Kingian Non-Violence Trainer Founder of East Point Peace Academy
Kazu Haga is a nonviolence trainer and founder of the East Point Peace Academy in Oakland, California. East Point Peace Academy is an organization working to create a peaceful society through
Kingian Nonviolence. Kazu is a Level II Kingian Nonviolence trainer who moved to the United States as a child. At age 17, he embarked on a 1.5-year journey across the US and South Asia, studying nonviolence while living in temples with a Buddhist order committed to peace and justice. He has since been involved with many organizations and movements. Prior to joining PPWN, Kazu worked at the Peace Development Fund for over 10 years, where he left as Program Director. Through his work with PPWN, he conducts trainings in prisons and jails, high schools and colleges, with youth groups and activists around the country. His passion is creating peace through just means by working with youth and with communities that have been hard hit by violence. Kazu currently serves as a Board member for Communities United for Restorative Youth Justice (CURYJ), PeaceWorkers and the OneLife Institute. He reflects “I believe that those working for peace need to have the same levels of commitment, training, strategy and discipline that the military invests into war. The military trains its leaders at WestPoint. EastPoint will serve as a counter to that.”
Dr. Angela Irvine
Founder and Principal, Ceres Policy Research
Dr. Angela Irvine
FOUNDER AND PRINCIPAL, CERES POLICY RESEARCH
Dr. Angela Irvine, in partnership with Dr. Danielle Soto and the Research and Action Center at Impact Justice recently released a report on
trends in out-of-home placement in Alameda County, CA.
The report, “Reducing Out-of-Home Placements in Alameda,” shows that:
Alameda County Probation Department decreased the number of youth in out-of-home placement by 78 percent.
This drop represents hundreds of youth: from 846 young people taken from their families in the period from 2010 to 2013 to 140 out-of-home placements in the period from 2014 to 2016.
The department went against national trends by lowering the rates of Black and Latinx youth in out-of-home placements. From 2010 to 2013, 73 percent of youth in out-of-home placements were Black and 22 percent were Latinx. In 2014 to 2016, 59 percent of youth in out-of-home placement were Black and 17 percent were Latinx.
“The Alameda County Probation Department is committed to improving outcomes for youth and provide them with the best opportunities for success,” said Wendy Still, Chief Probation Officer of Alameda County Probation Department. “The findings of this report show clear evidence of the priority our department has placed on reducing the overuse of out-of-home placement, and addressing racial and ethnic disparity. While the results of this report are very encouraging, we remain committed to increasing the success of at risk youth by providing them access to wraparound services, services from community-based partners, and the use of evidence based practices.”
By continuing their efforts, Alameda County Probation could reduce the total number of out-of-home placements even more. They will hopefully also continue to reduce racial and ethnic disparities--particularly for Black youth.
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 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.
Criminal and Immigrant Justice Attorney at the Immigrant Legal Resource Center
Rose Cahn is the Criminal and Immigrant Justice Attorney at the Immigrant Legal Resource Center, where she leads the organization’s national advocacy at the intersection of immigration and criminal law.
She is a nationally recognized expert in the field of immigrant and criminal justice. She has coauthored several manuals, including California Post-Conviction Relief for Immigrants and Helping Immigrant Clients with Proposition 47 and Other Post-Conviction Legal Options. She has trained judges, district attorneys, the criminal defense and immigration bars, and stakeholders throughout the country about the complex interplay between immigration and crimes. She frequently engages and supports state and local policy advocacy around the country and is one of the principal drafters of California Penal Code section 1473.7, a landmark piece of legislation that created a legal mechanism to vacate unconstitutional convictions. She is a proud Oakland resident, where she lives with her husband and two daughters.