Marilena David-Martin is Deputy Director at the State Appellate Defender Office. She represents indigent individuals appealing felony convictions. Marilena manages the Criminal Defense Resource Center and provides training, resources, and support to the criminal defense bar. She launched and manages Project Reentry, a program focused on supporting people on their journey home from prison. Marilena serves as Chair for the State Bar of Michigan’s (SBM) Prisons and Corrections Section and is on the Board of Directors for the Criminal Defense Attorneys of Michigan (CDAM), Wayne County Criminal Advocacy Program, and the Michigan Bench Bar Conference Foundation. Marilena is the recipient of the 2014 SBM Outstanding Young Lawyer Award, the 2014 CDAM Justice for All Award, and the 2018, Detroit Metropolitan Bar Association Community Impact Award. In 2019, she was appointed by Governor Whitmer to serve on the Michigan Community Corrections Board.
Since 1989, Kay Perry has served as Executive Director of the Michigan Chapter of Citizens United for the Rehabilitation of Errants (MI-CURE), a statewide grassroots criminal justice reform organization. She also served as Chair of National CURE from 1997 to 2009. Beginning in 2000, she coordinated the ETC (Equitable Telephone Charges) Campaign on behalf of National CURE. That campaign was an effort to reduce the high cost of prison telephone calls nationwide. She is the facilitator for a small group of Kalamazoo residents (the Forget-You-Nots) who meet monthly to write to people from Kalamazoo who are in high-level Michigan prisons and are experiencing some degree of isolation. A graduate of Western Michigan University, she has had careers in business data processing and technical writing.
Monique Stanton is dedicated to promoting social justice and advancing equity in our community. In her role as the President & CEO at the Michigan League for Public Policy, she is committed to addressing economic inequality, advancing racial equity, and promoting the health and well-being of Michiganders through public policy change.
Monique has been active in various advocacy efforts including Medicaid expansion, behavioral healthcare reform, recovery and substance use prevention efforts, early childhood initiatives, and criminal justice reform. Monique is a current member of the Michigan Collaboration to End Mass Incarceration, Detroit Drives Degrees, Promote the Vote, Think Babies, and other collaborations.
She is a past member of the Detroit Wayne Integrated Health Network Substance Use Disorder Policy Oversight Board, Michigan Celebrate Recovery, Great Start Collaborative Macomb, Macomb County Prisoner Re-Entry Advisory Council, Greater Area Detroit Health Council, Michigan Community Health Association Provider Alliance, Metro Affairs Coalition Public Health Task Force, Macomb Children’s Healthcare Access Program, and many more.
Monique has a Bachelor’s of Arts in History and Communication/Theatre from Aquinas College in Grand Rapids, MI and Master’s of Arts in Social Justice from Marygrove College in Detroit, MI. She is a Leadership Detroit XXXVIII and Leadership Macomb XVII graduate. Monique has received the following recognitions: Macomb County Chamber of Commerce Foundation Athena Award Recipient 2020, Crain’s Detroit Business Notable Women in Healthcare 2020, Margrove College Distinguished Alumni 2018, Detroit Free Press and Metro Affairs Coalition Shining Light Award 2014, and dBusiness Magazine 30 in their 30’s Honoree 2013.
Sheba Rogers serves as the Senior Program Manager for DJC’s Divest/Invest work housed in the Just Cities Innovation Lab, following her two-year service as a member of the DJC Board of Directors. Sheba, a Detroit native, brings to the DJC team over twelve years of experience supporting and leading programs, research, and policy and advocacy projects focused on improving opportunities and outcomes for children and families across low-income communities and schools. Sheba’s work has focused primarily on research; educational programming; and capacity building of system-change leaders to help advance the well-being and success of Black youth, families, and communities. Her passion for DJC’s mission stems from the direct impact of her mother and close relatives who have been incarcerated and profoundly disadvantaged by the criminal legal system. Sheba holds a bachelor’s degree from Howard University; master’s degree in Social Work from the University of Michigan; and master’s degree in Education from Harvard University.
In a few of Sheba’s previous roles, she led the Promise of Place Initiative for the Campaign for Black Male Achievement. In this capacity Sheba led national and local convenings; co-authored the second edition of CBMA’s Promise of Place Report; and provided capacity building supports for cross-sector leaders working to impact the lives of Black men and boys. In addition to this role, Sheba worked with the Children’s Defense Fund on the national policy team and CDF Freedom Schools team. Sheba served as CDF’s sole program ambassador in Detroit, helping to lead expansion of program sites and to build strategic partnerships for the Freedom Schools program. In her role with CDF’s national policy team Sheba helped to co-lead a partnership with school superintendents to support strategic efforts to reduce school suspensions and improve discipline reform in five school districts across the nation, among other projects focused on dismantling the school to prison pipeline. In addition to her program management experience, Sheba served in several professional research capacities at Northwestern University, University of Michigan, and Harvard University.
Lois Pullano is the Executive Director and Founder of Citizens for Prison Reform (CPR), a statewide family-led nonprofit founded in 2011. CPR assists and supports families with incarcerated loved ones. A Family Advisory Board was established in 2015 that meets with MDOC Administration to work on strengthening family support and humane treatment. Recently CPR began the Open MI Door Campaign to end the use of solitary confinement in Michigan prisons, jails and juvenile detention facilities.
John S. Cooper
John S. Cooper is the Executive Director of Safe & Just Michigan, a criminal justice policy and research organization based in Lansing, MI. He joined Safe & Just Michigan in 2017 as its Policy Director after serving as a criminal justice policy advisor to State Representative David LaGrand (D – 75th, Grand Rapids). Cooper’s research and advocacy is focused on Michigan’s adult criminal legal system, with an emphasis on strategies to reduce Michigan’s prison population, remove barriers to successful reentry, and increase the use of effective alternatives to incarceration. During his tenure at Safe & Just Michigan, Cooper has led several legislative campaigns to reform Michigan’s criminal legal system, including the successful campaign to enact “objective parole,” 2018 PA 339. Before he joined Rep. LaGrand’s office, Cooper spent seven years as a litigator in the Washington, D.C. office of Latham & Watkins LLP. He also served as a law clerk to Hon. Boyce F. Martin, Jr., of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit. Cooper obtained his juris doctorate from the University of Virginia School of Law after graduating with honors from Calvin College. He lives in his hometown of Grand Rapids with his wife, Julia, and son Ben.
Mark P. Fancher
Mark P. Fancher is the staff attorney for the Racial Justice Project of the ACLU of Michigan. Through his work, he addresses: racially disproportionate rates of incarceration; racial discrimination against public school students of color, racial profiling, attacks on the democratic rights of communities of color and abusive police practices. Fancher was formerly the Senior Staff Attorney for the Sugar Law Center for Economic and Social Justice where he specialized in workers’ rights. He served on the staff of the State Bar of Michigan from 1998 to 2000 where he coordinated projects to encourage greater pro bono participation by Michigan’s lawyers. He was a visiting assistant clinical professor at the University of Michigan Law School from 1996 through 1998. Before moving to Michigan, Fancher was the Director of Litigation for Camden Regional Legal Services in New Jersey. He has also been in private practice where he specialized in employment discrimination and community economic development. Fancher is a graduate of Rutgers University School of Law – Camden. He received a Bachelor of Science Degree from the University of Tennessee. Fancher has played leadership roles in the National Conference of Black Lawyers (NCBL) for numerous years. He has also lectured across the country and written extensively on issues that include: the U.S. military presence in Africa, political repression in the U.S., and the land and resource rights of traditional indigenous communities.
Natalie Holbrook, American Friends Service Committee Program Director, is an anti-prison/punishment and abolitionist activist & a fighter for racial and gender justice. She has worked for the American Friends Service Committee’s Michigan Criminal Justice program for over 17 years advocating for and with people held in Michigan’s prisons around various issues related to the inhumane conditions of confinement inherent in caging and controlling human beings. Illuminating and challenging immediate conditions issues informs AFSC’s long term work to shift our collective addiction to punishment and vengeance into working towards collective liberation and well being for all. Natalie is committed to building relationships with imprisoned people and impacted free people as work for justice, healing, transformation, and flourishing is rooted in interdependence and deep connection with one another and the planet. The American Friends Service Committee is a Quaker organization, committed to the principles of nonviolence and justice.
Mary King served as Executive Director of the Michigan Center for Youth Justice (MCYJ) from January 1, 2016 through December 31, 2020. She began working with people in prison as an intern at Huron Valley Women’s Correctional Facility in the early 80’s. In 1988 Mary created the Women’s Program at Option’s Center, for women with a felony conviction, and went on to become the first Coordinator for the Children’s Visitation Program, which brought children from all over Michigan for structured visits with their incarcerated mothers. This was also Mary’s first experience working with MCYJ and the indomitable Beth Arnovits, who Mary still refers to as “her favorite boss.” In 2006, Mary began working as Community Coordinator for the Michigan Prisoner ReEntry Initiative (MPRI) in Washtenaw and Livingston Counties, where for eight years she engaged key stakeholders in a unified effort to provide evidence-based services for returning citizens. Today, Mary continues to support the work of MCYJ by providing project-based support for the organization, which includes facilitation and technical assistance with MI-CEMI.
Daniel Jones is currently the Outreach & Engagement Coordinator for the Michigan Collaborative to End Mass Incarceration (MI-CEMI). As a former Juvenile Lifer, Daniel served 23 years inside the Michigan Department of Corrections, and was involved with National Lifer of America, Inc. (NLA). His involvement in the NLA enabled him, and a small group, to take on the task of creating a peer-to-peer, curriculum-based program to help other incarcerated individuals navigate their way through the parole process. With guidance and support from American Friends Service Committee, “The Personal Enrichment & Parole Readiness Program” was created and facilitated at four prisons. Modules from the curriculum are still sent to people currently incarcerated, as a means of self-help. Since his release in March of 2019, Daniel has co-facilitated two national convenings – the first in July of 2019, in Detroit, on “Ending Perpetual Punishment”; and the second in November of 2019, in Washington D.C., to “Unlock The Box”. Daniel has also completed a three-day training with Emergent Strategies Institute, has done speaking engagements at MSU Law School, University of Michigan, and Central Michigan University, has started a small business, and is making the most of his second chance.
Adrianna became committed to justice reform work when she learned how unjust the juvenile justice system is during her undergraduate studies and through interning with the local detention center. She continued her work to reform the youth justice system through an internship with the Michigan Center for Youth Justice, and recently co-authored their report “Minors Facing Major Debt: The Immense Burden of Court Fees on Macomb County Youth and Families”. She has expanded into reforming the adult system through her work with MI-CEMI, and Nation Outside. Adrianna has an MSW from Boston University and a BSW from Eastern Michigan University.
Leah is excited to be an active member of MI-CEMI representing the Center for Employment Opportunities (CEO). At CEO, Leah provides policy, advocacy, and government relations support to our Detroit-based team. Her background has focused on education, postsecondary attainment, and workforce development specific to individuals impacted by the legal system. She was the lead researcher for the Council of State Governments (CSG) Justice Center’s 50 state analysis on access to postsecondary education for individuals both currently and formerly incarcerated. Before coming to CEO, Leah worked in the D.C. Government to evaluate and assess the education and workforce landscape for young people in the juvenile justice system and/or those impacted by the child welfare system. Leah has dual degrees in communications and sociology from Boston College and a Master’s in strategic communication and public affairs from the George Washington University.
Earl Burton is a Relational Organizer at Michigan Liberation, and works to build equity in the community. Some of the achievements that make him most proud are turning the vote out in Michigan, and bailing people out who otherwise would have had to remain in jail for their inability to pay. His greatest hope is that justice becomes equitable, and for the end of mass incarceration and over policing in the black and brown communities.
Chuck has decades of experience bringing people together across differences in the nonprofit, government, and religious sectors. He served for sixteen years as the Director of the Interfaith Council for Peace and Justice in Ann Arbor, MI and for six years on Ann Arbor City Council. Chuck has successfully led campaigns to expand public transit, increase affordable housing funding, and improve police accountability.
In his time in government and the nonprofit sector, Chuck has seen too many elaborate plans sit on shelves and too many intentions go nowhere. He brings together insights from behavior, organizational, and social change fields to help people and organizations move from good intentions to meaningful action and ultimately to sustainable results.
As lead curriculum designer for the 2019-2020 Champions for Change Allies Academy, Chuck brings a particular commitment to helping other white people advance in their equity journeys. Many people avoid diversity, equity, and inclusion work because they fear getting judged or shamed for not being “woke” enough, not using the right words, etc. Chuck creates learning environments that support and challenge people to bring their actions more in line with these intentions.
Ashley Goldon is Nation Outside’s statewide program director. She is a Social Worker, survivor, and fierce reform advocate of underprivileged communities. Ashley has a unique perspective on marginalization and overcoming obstacles as an interracially adopted, formerly incarcerated, LGBT+, minority woman. Her mission is to leverage adverse experiences to catalyze positive change in the community.
Just three years from her release from Michigan Department of Corrections in 2010, Ashley graduated Magna Cum Laude with her bachelor’s degree in Psychology from South University, built a service-based student organization, and secured employment working with adjudicated youth in residential placement at Metro-Detroit’s largest child-welfare agency, Vista Maria. Ashley’s expert experience, passion, engagement, and ability to inspire stakeholders, quickly earned her a leading role as Project Manager of Therapeutic Initiatives, where she designed and innovated therapeutic, educational and wellness programming for hundreds of youth and families. This included a human trafficking awareness program and an innovative expressive arts continuum that targeted trauma affected youth with juvenile justice adjudications.
In 2018, Ashley served as founding chair of University of Southern California’s Unchained Scholars, a student organization for graduate students of social work adversely affected by the criminal Justice System. In 2020, she graduated Suma Cum Laude with her master’s degree in Social Work, from USC. Ashley is a Doctoral Candidate in Social Work at USC, and a 2021 JustLeadershipUSA Leading with Conviction Fellow.