry Coalition (CAPARC), an organization that assists returning citizens in their effort to make a successful transition to life in our free society. Mr. Yancy served 20 years in the Louisiana State Penitentiary where he tutored inmates who could not read or write. He is an active member of the Grace and Compassion Church in Baton Rouge and a volunteer with Promise Keepers – Men of Integrity. Mr. Yancy graduated from Northwest Missouri Community College in computer technology.
Dominque Jones-Johnson is the child of an incarcerated parent, an advocate for kids with incarcerated parents, and the founder of Daughters Beyond Incarceration and, Parenting from Prison. A native of New Orleans, Dominque is an expert on trauma due to parental incarceration and creating youth advocates. Dominque successfully developed an idea she envisioned into a nationally-funded nonprofit. She is dedicated to educating communities on best practices for shifting paradigms and creating safe and supportive environments for children living with incarcerated parents (CIPs) to decrease trauma-related stress and anxiety and nurture success. As Executive Director of Daughters Beyond Incarceration, Dominque has increased the orgs funding by 100% in 3 years. Dominque worked with several of her youth mentees to pass two bills. In 2019, they passed the Louisiana Council for Children of Incarcerated Parents and Caregivers, where Dominque is Chairwoman. On May 2nd, 2023, they passed House Resolution Number 7, which allows incarcerated parents housed anywhere in a Louisiana prison institution to attend their child’s graduation virtually. She created a policy program with her incarcerated dad to educate youth on the power of advocacy through education through their Cultural Competency business, Parenting from Prison. She is often called upon to speak on panels; Dominque uses platforms available to her to raise the public’s consciousness on the hardships CIPs (Children of Incarcerated Parents) face. She has been featured in Gambit Weekly, NBS News, Dateline, and Sight Magazine, to list a few. In 2007, “When are you coming home: AN EXPLORATORY ESSAY CONFRONTING THE ISSUES INVOLVING CHILDREN WITH INCARCERATED PARENTS AND HOW TO BREAK THE CYCLE” was published in Loyola’s Law Review. Mrs. Johnson is a fellow of the Youth Justice Leadership Institute, Power Coalition She Leads, and Citizen She- She Shows Up and was awarded City Businesswomen of the Year in 2021. Dominque is a graduate of Warren Easton Sr. High School. She earned a bachelor’s degree from Alabama State University on a full track and field scholarship and a master’s in human resource education with a specialization in organizational leadership from LSU.
ROCHELLE L. FORD, Ph.D., APR
President, Dillard University
THEODORE CALLIER, M.A.
Interim Vice President for Institutional Advancement, Dillard University
MABLENE KRUEGER, M.B.A.
Interim Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs, Dillard University