Panelist Profiles


Dereca Blackmon
Youth Development Specialist

Dereca Blackmon is a youth development specialist with nearly 20 years experience engaging youth and communities in personal and social reflection.  She is the former Executive Director of Leadership Excellence, the premier youth development agency in the nation for African American children and youth.  In eight years, she orchestrated the growth of two nonprofit organizations, successfully maintaining the organizations’ integrity to their mission while implementing significant programmatic growth and relevance to the population serviced.  As a spiritual activist, she leads personal transformation programs for youth and women of color.  She is co-founder of Aya Solutions, LLC a unique consulting firm which helps institutions and individuals explore the intersections of race, gender and social justice.  She is also creator of the Butterfly Women’s Network, a program that promotes spiritual awareness for women.

Nola Brantley
Executive Director and Co-Founder, MISSSEY

Nola Brantley is one of the four incorporators of Motivating, Inspiring, Supporting and Serving Sexually Exploited Youth (MISSSEY), an organization that provides services to sexually exploited children in Alameda County and advocates about issues of child sexual exploitation.  She is a leader in program and treatment service development for sexually exploited children.  She has created and pioneered multiple programs in response to children and community needs. 

Meda Chesney-Lind
Professor of Women Studies, University of Hawaii at Manoa

Meda Chesney-Lind is nationally recognized for her work on women and crime.  Her books include Girls, Delinquency and Juvenile Justice; The Female Offender: Girls, Women and Crime; Female Gangs in America; Invisible Punishment; and Beyond Bad Girls: Gender Violence and Hype.  She has just finished an edited collection on trends in girls’ violence, entitled Fighting for Girls: Critical Perspectives on Gender and Violence.  Chesney-Lind is a Fellow of the American Society of Criminology and the Western Society of Criminology.  Chesney-Lind has served as Principal Investigator of a longstanding project on Hawaii’s youth gangs funded by the State of Hawaii Office of Youth Services.  She has also received funding to conduct research on the unique problems of girls at risk of becoming delinquent from the Hawaii Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention. She also serves as an advisory member of a Hawaii Department of Public Safety panel on the problems of women in prison in Hawaii.

Gena Castro Rodriguez
Executive Director, Youth Justice Institute

Gena Castro Rodriguez is the co-founder and executive director of the Youth Justice Institute in San Francisco and Alameda County.  She holds a BA in Psychology from Sacramento State University and a Masters in Counseling Psychology from the University of San Francisco. She is currently completing her Psy.D at the California Institute for Integral Studies where she is also an adjunct faculty in the community mental health program.  She is a Marriage and Family Therapist and provides individual and group therapy for young women in custody at local and state facilities.

Castro Rodriguez has worked in non-profit organizations with youth in the dependency and delinquency systems for 20 years and has developed and implemented several successful prevention and intervention programs to meet the needs of at-risk youth or those in the juvenile justice system.  Castro Rodriguez ‘s experience includes developing training, technical assistance and workshops in the areas of juvenile justice and mental health.  Her expertise includes the juvenile justice system, delinquency, gender, cultural competency, and trauma.

Kunti Dudakia ‘11
J.D. Candidate, UC Berkeley School of Law

Kunti Dudakia is a third-year law student at Berkeley Law and was the 2009 William K. Coblentz Fellow at the Thelton E. Henderson Center for Social Justice.  She developed a Black Women & Mental Health Pathfinder, a resource guide for advocates, which brings together significant research on Black women, mental health and incarceration.  She is the Solicitations Co-editor of the Berkeley Journal of African-American Law & Policy, Inaugural Board Member of the Women of Color Collective and served as the 2009-2010 Chair of the Faculty Appointments Committee. She was recently featured in Berkeley Law’s Alumni Magazine, Transcript, as a “Boalt Student Action Figure.”  Dudakia graduated summa cum laude from UCLA in 2007, with a degree in Communications and Women’s Studies.  During college, she produced the documentary short “Are You Black Enuf?  The Politics of the Black Female Identity,” which questioned the constructions of “blackness” in the mainstream media and explored the societal constructs and implicit stereotypes of black women.

Kolleen Duley
Doctoral Candidate, Women’s Studies Department, UCLA; and J.D. Candidate, UCLA School of Law

Kolleen Duley is a J.D. Candidate at UCLA School of Law and a Ph.D. Candidate in the UCLA Women’s Studies Department.  Her activism and research focuses on race and gender formations, criminality, and incarceration with an emphasis on remedial law and community justice strategy.  Her dissertation examines and critiques movements to pursue “gender responsive” prisons.  Duley’s activism includes advocating for incarcerated survivors of interpersonal violence with the community organization, Free Battered Women.  It is her aim to advocate for prisoners as well as engage in social justice education and dialogue within the academy, with her hometown community of rural white folks in upstate NY (and others like it), and especially within the dominant U.S. feminist movement.

Rev. Toni Dunbar
Associate Pastor and Director of Youth Guidance Ministries, City of Refuge United Church of Christ

Rev. Toni Dunbar is a founding elder of City of Refuge. Over the years she has specialized in community ministry, especially with youth in the juvenile justice system and with faith-based social services. She is a teacher, author, and consultant who truly loves God’s Word.

Jerry Flores
Doctoral Candidate, Sociology, University of California, Santa Barbara

Jerry Flores is a third year doctoral student in the Department of Sociology at University of California, Santa Barbara.  His dissertation research analyzes the experiences and pedagogical practices of instructors working in female juvenile detention facilities in California.  This project also explores how incarcerated girls and the instructors who teach them negotiate femininity inside of correctional facilities.  His other areas of research include prison ethnography and studies of race and incarceration.

Mary Louise Frampton
Faculty Director, Thelton E. Henderson Center for Social Justice

Mary Louise Frampton is the Faculty Director of the Thelton E. Henderson Center for Social Justice at the UC Berkeley School of Law, where she teaches in the areas of restorative justice and law and social justice.  In 2005 Frampton initiated the Communities in Justice partnership with the UC Berkeley School of Journalism and the Oakland Tribune to foster the discussion of restorative justice concepts in the mass media.  Her most recent publication is “Transformative Justice and the Dismantling of Slavery’s Legacy in Post-Modern America,” a chapter in After the War on Crime: Race, Democracy, and a New Reconstruction (NYU Press, 2008) which she co-edited with Jonathan Simon and Ian Haney Lopez.  Frampton practiced  civil rights law for 30 years and continues to represent death row inmates in federal habeas cases.

Julie Posadas Guzman
President, JPG Consultants

Julie Posadas Guzman J.D. has devoted her career to creating effective system reform and real solutions for youth in the juvenile justice system.  Before starting her consulting firm in 2009, Posadas Guzman was the Director of Girls Services for the San Francisco Juvenile Probation Department and a Victim Advocate with the San Francisco District Attorney’s Office.  During her tenure with San Francisco County, she designed model policies and programming for young women in detention that decreased their recidivism rates by 25%.  As a result of her successful track record, the United Way approached her to create the Girls Justice Initiative which later became the Youth Justice Institute, where she served as Co-Executive Director.  Posadas Guzman regularly trains judges, attorneys, probation officers, and community programs on best practices for working with system-involved youth.  Over the course of her career she has taught thousands of detained youth about their legal rights and responsibilities and currently facilitates advocacy classes for girls in juvenile halls throughout the Bay Area.  She currently serves on the Attorney General’s advisory committee on human trafficking and is a recognized expert consultant on juvenile justice issues for the California Corrections Standards Authority.  She partners with jurisdictions throughout California on juvenile justice reform, including Alameda, Contra Costa, San Francisco, and Los Angeles Counties.  Her firm specializes in designing and implementing model programs and coordinated system responses that address the unique needs of youth on probation and, the growing epidemic of girls in California who are victims of domestic sex trafficking.

Michael Harris
Deputy Director,W. Haywood Burns Institute

Michael Harris is the Deputy Director of the W. Haywood Burns Institute, a San Francisco-based, nationwide organization devoted to protecting and improving the lives of youth of color and poor youth and the well-being of their communities by reducing the adverse impacts of public and private youth-serving systems to ensure fairness and equity throughout the juvenile justice system.  At the BI, he is responsible for Disproportionate Minority Contact (DMC) work at BI sites and supervising program managers and staff. He was previously Assistant Director and Staff Attorney of the Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights of the San Francisco Bay Area, where he worked on a wide range of issues affecting the African American community, particularly juvenile justice and education. While at LCCR he also represented clients in cases involving environmental justice, employment discrimination, housing discrimination, community economic development, redistricting, and retail discrimination.  He has served as an adjunct professor at Golden Gate Law School in Appellate Advocacy and on the boards of several nonprofits related to at-risk youth, environmental justice, affordable housing, discrimination testing and philanthropy.

Jazz Monique Hudson
Poet Mentor, Spoken Word Artist, Artistic Educator

This fiery spoken word artist hit the scene at 16 and has shown a range of growth and evolution over the past 5 years. Now 22, Jazz is re-entering the spoken word genre with maturity, but no less fierce. Blogger, Wrenagade said of her, “The first time I ever saw this talented woman perform, her words were captivating, her energy was amazing, as she painted stories with scripture and rubbed her pregnant belly. She is dope. Since then I have seen her perform at countless events and I am always immensely impressed. Some people’s spirit shines through so beautifully when they bless a mic. No matter if she is spitting poetry, teaching a workshop or singing like song birds do, she brings love and grace and phenomenal talent to everything she does. I don’t know her personally but she keeps good company...Jasmine Hudson also known as Jazz....Is ardently intrinsic when it comes to words.” Jazz began in a poetry class at the West Oakland library her father placed her in, and got her first dose of the mic at Oakland’s black box when she was 15. Since then she has not only been a finalist in Youth Speaks’ revered Slam competition, she has competed in the adult sector including the budding Golden State Slam. Jazz has also shared her work in social justice arenas such as rallies for Oscar Grant, Black August events, and Soulciety’s Empower. Further demonstrating versatility with word, Jazz has also performed in oratorical fests and even with acclaimed hip hop artist Talib Kweli. Even now, as an artistic educator and youth mentor she strives to reach even further towards expanding her ability. Jazz says “Writing for me is breath taking, more than ever before and love my role as woman, teacher, mother, student.... And artist.”

Nikki Jones
Associate Professor, Department of Sociology, University of California, Santa Barbara

Professor Nikki Jones is an ethnograher and feminist scholar who studies the intersections of race, gender and justice.  She is the author of Between Good and Ghetto: African American Girls and Inner-City Violence, a co-editor of Fighting for Girls: New Perspectives on Gender and Violence (with Meda Chesney-Lind), Sociologists Backstage: Answers to 10 Questions About What They Do (with Sarah Fenstermaker), and Being Here and Being There: Fieldwork Encounters and Ethnographic Discoveries (with Elijah Anderson, Scott Brooks and Raymond Gunn).  Her next book is based on a multi-year, neighborhood-based ethnographic study of how African American men with street or criminal histories (adults and adolescents) change their lives, and their place in the neighborhood once they do.  The study is grounded in the Fillmore neighborhood of San Francisco and is supported by the William T. Grant Award for early career scholars (2007-2012).  Professor Jones is also the recipient of two New Scholar Awards from the American Society of Criminology’s Division on People of Color and Crime (2009) and the Division on Women and Crime (2010), respectively.  Jones earned her Ph.D. in Sociology and Criminology from the University of Pennsylvania.

Barry Krisberg
Research and Policy Director, Earl Warren Institute on Law and Social Policy, UC Berkeley School of Law

Barry Krisberg was recently named Research and Policy Director of the Earl Warren Institute on Law and Policy at the UC Berkeley School of Law (Boalt Hall).   Before his appointment, he was a Distinguished Senior Fellow and Lecturer in Residence at the Berkeley Center for Criminal Justice (BCCJ).  Before joining BCCJ, Krisberg was the President of the National Council on Crime and Delinquency from 1983 to 2009. He is known nationally for his research and expertise on juvenile justice issues and is called upon as a resource for professionals, foundations, and the media.

In 1993 he was the recipient of the August Vollmer Award, the American Society of Criminology’s most prestigious award.  The Jessie Ball duPont Fund named him the 1999 Grantee of the Year for his outstanding commitment and expertise in the area of juvenile justice and delinquency prevention.

His recent publications include “The Politics of the War Against the Young” in Frampton, Lopez, and Simon (Eds.), After the War on Crime: Race, Democracy, and a New Reconstruction, (2008), Continuing the Struggle for Justice: 100 Years of the National Council on Crime and Delinquency (2007),“Juvenile Offending” (with Angela Wolf), in Heilbrun, Sevin, Goldstein, and Redding (Eds.), Juvenile Delinquency, New York: Oxford University Press (2005).

Krisberg received his Masters degree in criminology and a Doctorate in sociology, both from the University of Pennsylvania.

Nancy K.D. Lemon
Lecturer, UC Berkeley School of Law

Nancy Lemon, a leading authority on domestic violence for more than 29 years, pioneered its study in law schools and is the author of Domestic Violence Law, the premiere textbook on the subject (West Group, 3d. Ed. 2009). Lemon has taught the Domestic Violence Seminar at Boalt -the first law school class of its kind- since 1988, and also directs the Domestic Violence Practicum.

Lemon has specialized in domestic violence law as an advocate and practicing attorney, working both with victims of domestic abuse and police and public agencies charged with responding to domestic crime.

Lemon served on the board of the California Partnership to End Domestic Violence, as well as its predecessor, the California Alliance Against Domestic Violence (CAADV), where she helped draft and work toward the passage of many pieces of state legislation benefiting victims of domestic violence and their children. She currently consults and testifies as an expert witness on domestic violence in criminal prosecution, defense, family law, asylum, and tort cases.

In Spring 2011, she is co-developed and is co-teaching with Barry Krisberg the course “Girls and Women in the Criminal Justice System.”

In 2009, Nancy Lemon received both an Outstanding Women of Berkeley Award from the Commission on the Status of Women and the Lifetime Achievement Award from the California Partnership to End Domestic Violence.

Monique W. Morris
CEO, MWM Consulting Group, LLC
Monique W. Morris is CEO of MWM Consulting Group, LLC, a research and technical assistance firm that advances concepts of fairness, diversity and inclusion.  She is the former Vice President for Economic Programs and Executive Director of the Financial Freedom Centers for the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) and has nearly 20 years of professional and volunteer experience as a scholar advocate in the areas of civil rights and social justice.  Morris is also a leader in facilitating community response strategies designed to reduce the disproportionate representation of youth of color in the juvenile justice system.  For almost 15 years, she led efforts to examine and respond to racial disparities in the justice system.  She has worked in partnership with state and county agencies, academic institutions and communities throughout the nation to develop comprehensive approaches and training curricula to eliminate ethnic and gender disparities in the justice system.  Her work has informed the design and development of improved culturally competent and gender-responsive continua of services for youth.

Morris is a member of the Advisory Collective for the new Human Rights and Social Movements Program for the Harvard Kennedy School’s Carr Center for Human Rights Policy; a member of the California State Subcommittee on Reducing Disproportionate Minority Contact; and a former Board member of the Center for Young Women’s Development, a nonprofit organization based in San Francisco, CA, which provides intensive intervention and rehabilitative services for young women who have been involved in the justice system. Morris is the author of "Too Beautiful for Words."

Priscilla Ocen
Critical Race Studies Law Fellow, UCLA Law
Priscilla Ocen is the Critical Race Studies Law Fellow at UCLA. Her fellowship project will examine the intersection between race, gender and mass incarceration, particularly with respect to incarcerated and formerly incarcerated Black women.

Priscilla graduated magna cum laude from San Diego State University with a B.A. in Africana Studies and Political Science (2003).  Thereafter, she received her J.D. from UCLA School of Law (2007) with a specialization in Critical Race Studies.  Upon graduation, Priscilla clerked for the Honorable Eric L. Clay of the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit.  Following her clerkship, Priscilla served as the Thurgood Marshall Fellow at the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights of the San Francisco Bay Area, where she litigated in the areas of voting rights, affirmative action, school desegregation, police misconduct and spearheaded the development of a Black Women’s Reentry Project.

Tiara Phalon

Tiara Phalon is from the Bay Area. She is a Poet/Actress and Facilitator/Youth activist. She most recently worked with Leadership Excellence and Youth Together, both non-profits focused on empowering inner-city youth.  She is a liaison between multiple generations and believes that the voice of youth holds the answers of tomorrow. When she’s not performing or speaking, she is at home doing homework or spending time with her husband and son.

Fiza Quraishi
Staff Attorney, National Center for Youth Law (NCYL)

Fiza Quraishi specializes in Juvenile Justice reform. Prior to becoming a staff attorney at National Center for Youth Law in 2010, Fiza was an Equal Justice Fellow at NCYL, providing direct representation for foster youth with unmet mental health needs. She also trained youth advocates on mental health law, and worked with other child advocates in California to develop ways to increase clients’ access to mental health care.  Fiza graduated from University of Michigan Law School, and received her BA from Barnard College in New York, where she was student body president. She has spent the past 10 years working on behalf of at-risk and foster children. Prior to law school, she worked at the Vera Institute of Justice in New York, an organization focused on justice system reform, and later directed the Red Hook Youth Court, a delinquency prevention program in Brooklyn. Fiza spent the summer after her first year of law school working on education equity issues at the Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund. During her second summer, she clerked at NCYL, working on child welfare litigation. During law school, Fiza was involved in the Child Advocacy Law Clinic and helped create Legal Advocates for Youth, a student organization that provides community for law students interested in youth-related legal work. Fiza was awarded the 2007 Jane L. Mixer Memorial Award for promoting social justice in the law.

Russell Robinson
Visiting Professor, UC Berkeley School Law

Russell Robinson is a Professor at UCLA School of Law and Visiting Professor at UC-Berkeley School of Law (2010-11).  Robinson’s scholarly and teaching interests include antidiscrimination law, race and sexuality, law and psychology, constitutional law, and media and entertainment law.  His publications include: Casting and Caste-ing: Reconciling Artistic Freedom and Antidiscrimination Norms, 95 Cal L. Rev. 1 (2007); Uncovering Covering, 101 Nw. U. L. Rev. 1809 (2007); Perceptual Segregation, 108 Colum. L. Rev. 1093 (2008); Structural Dimensions of Romantic Preferences, 76 Fordham L. Rev. 2787 (2008); and Racing the Closet, 61 Stan. L. Rev. 1463 (2009).  He is also working on an article regarding the legal regulation of sexuality in prison, which will be published in California Law Review in 2011.

Robinson graduated with honors from Harvard Law School (1998, and received a B.A. degree summa cum laude from Hampton University (1995).  Robinson clerked for Judge Dorothy Nelson of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals (1998-99) and for Justice Stephen Breyer of the U.S. Supreme Court (2000-01). He has also worked for the U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Legal Counsel (1999-2000) and the firm of Akin, Gump, Strauss, Hauer and Feld in Los Angeles, practicing entertainment law (2001-02).

Marlene Sanchez
Executive Director, Center for Young Women's Development

Marlene came to the Center for Young Women's Development at age 15 looking for employment and a way out of the juvenile justice system. She was hired as a community health outreach worker, providing HIV/STD education and harm reduction supplies and love to hundreds of young women who lived and worked in the underground street economies of San Francisco. In 1999, she was sworn in by the Superior Court of San Francisco as the first "youth" appointed to the San Francisco Juvenile Justice Commission, where she served for five years. She is currently the co-chair of the Community Justice Network for Youth, a national organization of community-based programs that serve youth of color in the juvenile justice system, a founding member of All of Us or None, a movement to restore the rights and fight against the discrimination of formally incarcerated people and young women. Marlene has been recognized by the Dali Lama as an Unsung Hero and most recently celebrated at the National Centerforce Conference where she received the Harold Atkins award for ending cycles of incarceration. Marlene provides trainings to organizations around the country who want to understand and adopt CYWD's vision, programs, and methodology.

Isis Sapp-Grant
Executive Director and Founder, Youth Empowerment Mission, Inc.

Isis Sapp-Grant is a social worker by training, a leader and a true transformer. Coming of age at the height of the crack and AIDS epidemic, Sapp-Grant walked the dangerous path as a gang leader in the mid 1980s.  However, after years of funerals for her teen friends and near-death experiences, including the shooting and ultimate death of her boyfriend, she reached a turning point and began a transformation that saved her life.  With the support of teachers and a mentor, Sapp-Grant finished high school, went on to attend Fisk University and received her undergraduate degree from Stony Brook University.  She received a Masters in social work from NYU in 1997.  In 1998, Sapp-Grant started the Blossom Program for Girls, a community based gender-specific, alternative program to address the very different needs of young women.  Blossom became the first program in NYC to provide a safe community alternative for girls in crisis who would otherwise be incarcerated.  Today, Sapp-Grant is the Founding Executive Director of the Youth Empowerment Mission, Inc.  She is the recipient of the Robin Hood Heroes Award, The Union Square Award, National Council on Crime and Delinquency Program Excellence Award, the Public Advocates Leadership Award, Redbook’s Hero Award, The Brooklyn District Attorney’s Extraordinary Women Award and others.

Jason Seals
Adjunct Instructor, Merritt College, African American Studies Department

Jason Seals is a Pan Africanist who carries on the tradition of activist-intellectual, using his knowledge and skills to address critical issues in the African American community. Currently, Professor Seals is dedicated to rehabilitating and rebuilding the African American family, and shifting the cultural mentality of African American males, as a means towards liberating the African American people. Prior to joining the Merritt College faculty, Jason was Program Director at Leadership Excellence, a non-profit organization committed to educating and empowering African American youth for personal and social change. Jason has over 14 years of experience in youth services and community work. Jason earned a Bachelors of Arts in Sociology from San Jose State University. After working in the community for several years, he went on to earn a Master’s degree in Africana Studies from University at Albany SUNY and a second Master’s in Counseling Psychology from University of San Francisco.

Lateefah Simon
Executive Director, Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights of the San Francisco Bay Area

Lateefah Simon is the Executive Director of The Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights, an organization that champions the legal rights of people of color, poor people, immigrants and refugees, with a special commitment to African-Americans.  At age 15, she joined the Center for Young Women's Development (CYWD), first as a volunteer and then as a staff member, working to provide homeless, low-income and incarcerated young women with the tools they needed to transform and rebuild their lives.
At 19, Ms. Simon was appointed Executive Director of CYWD, becoming one of the youngest leaders of a social service agency in the country. During her 11-year tenure, Ms. Simon became a nationally recognized advocate for juvenile and criminal justice reform, and also focused her organizing efforts around poverty, reproductive and immigrant rights and GLBT issues.

Before joining the Lawyers’ Committee as Executive Director, Ms. Simon led the Reentry Services division of a new initiative at the Office of San Francisco District Attorney Kamala D. Harris.

In addition to the MacArthur "Genius" Fellowship, Ms. Simon has received numerous awards, including the Jefferson Award for extraordinary public service in 2007. She was named "California Woman of the Year" by the California State Assembly in 2005, and also has been recognized by the Ford Foundation, the National Organization for Women, the Women's Foundation of California, and Girls, Inc.

Andrea Shorter
Commissioner, Commission on the Status of Women, San Francisco City and County

Andrea Shorter is the former Deputy Executive Director of the Center on Juvenile and Criminal Justice, where she worked to advance the cause for alternatives to detention and improving support services for girls and LGBT youth offenders.  Since 2000, she has served as a Commissioner on the Commission on the Status of Women for the City and County of San Francisco, where she served five terms as its President.  Under her leadership, she has led the Commission and the Department on the Status of Women to become an international model for advancing gender equity principles and as featured presenters at the United Nation’s Commission on the Status of Women’s Commission’s 2010 conference as the only municipal entity implementing the principles of the Convention to Eliminate Discrimination Against Women.

In August 2009, Shorter joined Equality California to guide key initiatives within communities of color and faith towards restoring civil marriage rights for same sex couples in California.  In 2009, she was awarded a David Bohnett Fellowship at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government’s Senior Executive Education Program.

Carol J. Silverman
Senior Research Associate, Thelton E. Henderson Center for Social Justice

Carol J. Silverman has a broad social science background, specializing in the fields of poverty, homelessness, mental illness and affordable housing.  Before joining the Henderson Center research staff, she served as Research Director of the Center for Self Help Research (CSHR) at the Public Health Institute, Berkeley, California, and also The Institute of Nonprofit Organization Management at the University of San Francisco (INOM).  At CSHR, she served as the co-principal investigator on a series of studies funded by the National Institute of Health/Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Agency.  The series studied the effectiveness of services operated for people with a mental health diagnosis by similarly diagnosed people.

Silverman received her Ph.D. in Sociology from UC Berkeley and was a postdoctoral fellow in the School of Social Welfare.  She has published extensively in the fields of housing, mental health and nonprofits and foundations.  She is a lecturer or adjunct faculty at UC Berkeley, San Francisco State, University of San Francisco and New College of California.

Celsa Snead
Executive Director, The Mentoring Center

Celsa Snead has worked on behalf of youth in the areas of youth advocacy and juvenile justice for over 15 years.  In addition to completing an analysis of California’s juvenile justice system for her Master’s thesis, she has focused her work on criminal and juvenile justice issues, youth development and civil rights at the Urban Strategies Council in Oakland, and the Youth Law Center, the American Civil Liberties Union, and the Center on Juvenile and Criminal Justice in San Francisco.  As a deputy public defender in Contra Costa County, she represented juveniles in both dependency and delinquency matters. She has taught juvenile justice, legal research and writing and criminal law in the Criminal Justice Department at San Francisco State University.

She joined The Mentoring Center in 2003 as the Program Director for an intensive case management and court advocacy program that provides an alternative to detention for Oakland youth who are chronic offenders.  Once at The Mentoring Center, she became involved in the Center’s Policy Department, focusing specifically on juvenile justice policy. She is an expert in juvenile justice with a focus race and gender, especially as it relates to Black men and boys and to issues impacting girls and women involved in the juvenile and criminal justice systems.  As Executive Director of The Mentoring Center, she consults with the Oakland Unified School District, the Alameda County Probation Department, the Corrections Standard Authority and other government agencies and community-based organizations on the issues of juvenile justice, reentry, youth violence, mentoring and gender-specific services for system-involved girls.

She earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Sociology and Master’s Degree in Public Policy both from the University of California at Berkeley.  She also received a Juris Doctorate from University of California, Los Angeles School of Law.


The Honorable Trina Thompson '86
Presiding Judge of the Juvenile Court, Alameda County Superior Court

The Honorable Trina Thompson ‘86, is the Presiding Juvenile Court Judge of the Alameda County Superior Court for the State of California.  She is also an Advisory Board member of Court Appointed Special Advocates for Children (CASA).  She was the first African American woman elected to the bench in Alameda County.  She has served as an Alameda County Superior Court Commissioner, where she handled juvenile delinquency and dependency matters.  Before she was appointed Court Commissioner in 2001, she had a private criminal defense practice, handling juvenile, misdemeanor, felony and capital cases.  She was also an Alameda County Assistant Public Defender, and has held positions at Hanson, Bridgett, Marcus & Vlahos; the National Center for Youth Law; the Law Offices of Howard Moore; and the Alameda County District Attorney’s Office.  She lectures nationally and has served as a media legal commentator.  She received an A.B. in Legal Studies from the University of California Berkeley and a J.D. degree from Boalt Hall School of Law (Berkeley Law).

Wilda L. White '83
Executive Director, Thelton E. Henderson Center for Social Justice

Wilda L. White ‘83 joined the Thelton E. Henderson Center for Social Justice in December, 2008, as the Center's Executive Director.  She began her career as a Staff Attorney at The Legal Aid Society in the South Bronx and was managing attorney at Sterns & Walker, handling insurance bad faith, civil rights, and personal injury cases. She was an Assistant City Editor of The Miami Herald during the time that the newspaper won the Pulitzer Prize for Public Service and an international management consultant with McKinsey & Company, where she specialized in strategic planning. Most recently, White was a partner with Walker, Hamilton & White, where she handled personal injury, wrongful death, civil rights, employment, and disability discrimination cases.

Flozelle Woodmore
Assistant Director, A New Way of Life Reentry Project

Woodmore, who served 20 years of a life sentence for killing her abusive partner, is among the rare few to have gained freedom after being sentenced to life in prison in California.  After 10 parole hearings (and being found suitable six times), Woodmore was finally released from prison in August of 2007.  While in prison, Woodmore obtained her GED, completed a vocational certification program, assisted with creating a battered women group, and became a member of an initiative to support youth at-risk of becoming ensnared in the criminal justice system.  Since her release, Woodmore has been active in advocacy campaigns with a range of local and statewide organizations, in an effort to reduce California’s reliance on incarceration and harsh punishment.