Building New Constituencies to Win Safety for All
Alliance for Safety and Justice (ASJ) is a multi-state organization that aims to replace over-incarceration with more effective public safety solutions rooted in crime prevention, community health, rehabilitation and support for crime victims. Focused on the largest states in the country, we partner with state leaders and advocates to achieve safety and justice reforms through advocacy, organizing, coalition building, research and communications.
Launched in 2016, ASJ is currently engaged in eight states (Florida, Illinois, Ohio, Michigan, Texas, Arizona, Pennsylvania and our flagship in California-Californians for Safety and Justice). We are justice data and policy experts, grassroots organizers, attorneys and campaigners – we combine research and smart policy proposals with lobbying, constituency building and alliances to win changes in state laws.
ASJ is the sister organization of Californians for Safety and Justice, also a project of Tides Center and Alliance for Safety and Justice Action Fund, a 501(c)4 project of The Advocacy Fund.
- Paul Amador, IT Director
- Lenore Anderson, President
- Sara Blumenfrucht, Human Resources Manager
- Julie Browny, Grants and Contracts Associate
- Andrea Broxton, Chief of Operations
- Robin Campbell, Senior Staff Writer
- Juan Pablo Chavez, Florida Regional Manager, Crime Survivors for Safety and Justice
- Anna Cho, Survivors Speak Campaign Director
- John Cutler, Director of State Policy
- Kimberly Deterline, Communications Director, State Campaigns
- Brittanie Dial, Program Manager, Crime Survivors for Safety and Justice
- Shakyra Diaz, Managing Director of Partnerships/Ohio State Director
- Doug Dodson, Senior Coordinator for Advocacy and Campaigns
- Eris Eady, Regional Training Manager, Crime Survivors for Safety and Justice
- Shaena Fazal, Director of Legislative Advocacy
- Vickey Flores, Grants and Contracts Manager
- Tricia Forbes, Regional Manager, Crime Survivors for Safety and Justice
- Latiah (Tia) Hill, Scheduling Administrative Assistant
- Tinisch Hollins, California Director, Crime Survivors for Safety and Justice
- Jessica Hong, Operations Associate
- Mandela Jones, Chief of Communications
- Subhash Kateel, Florida State Director
- Brian Kenner, Local and State Government Best Practices Manager
- Jonathon Lewis, National Training Director, Crime Survivors for Safety and Justice
- John Maki, Local and State Government Best Practices Director
- Ellen McMann Sfecla, PHD, Senior Research Manager
- Kayla Nelson, Operations Associate
- Caroline Perez, Finance Director
- Kyla Perry, Human Resources Manager
- Nathan Pirtle, Time Done
- Jessica Reid, Development Director
- Terry Rillera, Executive Assistant
- Robert Rooks, Chief Executive
- Elizabeth (Liz) Sanchez, Program Manager to the President
- Harvey Santana, Michigan Government Affairs Manager
- Ida Sefer, Web & Data Manager
- Reena Singh, Development Associate
- Aswad Thomas, Managing Director, Crime Survivors for Safety and Justice
- Terra Tucker, Texas State Director
- Kristina Villarini, Digital Director
- Annie Whalen, Senior Manager for Storytelling & Content
- Keevonya (Keevy) Wilkerson, Operations Associate
- Jason Ziedenberg, Research and Publications Director
Paul AmadorIT Director
Paul is an information technologist with over eight years of executive experience designing 100+ custom software solutions for Enterprise and Startup clients like 3M, ESPN, SIEMENS, Clean Up Stockton, and more.
Paul is well-versed with software product design, and agile development to bring a new product to market. Paul is a nationally recognized app developer known for solving community problems, with formal recognition from the US Congress, Senators, Assembly-members, and County Supervisors.
Paul is a living kidney-donor whose donation sparked the nation’s biggest coast-to-coast kidney donation chain and was featured by Katie Couric on CBS Evening News.
Lenore is the founder and President of Alliance for Safety and Justice, and founder and Executive Director of Californians for Safety and Justice. She is an attorney with extensive experience working to improve our criminal justice system. She is a regular commentator in the media about challenges within our prison and justice system and new approaches to smart justice.
Lenore was the Campaign Chair and co-author of Proposition 47, a California ballot initiative passed by voters in November 2014 to reduce incarceration and reallocate prison spending to mental health, drug treatment, K-12 programs and victim services. The initiative represents the first time in the nation voters have elected to reclassify multiple sections of the penal code to reduce incarceration and reallocate prison spending to communities.
Previously, Lenore served as Chief of Policy and Chief of the Alternative Programs Division at the San Francisco District Attorney’s Office, where she spearheaded initiatives to reduce recidivism and improve public safety. She also crafted local and state legislation to aid victims of domestic violence, protect violent crime witnesses, reduce elementary school truancy and reduce recidivism.
Lenore also previously served as Director of Public Safety for the Oakland Mayor, overseeing the Mayor’s violence-reduction and police recruitment initiatives, and as Director of the San Francisco Mayor’s Office of Criminal Justice. There she oversaw $10 million in violence-prevention grants, advised the Mayor on public safety matters, and launched a citywide gun buy-back program, Community Policing Task Force and Juvenile Justice Task Force.
Lenore serves on the Advisory Board of the Innovations in Prosecution initiative of John Jay College of Criminal Justice. She is also a cofounder and served as the inaugural Chair of the Board of the Center for Youth Wellness, an initiative to reduce the health impacts of toxic stress on urban youth. She holds a J.D. from NYU School of Law and a B.A. from UC Berkeley, and lives with her family in Oakland, California.
Julie BrownyGrants and Contracts Associate
Before joining Alliance for Safety and Justice, Julie worked as a Compliance Coordinator and Alternate Responsible Officer for InterExchange, a cultural exchange non-profit organization that aims to bridge international gaps through work immersion.
Julie has also worked in administrative roles in physician offices and is a recent graduate of Hunter College in New York City, where she earned her B.A in both Psychology and Women & Gender Studies.
She works on the advisory board of Initiate Equity, a small consulting business that supports organizations pursuing racial justice through diversity.
Andrea BroxtonChief of Operations
Andrea Broxton is the Chief of Operations at the Alliance for Safety and Justice (ASJ), a project of Tides Center, and is responsible for leading the organization’s state and national operations. In this capacity, she oversees the operational and financial growth plans that enable ASJ to scale up and sustain its national reach across 15 states. Broxton joined ASJ in October 2018 and brings 20 years of experience in non-profit management and program development. She has a wealth of expertise in the areas of talent management, program strategy, and organizational planning. Her proven track record in building mission-driven organizations started early in her career when she led a mentoring program for children, ages 4-18, who had a parent in the state or federal prison system. During this time, she advocated for children and families impacted by incarceration and crime and learned first-hand about the urgent need to advance new safety solutions rooted in prevention, rehabilitation, and community health. Over the years, Andrea has carried this experience with her and has transferred this knowledge into how she develops systems that govern programs and organizations. Throughout the San Francisco Bay Area, Andrea is respected for her continuous learning approach to organizational and staff development. Beneath her approach is a keen awareness of the issues and innovations that unify people and create pathways for learning and collaboration, resulting in stellar programs and advocacy efforts that deliver a lasting impact on youth, adults, and communities.
Prior to joining ASJ, Andrea was the Vice President of Operations at the Partnership for Children and Youth, an advocacy and capacity-building organization championing high-quality learning opportunities for underserved youth in California, with an emphasis on after school, summer learning, and community schools. While at the Partnership, she improved the organization’s business management systems by refining organizational structures such as work and budget planning, restructuring compensation practices, and building an integrated people operation platform for staff to share knowledge, provide feedback, and design organization-wide initiatives. In addition to her extensive organizational development and operations experience, Andrea is trained in over 10 group facilitation and adult learning tools and methodologies and has coached 100’s of staff, programs, and organizations across the United States and abroad. As a capacity-builder, she has worked to leverage staff expertise and organizational culture to deepen annual and strategic planning strategies and scale business processes. Broxton holds a BA in Anthropology from Indiana University and currently lives in Oakland, CA with her husband and three children.
Juan Pablo ChavezFlorida Regional Manager, Crime Survivors for Safety and Justice
Juan Pablo has been working in Latino communities and with faith leaders for over 20 years. In 1992, he began organizing youth groups for the Archdiocese of Chicago. In 1999, he helped implement the CeaseFire model in the Southside of Chicago, a program to reduce shootings and murders while offering positive alternatives, and mobilized faith communities to respond when a shooting happened. Working with immigrant students (DREAMers) and clergy in Illinois, he helped secure in-state tuition for undocumented students in the state.
After moving to Florida, he worked with low-income senior citizens and faith leaders to access affordable housing and better public transportation. He has also worked with Latinos and faith leaders though the Florida Immigrant Coalition. As the Director of Clergy Organizing for Faith in Florida, he engaged 2,200 people of faith for various campaigns in support of proactive immigration policies while training 150 lay and clergy leaders to support local, state, and national policy changes in support of immigrant families in Florida.
Anna ChoSurvivors Speak Campaign Director
Anna began her career as a social worker and youth justice advocate. Her personal experience as a child sexual abuse survivor and family separation is what called her to work in policy. Anna joined CSJ after serving as the Policy Director of The Anti-Recidivism Coalition, where she helped pass three major pieces of legislation that encourage lawmakers to consider a young person’s age when they commit a crime as it relates to sentencing, parole eligibility, and more. Prior to ARC, she served in the office of State Senator Carol Liu where she developed a veteran intern program for legislative offices and worked on issues such as homelessness, juvenile justice reform, human trafficking, and women’s health.
Anna graduated from the University of Southern California with a Master’s in Social Work. She lives in Los Angeles.
John CutlerDirector of State Policy
John is a criminal justice reform advocate with extensive experience developing policy strategies for successful reform campaigns. As Director of State Policy at Alliance for Safety and Justice (ASJ), John leads the research and development of new policy approaches in support of ASJ’s work across states. Prior to joining ASJ, John crafted policy strategies for numerous criminal justice reform efforts, both legislative and ballot campaigns, in states across the country. John holds a J.D. from NYU School of Law and a B.A. from the University of Chicago.
John lives in New York.
Kimberly DeterlineCommunications Director, State Campaigns
Kim Deterline has over 20 years of experience working in communications and advocacy to pursue racial and economic justice and criminal justice reform. She has worked with the American Bar Association, the Ford Foundation, Open Society Foundations, the Innocence Project and Van Jones, co-host of CNN’s Crossfire. She founded and directed a communications training and capacity-building firm called We Interrupt This Message, which helped reform juvenile and criminal justice policy across the country, free innocent young men jailed due to racial prejudice, and defeat ballot initiatives that disproportionally and negatively impact people of color.
Kimberly spent five years in New Orleans, before, during, and after Hurricane Katrina. There she served as a policy advocate and communications consultant to the Juvenile Justice Project of Louisiana, which closed two notoriously violent youth prisons and increased alternatives to incarceration.She co-produced two videos on criminal justice and communications: The Moreno-Pacheco Story: A Case Study of Principles for Dealing with Race and Media and Sudden Custody Death? The Justice for Aaron Williams Campaign.
Her articles on criminal justice reform and racial justice issues have appeared in three books including Talking the Walk: A Communications Guide for Racial Justice.
Prior to ASJ, she spent a year and a half as the Interim Chief of Staff for Californians for Safety and Justice. She has a BA from UC Berkeley and spent a year as a visiting scholar at Harvard University. She lives in Los Angeles.
Brittanie DialProgram Manager, Crime Survivors for Safety and Justice
Before joining Alliance for Safety and Justice, Brittanie worked for the city of Cleveland’s civilian oversight of law enforcement agency where she managed the data management systems, civilian intake process and statistical reporting to various government officials and community stakeholders committed to improving the relationship between the police and the community.
Brittanie has over a decade of experience working on programming, community outreach, and development teams in the non-profit sector, advocating on behalf of homeowners who fell victim to predatory lending practices, and raising consciousness on social justice issues through community organizing and research.
Brittanie earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Sociology from Kent State University and Masters of Art degree in Sociology with a concentration on Justice Studies and Data Analysis from Cleveland State University. She is deeply committed to public service and serves as an active member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Incorporated where she sits on various committees in her local chapter.
She currently lives in Cleveland, Ohio.
Shakyra DiazManaging Director of Partnerships/Ohio State Director
Shakyra is a strategist with extensive public policy and organizing experience grounded in authentic coalition building.
Shakyra joined ASJ in 2016 as the Regional Director for the Midwest region, where she provided leadership for advocacy campaigns in the Midwest, resulting in criminal justice reforms and the establishment of trauma recovery centers to help underserved crime survivors heal.
Prior to joining ASJ, Shakyra worked as an educator and led policy reform campaigns. In these different capacities, Shakyra enhanced educational outcomes for students and led successful policy, legislative, and judicial rules campaigns to improve justice systems. Her efforts have led to the elimination of unfair drug law policies, enhanced protections for sexual assault victims during interviews, expanded access to counsel, supported voting rights access for currently and formerly incarcerated people, and ended routine juvenile shackling in courts. Drawing on her personal experience with sexual and community violence and her understanding of various systems, Shakyra helped shape systemic recommendations for reform efforts, including the Cleveland Division of Police’s consent decree.
Shakyra is a graduate of Case Western Reserve University and lives in Cleveland, Ohio with her family
Doug DodsonSenior Coordinator for Advocacy and Campaigns
Doug has worked in electoral politics for the last twenty-seven years. He has managed twenty-two campaigns including races for city council, mayor, state house, state Senate, U.S. Congress, governor, U.S. Senate and has served as state director for a presidential campaign. He has also worked as a political media consultant and field-GOTV consultant.
In addition, Doug served as Chief of Staff to Congressman Tim Bishop of New York and as a Department of Defense contractor and media specialist in Bogota, Colombia.
Doug’s passion for criminal justice reform was born in 2016 when he managed two successful criminal justice reform ballot initiatives in Oklahoma, initiatives 780 and 781, which voters overwhelmingly passed by 56% and 58% respectively. These bipartisan solutions to over-incarceration reduced the prison population and redirected the cost savings to counties to provide for drug treatment, mental health, and job training programs.
Eris EadyRegional Training Manager, Crime Survivors for Safety and Justice
Eris Eady (she/her) is a writer, poet, advocate and artist from Cleveland, Ohio. Believing in the necessary conjunction between arts & activism, Eris intersects storytelling & social justice with the pursuit of radical self love. Her writing has been featured in The Guardian, For Harriet, The Root & BBC Worldwide.
Eris holds a Masters Degree in Positive Organizational Development & Change from the Weatherhead School of Management at Case Western Reserve University. She currently serves as Training Manager for Crime Survivors for Safety and Justice working with victims of crime on how to tell their stories in service of advocating for change.
Her one woman show Womannish: Redefining Womanhood in a World that Won’t Make Room was presented at the Bisexual Arts Festival in Toronto, Ontario & her book Journey to Whole: excerpts, essays & exhales was published in 2016.
Vickey FloresGrants and Contracts Manager
Prior to joining the Alliance for Safety and Justice, Vickey worked for Bay Area Legal Aid as a Grants Officer, overseeing federal, local government, and foundation grants for Alameda County and Contra Costa County as well as re-entry grants and contracts in all counties of the Bay Area. During her year at BayLegal, she secured over $5 million in funding, including $2,650,000 from new sources.
She also previously worked at the East Bay Community Law Center (EBCLC), managing all local government, state, and foundation grants for the cities of Berkeley and Oakland on issues including housing/eviction defense, re-entry, public benefits, and immigration. While at EBCLC, she successfully transitioned the organization from an access-based case management system to a web-based database and provided trainings, best practices for data management, and statistics gathering.
In addition to her extensive work with legal aid organizations, she has also contracted with start-up non-profit organizations and has helped with systems, capacity-building fundraising, and preparing organizations for funder site visits and audits.
Vickey earned her bachelor’s degree from San Francisco State University with a degree in English Literature and lives in the San Francisco Bay Area.
Tricia ForbesRegional Training Manager, Crime Survivors for Safety and Justice
Tricia provides leadership and advocacy training to crime survivors and Crime Survivors for Safety and Justice partners across Texas. She has 25 years of experience working in the movement for social, economic, and racial justice. Her career began at a feminist collective family violence program in Asheville, NC doing community outreach and training. She obtained her Masters in Social Work from the University of North Carolina and did her practicums as a policy intern at the Common Sense Foundation and a counselor for sexual assault survivors at the Duke University Women’s Center.
After moving to Austin, TX in 1998, Tricia served as the Executive Director of ProTex: Network for a Progressive Texas and was a co-founder of the Texas Criminal Justice Coalition. She has also held leadership positions as the Grassroots Advocacy Director at the American Heart Association; Executive Director at the SIMS Foundation, a mental health organization serving Austin musicians and their families; and Deputy Director at the Texas Fair Defense Project.
Tricia has extensive consulting experience and has worked with criminal legal reform organizations like the Austin/Travis County Reentry Roundtable, as well as several projects that advocate for access to health care. Her most recent project was advocating for PREA (Prison Rape Elimination Act) compliance in Texas jails. Throughout her career, she has developed and presented training curricula on a range of issues, with a focus on ending sexual and domestic violence. A survivor of violent crime herself who has been in recovery from alcohol and drugs for a decade, she is passionate about working with other survivors to promote healing over retribution. She lives in Austin with her tween and teen children.
Latiah (Tia) HillScheduling Administrative Assistant
Latiah (Tia) Hill is the Scheduling Administration Assistant to Robert Rooks for Alliance for Safety and Justice. Tia has 15 years of experience in business administration, leadership, customer service and child advocacy both personally and voluntary.
Tia was brought to ASJ by the direct impact Prop 47 has played in her life with her family. Tia is the oldest of all her siblings and has dealt with the restraints of having a record held on their future for growth. Prop 47 has changed the lives and future of her family.
She is passionate about seeing individuals and families grow in every aspect of life. Tia has the desire to work with individuals helping them to build up their confidence, provide structure, support, encouragement, and motivation. She truly believes in investing in our community. Her purpose is to pour back into others by helping individuals to grow and change the trajectory in the world we live in.
Tia is a wife, mother, daughter and sister. Originally from Sacramento, California; she and her husband raise their four beautiful children. Tia is an advocate for children, families, and the educational system. She is a part of community organizations, locally and nationally to provoke change in the world by rehabilitation and the commitment to social change.
Jessica HongOperations Associate
Jessica is an Operations Associate at the Alliance for Safety and Justice. As a proud Seattle native, Jessica graduated from the University of Washington with degrees in both Creative Writing and American Ethnic Studies.
Her career in social justice started in education; she taught high school English in Philadelphia, PA before moving to New Orleans, LA where she served on operations teams at KIPP Leadership Primary and later ReNEW Accelerated High School.
Jessica is a recent transplant to Chicago where she performs stand-up comedy throughout the city.
Mandela JonesChief of Communications
Mandela is the Chief of Communications for Alliance for Safety and Justice and Californians for Safety and Justice. He is an astute political strategist and communications professional with extensive experience in the legislative branch of government, electoral and public policy issue advocacy campaigns. Prior to joining the Alliance for Safety and Justice, he worked for New York City-based police accountability campaign, Communities United for Police Reform (CPR), as its Director of Communications & Public Affairs. While there, he helped develop and lead coordinated communications efforts to elevate the voices of families impacted by police violence that led to the authorization of New York State’s first-ever special prosecutor for police killings of civilians. He also steered a multi-year communications plan that maintained the visibility of the Right to Know Act police accountability legislation to passage and enactment in New York City.
Mandela also previously worked in the New York Public Affairs practice of public relations and political consulting firm, BerlinRosen. His work there focused on helping issue advocacy clients dedicated to criminal justice and police reform, economic justice, and protecting the environment advance high-impact campaigns. He helped CPR shift public opinion in support of reforming the NYPD practice of stop-and-frisk and pass the Community Safety Act in New York City. Mandela also helped advance campaigns to raise the age of criminal responsibility and ban hydraulic fracturing in New York State.
Mandela previously served as the Budget & Communications Director for New York City Council Member Al Vann, who represented the neighborhoods of Bedford-Stuyvesant and Crown Heights in Brooklyn. He holds an M.P.A. from NYU Wagner Graduate School of Public Service and a B.A. from Colorado College, and lives in Brooklyn, New York.
Subhash KateelFlorida State Director
Subhash is an experienced strategist and community organizer with 15 years of experience advancing criminal justice reform in Florida and New York.
Subhash serves as the Florida State Director for the Alliance for Safety and Justice, where he is responsible for designing and implementing statewide campaigns to advance policies that improve public safety while elevating the voices of crime survivors. Over the course of his career, he has served as an executive director, organizer and a campaign director – successfully designing and implementing community education efforts and policy campaigns.
Subhash has experience building partnerships across a wide spectrum of stakeholders including faith based organizations, non-profits, elected leaders and organizations that represent working families. Subhash brings a sophisticated understanding of civic engagement to his work with ASJ, with experience building voter power via volunteer bases in communities with historically low voter turnouts.
Subhash spent three years on Miami’s airwaves hosting his own radio show – where he brought together guests from across the political spectrum to discuss Florida’s most pressing issues.
He is originally from Saginaw, Michigan but his growing family has called Florida home for almost a decade.
Brian KennerLocal and State Government Best Practices Manager
Brian is a public policy and budget professional. He serves as Local and State Government Best Practices Manager for the Alliance for Safety and Justice, where he is responsible for designing and implementing statewide campaigns to advance policies that improve public safety while elevating the voices of crime survivors.
Prior to joining the Alliance for Safety and Justice Brian served at the Safer Foundation as the Director of Policy, Advocacy, and Legislative Affairs. He was also Senior Policy Analyst for the Illinois House of Representatives where he served on committees concerning public safety funding, consumer protection, and high education.
Brian holds his BA in Communication and his MPA from the University of Illinois and currently resides in Chicago, Illinois.
Kayla NelsonOperations Associate
Before working with Alliance for Safety and Justice, Kayla worked as a paralegal for an Appellate Services Company in New York City preparing records, briefs, and motions for various New York State Courts. During this time she gained considerable knowledge ensuring consultant compliance in appellate rules and regulations. She is a recent graduate from John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York City earning her BA in Forensic Psychology.
Caroline PerezFinance Director
Caroline oversees the budget for Alliance for Safety and Justice, bringing 10 years of finance, administration, human resources and technology experience. Previously she worked at Fenton, a public interest communications firm, managing their San Francisco and Los Angeles operations while providing additional expertise to the firm’s New York and Washington, D.C., offices. This included contract negotiations, budgets and reporting requirements for many of the firms largest nonprofit and foundation clients, including The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, The California Wellness Foundation and First Five LA. With an interest in creating a positive, inspiring office culture, Caroline does her best to insert some playfulness into the hard work of social change organizations.
She has a BA in Politics from Saint Mary’s College and currently lives in Oakland, hoping to one day swim in Lake Merritt.
Kyla PerryHuman Resources Manager
Kyla is a human resources and business administration professional. Kyla serves as the HR Manager for State Campaigns at the Alliance for Safety and Justice where she is responsible for designing and implementing an organization-wide management infrastructure.
Kyla has more than a decade of experience assisting organizations and companies with streamlining human resource processes and implementing business administration best practices. Her work has included supporting strategic initiatives, project/program coordination, system implementation, recruitment initiatives and process efficiency.
She is an active member of a faith-based community and participates regularly in restorative/healing spaces in her church as a youth leader. In 2015 Kyla created a weekly virtual space for young women to deepen their spiritual practice.
Kyla received her masters in Human Resource Management and her MBA from the University of Maryland, University College.
Nathan PirtleTime Done
Nathan Pirtle is a globally recognized speaker, host, entrepreneur, marketing expert, activist and philanthropist who Forbes ranked on their 25 top marketers list in 2017 and 10 fold ranked Nathan the #2 marketing influencer in the world based off of real stats and analytics.
Nathan is a millennial-aged entrepreneur who is a consultant to various fortune 500 companies. He's credited with starting worldwide trends through his personal following which boasts an active audience of nearly 3 million and a monthly reach of more than 20 million. Pirtle is also the founder and CEO of Work With The Coach, a leading digital media company which represents and advises industry-leading artists and companies including Nicki Minaj, Gavin Rossdale, Apple Music, Youtube, Lil Wayne, BET Networks and more.
Terry RilleraExecutive Assistant
Terry Rillera is the Executive Assistant to Lenore Anderson and Jay Jordan. Previously she was the executive assistant at the California League of Conservation Voters, the nonpartisan political arm of California’s environmental movement, and before that at the Public Policy Institute of California, which performs independent, objective, nonpartisan public policy research.
She’s a long-standing volunteer with both the Tibetan Aid Project and the Berkeley Public Library Bookstore. Her poetry was anthologized in the collection “Going Home to a Landscape” and has appeared in both print and online journals.
Terry received her B.A. from UC Berkeley and her M.A. from University of San Francisco.
Robert RooksChief Executive
Robert is a seasoned organizer and campaigner who over the last two decades worked to achieve landmark wins in justice reform in multiple states.
Robert is the co-founder and Chief Executive of Alliance for Safety and Justice where he oversees all of ASJ’s state-based advocacy strategies and campaigns and the Organizing Director of Californians for Safety and Justice. Prior to ASJ, Robert was a national criminal justice campaigner and expert working to advance solutions to criminal justice problems through sentencing reform, crime victim advocacy and advancing new safety priorities. Robert was the Organizing Director for the Yes on Prop 47 campaign, a statewide ballot initiative projected to reduce incarceration and re-allocate savings to drug treatment, K-12 programming and victim services.
Robert also served as the Criminal Justice Director for the NAACP. Robert was the founding director of the program and provided strategic direction, oversight and management of criminal justice activities. He was responsible for launching the “Misplaced Priorities – Educate Not Incarcerate” campaign, where he worked with Right on Crime to recruit conservatives to join NAACP’s efforts to reduce state prison populations. Robert served as an adjunct professor at the University of Connecticut School of Social Work and St. Joseph’s College, and at Central Connecticut State University.
Robert lives in Sacramento, California with his family.
Elizabeth (Liz) SanchezProgram Manager to the President
Liz Sanchez supports the President and core program areas with program management. Prior to becoming Program Manager, she provided executive and administrative support for the organization.
Liz brings several years of experience in administrative support, Spanish interpreting and translation and legal assistance for immigration attorneys.
She gained a passion for social justice advocacy from her experience with the Criminal Justice system, through her father’s incarceration and as a youth advocate in Project WHAT!, a youth group that provides training and legislative advocacy work in California about the impact on children when a parent is incarcerated.
Liz received a B.A. in Criminal Justice from San Francisco State University and is currently apprenticing to become an attorney. She resides in Richmond, California with her family.
Reena SinghDevelopment Associate
Reena is the grant writer and development associate for Alliance for Safety and Justice. Prior to her work here she served as a grant writer at Northern Virginia Family Service, a social service agency that provides wraparound services to support and empower low-income families. She cut her teeth in the development field at New Virginia Majority, where she performed fundraising duties for three sister organizations creating progressive and transformative state-level social change. In addition to managing grantmaking, grant reporting, grassroots fundraising and special events, she also worked in conjunction with communications team to unroll a monthly giving program. Reena is also a former journalist. Prior to her work in social justice, she wrote for the Watertown Daily Times as the regional education reporter, as a beat reporter for The Connection Newspapers, and as a volunteer journalist for The Virginian-Pilot, shining a light in dark places and uncovering truths through the written word.
Reena earned a bachelor degree at Randolph-Macon Women’s College in 2010 and currently lives in Alexandria, VA.
Aswad ThomasManaging Director, Crime Survivors for Safety and Justice
On August 24, 2009, Aswad was 26 years old and just three weeks from going to Europe to play professional basketball. As he left a convenience store, he was approached by two men intent on robbing him and he suffered two near-fatal gunshots to his back, ending his basketball career. Aswad’s story was featured in the New Yorker Magazine, “Black Wounds Matter”, NPR, “Black Men Who Are Crime Victims Have Few Places to Turn, Sacramento Bee, “California’s crime survivors must speak out for smart justice, “VICE/The Marshall Project, “How I Came to Terms with the Man Who Shot Me, Marshall Project, “We are Witnesses”, and the Hartford Courant, “On Hartford Streets, A Life Nearly Derailed by Bullets”, “Hartford Shooting Survivor Stands Against The Violence”. He went on to become one of Connecticut’s most outspoken supporters of additional resources for victims of gun violence and has been a leader in building coalitions across racial lines to advance justice reform and prevent gun violence. Aswad founded Hartford Action, a grassroots organization working to empower communities to change policy and improve the relationship between the Greater Hartford community and the justice system.
Aswad is developing Crime Survivors for Safety and Justice Chapters in Alliance for Safety and Justice’s partner states (and beyond). He is helping to expand our national network of crime survivors to include those most commonly affected by violence, including young men of color, and help elevate those voices in state and federal policymaking debates. Aswad received a Master’s of Social Work, with a concentration in Community Organizing and focused area of study in Urban Issues, from the University of Connecticut, and a B.A. in Business Management from Elms College. He lives in Atlanta, Georgia with his Wife.
Terra TuckerTexas State Director
Terra is a policy analyst with more than a decade of experience in the Texas legislature and criminal justice field. Terra serves as the Texas State Director for the Alliance for Safety and Justice where she is responsible for developing and executing justice reform campaigns that center safety and that elevate the voices of crime victims.
For the past ten years, Terra served as a policy analyst working for the Texas Senate Committee on Criminal Justice, alongside Committee Chair and Dean of the Senate, Senator John Whitmire. She was responsible for drafting legislation related to criminal and juvenile justice, evaluating policy, guiding implementation, monitoring state agencies including the Texas prison system, and working with constituents on individual and community issues.
Terra served on select committees and boards dealing with human trafficking, wrongful convictions, and juvenile records. Most notably, she has used her experience working across party lines to help pass legislation to decriminalize truancy and maintain treatment options for incarcerated individuals in Texas. Additionally, she was instrumental in the passage of legislation to improve mental health standards in jails and establish pre-jail diversion for arrested persons.
Terra received a BA in Psychology from St Edward’s University in Austin.
Annie WhalenSenior Manager for Storytelling & Content
Annie has broad experience in project management, narrative-shifting and fundraising in the field of criminal justice reform. In her current role, she works across the organization to produce content and collect, share, and bank stories that reshape the conversation on safety and justice. Previously she served as Development Manager at ASJ and CSJ where she oversaw their full grant portfolios and worked closely with leadership to shape narrative and content for two rapidly growing organizations. Prior to joining ASJ, she played a leadership role in launching the organization JustLeadershipUSA, growing its funding portfolio and helping to implement its nationwide “Leading with Conviction” training program for advocates who are formerly incarcerated. Annie also worked as a Coordinator at the Freelancers Union and served as an AmeriCorps VISTA, and she has consulted with several other nonprofits. Annie received a B.A. and B.S. from the University of Vermont. She lives in San Francisco.
Keevonya (Keevy) WilkersonOperations Associate
Keevonya (Keevy) Wilkerson provides administrative support for staff and the Vice President of Alliance for Safety of Justice.
Keevy has over 20 years experience in legal administrative support beginning her work with many high profile law firms in Dallas, Texas. Propelled by her grief over the murder of her only brother John John, Keevy made the move to the non-profit sector, with hopes of amplifying the voices of victims of crime and their families. Her studies in Criminal Justice at Dallas Baptist University, led to a field research position at the Institute for Urban Policy Research at the University of Texas at Dallas. She has organized conferences dealing with drug awareness policy change, gun violence, and mothers against teen violence. Her personal story about the ineffectiveness of the “War on Drugs” was featured as an opinion editorial on Russell Simmons’ Global Grind website.
Keevy is a proud mother of 3 boys, including a United States Airman, and her little sister who is an actress and activist. She is also a comedian committed to policy awareness, criminal justice reform and spreading joy.
Jason ZiedenbergResearch and Publications Director
Jason is the Alliance for Safety and Justice’s Director of Research and Publications. He is the former Executive Director and Director for Research and Policy with the Justice Policy Institute. He has also served on executive team of probation, parole and juvenile justice agencies in Washington, D.C., and Oregon. He has conducted research for dozens of criminal justice policy groups, like the National Council on Crime and Delinquency, the National Center for Victims of Crime, the U.S. Justice Department, and the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP).
He is a graduate of the Columbia University School of Journalism in New York, and the University of Toronto.