Janetta Johnson, Executive Director of TGI Justice Project (CJI Grantee), is an Afro-American Transsexual from Tampa, Florida. She moved to San Francisco in 1997, where she has worked in various capacities at non-profits and social service agencies. She recently survived 3 years in federal prison and is committed to developing strategies and interventions to reduce the recidivism rate of the transgender community. Janetta’s involvement with TGI Justice dates back to 2006. She served as Interim Organizing Director in November/December ‘08, planned vibrant grassroots fundraisers, and later put her skills as a community organizer, trainer, and activist to use inside as she fiercely and tirelessly advocated for her rights as a transgender person in jail and prison.
Dorsey Nunn is the Executive Director of Legal Services for Prisoners with Children and co-founder of All of Us or None (CJI Grantee), an organization of formerly incarcerated people working for their human and civil rights. Since 2003, Dorsey has been at the forefront of the formerly incarcerated people’s movement to speak in their own voices, transform their lives and communities, and fully participate in all aspects of society. Through community organizing in communities directly impacted by incarceration, All Of Us Or None originated and continues to expand the “Ban the Box” campaign – a nationwide effort to eliminate structural discrimination based on conviction history in employment, housing, education, social services and other areas. The box on employment applications has been banned in 22 states, over a hundred cities, and in some of the largest corporations in the US. Formerly incarcerated himself, Dorsey holds numerous prestigious awards for over thirty-five years of work on prison reform and social justice. The more recent has included 2016 W.E.B DuBois award, presented by the NAACP, 2016 Justice, Peace and Freedom Award, presented by the AFL-CIO, and the 2016 White House Champion of Change. Dorsey was sentenced to life in the California Department of Corrections when he was 19 years old. He paroled in 1981 and discharged from parole in 1984.
taliba obuya, Southern Region Field Organizer for Amnesty International USA, National Coordinator for Malcolm X Grassroots Movement and CJI Circle Member, is a comrade, mother, daughter, sister, foot soldier and a dreamer for a new South. Raised by a single father and hailing from the 713, she spent the early days of the 80s and 90s in Houston, under the social effects of the War on Drugs and hip-hop politics.
Currently, taliba is the National Coordinator of Malcolm X Grassroots Movements, a national human rights organization demanding self-determination for Afrikan descendants in the United States. She has worked to create movement at Project South: Institute for the Elimination of Poverty & Genocide, National Domestic Workers Alliance and SPARK Reproductive Justice NOW at the intersections of race, class, gender & sexuality and the criminalization of Black & Brown and other oppressed, marginalized communities.
Diana (Dinni) Gordon, Professor Emerita of political science and criminal justice at the City University of New York and CJI Circle Member, is retired political scientist (City University of New York) who has been writing about the politics of crime and (in)justice for forty years. She is a former president of the National Council on Crime and Delinquency. Her most recent book, Village of Immigrants: Latinos in an Emerging America, deals with issues of immigrants’ integration in a small town.
George Galvis, Co-Founder and Executive Director of CURYJ and CJI Circle Member, has for more than two decades promoted restorative justice and healing to address the violence plaguing Bay Area communities. Galvis draws upon his experience and indigenous roots to help young people, particularly those involved in the criminal justice system, become future community leaders.
Born and raised in the Bay Area, Galvis moved frequently with his mother and sister to escape domestic violence. As a young man, Galvis felt racially targeted, and as a form of rebellion, he was drawn into street life and consequently was incarcerated at the age of 17 and charged with multiple felonies for his involvement in a drive-by shooting. These experiences led him to his commitment to elevate the voice and power of those impacted by violence and poverty.
Galvis is a tireless advocate for at-risk youth, prisoners and formerly imprisoned individuals with children. He has been a leader in statewide advocacy to transform punitive school discipline and juvenile justice policies that disparately impact youth of color. He developed traditional rites of passage programs as healthy alternatives to gang violence using culturally and spiritually based approaches to supporting and strengthening individuals, families and communities. As a board member of Legal Services for Prisoners with Children, Galvis helped create All of Us or None, a grassroots movement of formerly incarcerated activists fighting for the rights of those formerly and currently incarcerated and their families. Fundamentally opposed to gang injunctions as both ineffective and destabilizing, Galvis was a leader of the Stop the Injunctions Coalition, which successfully prevented Oakland’s 2010 gang injunction from being fully implemented.
Sam Seidel is the Director of the Student Experience Lab at the Business Innovation Factory and author of Hip Hop Genius: Remixing High School Education(Rowman & Littlefield, 2011). Sam speaks internationally about innovative solutions to challenges facing schools, community organizations, and prisons. He is a passionate and experienced leader in education transformation.
Sam has taught in a variety of settings from first grade to community college. He has built and directed programs for young people affected by incarceration. As a consultant, Sam worked with leading national education organizations, including the Black Alliance for Educational Options, Big Picture Learning, and Jobs for the Future, as well as a spectrum of other clients on a diverse set of projects, ranging from redesigning a statewide juvenile justice system to working with the Rockefeller family to repeal the Rockefeller Drug Laws. Sam was the Director of Partnerships, Annual Reviews, and Student Leadership for the Association for High School Innovation, a national network of school developers and replicators funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.