Aleah Bacquie Vaughn
Executive Director, Circle for Justice Innovation (CJI) Fund
Aleah Bacquie Vaughn, Executive Director of the CJI Fund, was previously Deputy Director at the American Committee on Africa and The Africa Fund, where she championed the release of political prisoners, including Nelson Mandela
and Walter Sisulu, and divestment from companies doing business with South Africa’s apartheid government. In South Africa, Aleah worked for the South African Council of Churches to decrease violence in the East Rand; on the Independent Electoral Commission, to educate communities about voting in the country’s historic first democratic elections; for the World Council on Religion and Peace, which first called for a Truth and Reconciliation Commission; and for the Women’s Development Foundation, which supported electing women to national government. Returning to the US in 1996, Aleah worked on the Jubilee campaign to cancel African debt, and demand HIV/AIDS medication for African countries. As Director of Social Justice Ministries for Riverside Church, she supervised 13 social justice ministries, including The Sharing Fund, and Prison Ministry. She also co-created the Prison Family Support Group and Sojourners, a ministry to support and advocate for releasing people detained in U.S. facilities. She then served as the Director of Grants and Training at the Peace Development Fund. Aleah is the granddaughter of Irene Morgan, of the Morgan v. Virginia Supreme Court decision against segregation in interstate travel. The Freedom Rides supported her case. Aleah is the proud, fierce mother of two black boys.
Community Activist and Member of SEIU 1021
Jack Bryson was an unlikey community activist who became a spokesman in the national spotlight after December 31, 2008 when his two sons Jackie Jr. and Nigel were detained at the Fruitvale BART station platform and witnessed the murder of
their longtime childhood friend, Oscar Grant by BART Police Officer Johannes Mehserle. Since that time Jack has been a passionate advocate, public speaker, and activist on police accountability, racial profiling, economic justice, non-violence, and social change. Jack has been a bridge to connect labor unions to social justice causes that impact working class families. He has also dedicated much of his time and energy to supporting families coping with trauma due to violence.
Manuel la Fontaine
Community Engagement Network Organizer, W. Haywood Burns Institute Community Justice Network for Youth
Manuel la Fontaine is a Bay Area native, born and raised in Daly City. He is the proud son of a Salvadoran mother and a Puerto Rican father. Manuel is currently the
Community Engagement Network Organizer for Community Justice Network for Youth (CJNY).Prior to joining the Institute, Manuel spent over 8 years with Legal Services for Prisoners with Children, and is a co-founding member of All Of Us Or None, an organization comprised of formerly-incarcerated people fighting for their full restoration of civil and human rights, as well as the systemic discrimination they face due to one’s involvement with the legal and judicial system. As a former captive and survivor of California’s prison system, he organized to build the voices, visibility, and leadership of people and communities most impacted by incarceration. Prior to joining All of Us or None in 2008, Manuel was the outreach coordinator for Project Rebound, a unique program helping formerly-incarcerated people obtain educational objectives at San Francisco State University. Manuel is currently on the leadership council of the Formerly-Incarcerated, Convicted People’s and Families Movement. He is the proud father of three beautiful children. His passions include culinary, writing, and fighting for our collective freedom.
Executive Director of VOTE
Norris Henderson, current E.D. of VOTE, a nonprofit organization designed to educate, organize and mobilize formerly incarcerated persons in Louisiana. He is currently the recipient of the 2015 Martinet Society Earl Amedee Award for advancing the cause of justice. The 2014 Data News Weekly
“Trailblazer of the Year” Award and the 2013 Society of American Law Teachers’ M. Shanara Gilbert Human Rights Award. Former OSF Soros Justice Fellow who promoted community organizing and advocacy campaigns to transform the criminal justice system in New Orleans. As someone who was wrongfully incarcerated for over 27 years, he shares firsthand experience of racism and brutality of the criminal justice system with communities of color across the country.Since his release in 2003, Norris has applied his 27 years of self-taught legal expertise and community organizing skills to a number of leadership positions, including Co-Director of Safe Streets/Strong Communities and Community Outreach Coordinator of the Louisiana Justice Coalition. He is clear that only by working together can communities of color protect themselves from the criminal justice system in this country.
Social and Racial Justice Storytelling Strategist
Shiree Teng has worked in the social sector for 40+ years as a social and racial justice champion – as a front line organizer, network facilitator, capacity builder, grantmaker, and evaluator and learning partner. Shiree brings to her work a lifelong commitment to
social change and a belief in the potential of groups of people coming together to create powerful solutions to entrenched social issues.
Shiree has an intimate understanding of the issues and challenges related to working in communities of color and dynamics of race, class, gender, culture and power. Having spent her life in the social sector, Shiree comes to the work from the perspective of building capacity and lasting relationships.
Starting out as a young community organizer at age 17, Shiree learned much of what she knows today from having organized in the trenches in Los Angeles, New York City, Watsonville/Salinas, and San Francisco/Oakland. From those 15+ years of working alongside and learning from immigrant child care, restaurant, garment, cannery and farm workers, Shiree brought the lessons into running nonprofit organizations, and then to being a program officer at the Packard Foundation’s Organizational Effectiveness program. In 2000, Shiree began her independent consulting practice. Standing on the shoulders of many who supported and guided her through the years, Shiree has established a rich strategy and evaluation practice, working with social and racial justice groups and their funders.
Executive Director of CURYJ
George Galvis, CURYJ Co-Founder and Executive Director, 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. A tireless advocate for at-risk youth, prisoners and formerly imprisoned individuals with children, Galvis 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. Galvis has presented at a wide range of communities, schools, juvenile detention centers, prisons, universities, and conferences throughout the United States and abroad, including the United Nations. Galvis holds both a Bachelor of Arts in Ethnic Studies and a Master’s in City Planning from UC Berkeley where he was a Ronald E. McNair Scholar and Public Policy & International Affairs (PPIA) Fellow. He has been honored by the Bay Area News Group and Comcast as a “Hometown Hero” and is a 2013 recipient of the California Peace Prize from The California Wellness Foundation.