Speakers and Featured Participants
From Drug Truth Network: Journey For Justice On-site Coverage, August, 2005 (mP3 audio): Part 1 - Part 2 - Part 3 - Part 4
Clips from the above webcasts: Nora Callahan, Director of The November Coalition -- Amy Ralston, founder of the Can-Do Foundation; Garry Jones, the Advocate 4 Justice (mP3 audio)
The Patrick Crusade has hosted a forum: Why Am I Going To The March On DC? We'd like to hear from you - these informal messages will be available for media and promotional contacts.
There will be a variety of music and presentations at both the DC March Reception and the DC March itself.
The Heartland Crofters: Amy, Julie, Jess and Molly are sisters who have been singing together all their lives. Natives of America's heartland, their roots are in bonnie Scotland where their ancestors were crofters: simple folk who lived in highland cottages and worked the land. As the Heartland Crofters they sing folk music, raising their voices in song for praise, inspiration, and the simple joy of music. Visit their website: www.geocities.com/sr_judy/Crofters.html. A Song by The Crofters: If You Believe (mp3 Format)
Peter Love: Recording Artist/Songwriter/Entertainer/Music Producer; Founder of the SOC (Save Our Children) Foundation; and "Save Our Children" Song/Day Creator. Based out of the Chicago area, Peter Love has acquired an impeccable professional business reputation, while delivering high quality entertainment on and off stage. Mr. Love brings many years of performance and song writing, and relevant musical content to the DC March stage. Visit his website at: www.peterlove.biz. Download 2 Songs by Peter Love: A Mother's Love and Safe Harbor (mp3 Format)
Roberta Franklin, Director of Families and Friends of People Incarcerated, and lead organizer of the DC March. Ms. Franklin is a seasoned social justice organizer living in Montgomery, Alabama. Through her efforts, Ms. Franklin has garnered broad-based support from the general public and national officials. Franklin is the host of her own radio talk show, Let the Truth Shine, on Montgomery's WAPZ-AM.
Franklin was named a "Soros Justice Fellow" by the Open Society Institute (2004-2005), recognizing her criminal justice reform work in Alabama and with FMI. She also received the Excellence in Journalistic Broadcasting Award from The International Bannister Foundation, Critical Resistance South, Southern Center for Human Rights and Patrick Crusade at the first Family Members of Inmates Convention in 2003.
Bryan Stevenson, of the Equal Justice Initiative, will discuss Criminal Justice Sentencing. Mr. Stevenson, Executive Director of EJI and Professor of Clinical Law at New York University School of Law, has won national acclaim for his work challenging bias against the poor and people of color in the criminal justice system.
Since graduating from Harvard Law School and the Harvard School of Government, Stevenson has assisted in securing relief for dozens of condemned prisoners, advocated for poor people, and developed community-based reform litigation aimed at improving the administration of criminal justice.
Garry L. Jones, the Advocate4Justice, is a motivational speaker who has made guest appearances on local television in Tallahassee, FL, among others. A retired Lieutenant for the Federal Bureau of Prisons, he now speaks out for people adversely affected by the failed war on drugs. Garry has recently joined the Speaker's Bureau of LEAP (Law Enforcement Against Prohibition)
"During my career as a Correctional Officer, I would often ask myself the question: Why is the largest percentage of inmates black, when blacks in the United States are only 13% of the population? Why is prison so black when 80% of people in this country are white?
"When I retired in 2003, it became obvious that there had to be a way to advocate for justice for all people. Today, I am that advocate who is standing up and speaking out on behalf of thousands of prisoners who have been affected by mandatory guideline sentencing. I hope you will join our growing network of others working to end drug war injustice."
Dorothy Gaines, is an accomplished public speaker and former drug war prisoner. Dorothy Gaines spent six years in federal prison on a 19-year sentence for drug conspiracy charges, and was released by President Clinton's order of clemency on December 22, 2000.
Ms. Gaines teaches an unknowing public how mandatory minimum sentences and conspiracy laws are at the root of the growing federal prison populations. "These laws are getting people, not drugs, off the streets!"
Sherry Swiney, founder and Director of The PATRICK Crusade. "The mission of the Crusade is to correct the abuse that is endemic to our prison system. Many of the abuses that prisoners are forced to endure have been common knowledge to all for many years. Very few of these abuses are new, for things have changed very little in our prison system over the years."
Ms. Swiney is an accomplished speaker and organizer, with 15 years of experience in criminal justice reform.
Brother El Bey, of FOXO (FOXO (Fraternal Order of X-Offenders). FOXO is a community-based organization spearheaded by former-offenders who have personal experience, professional academic wisdom, and understanding about juvenile delinquency and criminal behavior.
FOXO believes we are in a battle for the hearts and minds of our youth. We believe that if the children are our future, then it is imperative that we reach our youth to ensure a better future for all.
L. Elaine Sutton Mbionwu, Founder & President/CEO of The National Re-Entry Resource Center, Atlanta, Georgia. Elaine serves in two capacities that are intimately connected and integrated towards providing second chances for the formerly incarcerated and their families. Elaine is the Founder, President/CEO of the NRRC, and is also the owner of Covenant Collaborative Consulting and Training.
As the Founder of the NRRC, Elaine's immediate efforts are
centered around 4 major goals towards building up the formerly
incarcerated and their families that include:
Another facet of Elaine's work is through Covenant where she serves as a Faith/Community based Re-Entry Strategy Consultant to churches and community organizations interested in building local, state, and national collaboratives through a comprehensive network of direct care service providers to address the critical continuum of care needs faced by individuals with incarceration histories.
Eric Sterling, President of the Criminal Justice Policy Foundation, is a nationally recognized authority on drug policy reform, federal sentencing, medical marijuana, the effects of the drug war on race, the economy and business, and the confluence of faith and drug policy reform.
Mr. Sterling was Counsel to the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on the Judiciary from 1979 until 1989. On the staff of the Subcommittee on Crime, (Rep. William J. Hughes (D-NJ), Chairman), he was responsible for drug enforcement, gun control, money laundering, organized crime, pornography, terrorism, corrections, and military assistance to law enforcement, among many issues. His expert analysis is used by Members of Congress, legislators, nationally syndicated columnists, major network television news programs, NPR, Pacifica Radio, 60 Minutes, Nightline, ABC 20/20, PBS Frontline, etc.
Barbara Ellis, Founder and Executive Director, FILO, Inc. (Families of Incarcerated Loved Ones). Ms. Ellis is supporting the struggle to fix the California's Three Strikes Law and to assist those deserving of re-sentencing, helping them transition back into society and become productive citizens. FILO also helps families cope with the pain of loved ones incarcerated for life sentences, assisting them with moving on with their lives.
Ellis is a life member of the NAACP and is active in community affairs that affect minorities, and an active member of New Hope Missionary Baptist Church in San Bernardino, California. As an activist she became the State Chair of Families to Amend the California's Three Strikes (FACTS) law, the leading advocacy group for the reform of California's notorious Three Strikes Law. Her travels have included the State Capital, 9th Circuit courts, the United States Supreme Court, numerous churches throughout the State of California, and public marches and broadcasts.
Cher Ford-McCullough is the Founder and President of the Women's Organization for National Prohibition Reform, Kentucky State Director of the American Alliance for Medical Cannabis and President of Compassionate Moms. She is a member of the ACLU and The Southern Poverty Law Center. Her name is listed on the Wall of Tolerance in Montgomery, Ala.
Cher participated in both the Florida and Texas Journey for Justice Marches in 2000 in the capacity of patient support. Cher has worked in drug policy and prison reform since the first Two Million Too Many protests in 1999. Prior to becoming a full time activist, she worked as a professional singer and a retail store owner in western Kentucky. Cher is married, has two daughters and four grandchildren.
Kenneth Glasgow is Founder and Director of TOPS (The Ordinary People's Society), Dothan Alabama. A former inmate and self made man, Mr. Glasgow is an Alabama activist who focuses on restoration of voting rights and helps inmates to re-enter Society. Glasgow, who's served time in Florida and Alabama prisons, is among the first wave of Alabamians with criminal records to register to vote under a law passed during 2003's special legislative session.
Glasgow was among busloads of formerly incarcerated people, national advocates and family members of prisoners to converge at the steps of the Alabama Capitol in April. 2004, marching as part of the Family Members of Inmates convention that took place in Montgomery. The Alabama group was founded by radio-talk show host Roberta Franklin, lead organizer of The March on DC.
Geri Silva, Executive Director and co-founder of Families to Amend California's Three Strikes (FACTS). Ms. Silva was born and raised in Los Angeles, where she spent the past 30 years in all forms of struggle for human, political and economic rights. Her activity covers the span from immigration rights, to welfare rights, to the right to decent housing for all in need.
For the past 17 years she has fought against the rampant and ongoing abuses in the courts and at the hands of the police. Silva was also a founding member of Mothers Reclaiming Our Children (Mothers ROC) in 1992.
Cheryl L. Kates, Esq. is the President of the Edge of Justice, an organization that performs inmate advocacy in New York State. Ms. Kates is a graduate of Syracuse University, and is in private practice as an attorney, focusing on parole issues, sentencing mitigation, and post conviction relief efforts. She is the former Interim Executive Director of the Syracuse, NY New York Civil Liberties Union and was in that position on September 11. She taught law at Bryant and Stratton and Rochester Business Institute to paralegals. Ms. Kates is also a Licensed Practical Nurse. In 2004, Kates received the Martin Luther King Drum of Justice Award from the Statewide Coalition of Families of Prisoners for her outstanding courage, committment , and leadership in advocating for inmate families. Ms. Kates can be reached at 121N. Fitzhugh Street, Suite 300 Rochester, NY 14614, (585) 820-3818.
John Flahive is co-founder with federal inmate George Martorano of We Believe Group; a group of concerned citizens supporting and helping inmates like George that have received harsh sentences for their non-violent (drug) crimes get that second chance. "I feel that all the problems within the prison system (abuse, violence, medical neglect etc., etc.) are due to the over populated conditions from "haywire" sentencing", says John. "I try to spread the FACTS to the public that the justice system is not what it appears -- it has become purely punitive and revengeful, when it should be corrective and rehabilatative." Mr. Flahive is currently a student at Saint Petersburg College in Florida.
Paul T. Robinson: He wasn't a gang member. He didn't see guns nor weaponry until serving in the military at age 21. He never had anything more than a traffic ticket. What made his drug conviction so unbelievable was the fact that Paul was raised in an affluent middle-class home with both parents. Yet, he served more than ten years on a federal drug conspiracy conviction.
Paul's wealth of real world experience has made him a recognized figure and valued advisor of topics related to individuals seeking to overcome challenges within their community. Paul motivates others to develop their own views on subjects such as voting rights for ex-offenders and post-prison sentences. His impressive journey of success over bad choices uniquely qualifies him as an expert in the area of human achievement and personal development. In addition to being a proponent of civic awareness, Paul serves as the State Coordinator of the Alabama Alliance to Restore the Vote.
Wanda Valdes will speak on behalf of her late husband, Frank. Mr. Valdes was beaten to death by guards at the notorious Starke State Prison in Florida in 1999. Since that tragic day, Wanda has become a tireless activist against the abuse of prisoners everywhere. You can read more about Frank and Wanda Valdes here and here.
Deborah Small is Executive Director of Break the Chains, an organization that seeks to build a national movement within communities of color against punitive drug policies. Break the Chains' ultimate aim is to implement progressive drug reform policies that promote racial justice and human rights. Before assuming her position at Break the Chains, Ms. Small was Director of Public Policy for the Drug Policy Alliance where she spoke regularly to the public and elected officials, religious and community leaders as well as parents about issues relating to our government's failed drug policy. Prior, Ms. Small was Legislative Director of the New York Civil Liberties Union. It was during this period that she became an ardent advocate for drug policy reform as she became increasingly aware of the number of young black men and women incarcerated for drug offenses. She is a native New Yorker and a graduate of the City College of New York and Harvard Law School.
Nora Callahan, Executive Director of The November Coalition, was raising two children and co-owner of an electrical contracting firm when her brother Gary Callahan was indicted for a drug conspiracy in 1989. His resulting 27-year prison sentence prompted her in 1997 to heed the request of prisoners at Oxford Federal Correctional Facility in Wisconsin: "Help us organize drug war prisoners and their loved ones to oppose this war."
Ms. Callahan shared the 1998 Thomas Paine Award from the Thomas Paine Society of California, recognizing individuals whose efforts encourage basic democratic principles. In 2000, Ms. Callahan accepted The Letelier-Moffitt Human Rights Award from The Institute for Policy Studies on behalf of The November Coalition. At the 2001 Drug Policy Alliance Conference, she was presented the Robert C. Randall Award for Achievement in the Field of Citizen Action.
Dalani Aamon, of Harambee Radio Network, was born in Washington, D.C. on August 25, 1955. He has written and lectured about black family dysfunction and all of the ills associated with it. His essays have had such a positive effect that he decided to make it available to the masses. His book "I Must Let My People Know" won the best non-fiction book of the year at the Harlem Book Fair. His articles have appeared in newspapers and magazines all over the world, and he has appeared on worldwide radio and television. On December 6, 2004, Dalani Aamon was awarded an Honorable Mention and National Finalist for the Non-Fiction Book Of The Year at the 2004 Urban Spectrum Book Awards.
Mr. Aamon is a member in good standing of the E Groups, The Blacklist, Sons of Afrika, SADA, The Drum Beat , The Black Power List, The Black Writers Group and more. He is a proud member of the Pan Afrika Movement. Mr. Aamon is the CEO and Founder of the Harambee Radio Network, launched May 1, 2004, and Founder of The Aamon Publishing Company. His show "Transformation" airs every Thursdays at 8:00 PM EST . Also visit Mr. Aamon's official website at www.dalaniaamon.com
Jean Marlowe is Co-Founder & Executive Director of the Women's Organization for National Prohibition Reform (WONPR) and Director of American Alliance for Medical Cannabis (AAMC-NC). She is a member of the ACLU, the National Organization for Women (NOW), the Southern Poverty Law Center & the Cannabis Consumers Campaign (CCC). She serves on the Executive Committee of the Polk County, NC Democrats. Her name appears on the Wall of Tolerance in Montgomery, Alabama.
Jean is a 10-year veteran of the War on Drugs, having started
holding rallies in her small NC county to raise awareness for
legislation in Congress introduced by Representative Barney Frank
in 1995. In 1998, after receiving a package of medical marijuana
from a farm in Switzerland, Jean was prosecuted by the federal
government and ultimately spent 10 months in Alderson Federal
Dorsey E. Nunn is Program Director of Legal Services for Prisoners with Children in San Francisco, and has worked for over twenty years on prison-related issues. He is the chair of the Criminal Justice Consortium, and a member of the National Organizing Committee for Critical Resistance.
Mr. Nunn has taught classes in the California Youth Authority on the Rights of Incarcerated Parents. Recently, he has been involved in focusing the public's attention on the need for better medical care for prisoners who have AIDS/HIV. He has spoken extensively on this issue and other issues relating to prisoners, their children and family members at numerous conferences, workshops, and demonstrations. Mr. Nunn has won numerous awards, including the Human Excellence Award presented by the San Francisco Muslim Community Center, a Certificate of Appreciation presented by the San Mateo County Board of Supervisors, and a Certificate of Special Congressional Recognition presented by Congresswoman Anna Eshoo. In 1971, at the age of nineteen, Mr. Nunn was sentenced to life in the California Department of Corrections under the felony murder rule. He paroled in 1981 and discharged from parole in 1984.
Kim Carter is Founder and Executive Director of Time for Change Foundation. Ms. Carter advocates for women and their issues, while empowering them to overcome obstacles preventing them from leading full and productive lives. She mirrors her idol Harriet Tubman by lighting a path and leading others to freedom from addiction and incarceration. Her motto is "A lit candle loses nothing when it lights another".
A CPA in Not for Profit Accounting, Kim is the only former client of Cedar House Rehabilitation Center to come back and serve on the Board of Directors as the Finance Chair and the Executive Board as the Treasurer. She is one of 24 women selected from across California to participate in the Women's Policy Institute Fellowship, where she learned how to advocate and create policies that will have a positive effect on women. Currently she is on several Advisory Boards and a founding member of Forever Free Alumni Association, which is comprised of 450 formerly incarcerated recovering women who have successfully maintained their freedom and sobriety to become active leaders in their communities. Her work has been featured in The Sun Newspaper, The Black Voice News and The Precinct Reporter, and she is the recipient of the NAACP "Community Pioneer Award", The Soroptimist International Women Making a Difference Award and the KCET 2004 Unsung Hero Award as well as the San Bernardino County 2005 Women of Distinction Award, presented by the county Board of Supervisors. She has been appointed as a Commissioner on the Status of Women for the county of San Bernardino, CA, 5th District. Kim is married to Mark Carter and proud mother of Miss 'Ola Dennis, a junior at Tuskegee Institute in Alabama.
George Crossley of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) served three and half years in Raiford and Union State Prisons in Florida, and will speak on the many abuses of prisoners he witnessed while incarcerated. George has worked on Civil Liberties issues for over 40 years and has also worked closely with Kay Lee and Making the Walls Transparent.
Plus many more exciting speakers and special guests!