MEET THE STAFF
Dr. Nubian OmiSayade Sun, LCSW-BACS – Founder/ Executive Director
Dr. Nubian OmiSayade Sun, LCSW-BACS, Educator-Scholar, Consultant, and Spirit-Filled Practitioner, is a native of Memphis, TN (Home of the Blues). She earned her Bachelor’s degree in Social Work from the University of Tennessee- Chattanooga and received her Master’s degree in Social Work- Community Welfare Management from the University of Tennessee- Knoxville (Nashville Campus). She obtained her doctorate degree in Social Work Policy, Planning, and Administration from the Whitney M. Young Jr., School of Social Work at Clark Atlanta University. Her social work practice, andragogy, and scholarship interests include the following: the Afrocentric Perspective in Andragogy and Praxis, Incarceration/Reentry- Women and Girls, Healing and Creative Arts in Social Work, and Black Women and Healing-Informed Leadership. She travels between the worlds of theater, culinary arts, West African dance and drumming, visual/abstract art, healing arts, and music. As a Spirit-Filled Practitioner, she uses a plethora of African traditional methods, methods of the American South, Eastern, and indigenous healing practices in helping others to help themselves.
Devohn Philips – Regional Social Services Coordinator
Devohn Paris Phillips, a native of Durham, NC and a graduate of the State University of NY @ Albany, is a formerly incarcerated woman, abolitionist, and agent for social change. Utilizing Fifteen years of substance abuse and mental health experience as a platform to assist women who were bailed out and supported by SONG, Devohn successfully discovered, explored and discussed her deepest desires to end Money Bonds. As an Organizer with AOUON in collaboration with FICPFM Devohn successfully campaigned door to door to get amendment 4 passed. As a facilitator, Devohn is a core member of Participatory Defense in Durham which has assisted over 50 families navigate the criminal justice system. Devohn volunteered to assist several progressive political candidates in Durham get elected, Santana Deberry District Attorney, Clayton Jones District Court Judge, and Dave Hall District Court Judge. Devohn has contributed her talents to several organizations in Durham. The Committee on the Affairs of Black People, Durham Beyond Policing, Forward Justice, Spirit House, The Outreach Team, and You can Vote, to assist Black communities in reaching our common goal of liberation. Her favorite roles are daughter, mother, aunt and, grandmother.
Veronica Huggins, Ph.D., LMSW – Social Services Consultant/ CEO/ Founder of Huggs for All
Dr. Veronica Huggins currently serves as a board member with CEO: Churches Embracing Offenders. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in English from Johnson C. Smith in Charlotte, NC, Master of Social Work from the University of Georgia and a Ph.D. in Social Work in Social Work Policy Planning Administration & Social Science from Clark Atlanta University. She has been a tenured-track Social Work faculty at the University of Southern Indiana for five years. She holds social work licensure in Georgia and Indiana. She has experience working in both micro and macro level capacities. Her areas of interest are: re-entry of ex-offenders, personal development, and self-efficacy among vulnerable populations. She has several years of practice/field experience from working within the communities and schools.
Cristiane Rosales – Fajardo- Family Preservation Consultant/CEO Founder of El Pueblo NOLA- NOLA Village
Cristiane (Cristi) Rosales – Fajardo is a Black Latinx organizer and the founder of El Pueblo NOLA – NOLA Village, the driving force responding to the needs of the Latinx community in New Orleans. Cristi and her children were displaced by Hurricane Katrina, and once they returned, were instrumental in rebuilding the community with the help of fellow Latinx and Vietnamese immigrants. For over a decade, she has served as the first point of contact for community members to help them navigate unfamiliar systems (court, school, medical), resolve conflicts and crises (legal, familial, cultural, economic), build community empowerment through raise awareness and mutual aid via local organizations, and develop several youth programs to address the most critical gaps. She currently serves on the board of Lift Louisiana and is a member of the Journey for Justice alliance.
Bridgette Simpson-Case Management Consultant/ Co-Founder of Barred Business
Bridgette Simpson is a Formerly Incarcerated Survivor, Activist, Author, Motivational Speaker, Life Coach, Mentor, Co-Founder of Barred Business, Founder of Brijects.com, CEO of Celebrity Smiles, Community Organizer for Women On The Rise, Board Member for Reverse The Cycle of Incarceration, Outreach Consultant for A Loving Act, Organizer for Women Run Campaign, Canvasser for Working Families Party, and Trail Blazer who partners with other Survivors, Activists, Social Justice Reform Organizations, Organizers, Public Figures, Formerly Incarcerated and Incarcerated people to empower, inspire change and promote hope. After spending a decade training in the professional corporate arena, Bridgette spent 10 years in the state of Georgia’s department of correction, receiving up close and personal training in the penal system. Bridgette now fuses both aspects of her training to educate the masses on the inequalities of the criminal justice system and the pressing need for social justice reform. Because of Bridgette’s unique experiences, she has the ability to connect with the beating hearts of people who are or have been behind bars, their supporters, and people who are uninformed about the malfunctions of the criminal justice system. Bridgette holds a BA in Finance and Africana Studies from Rutgers University School of Management Honors College Newark, New Jersey, and a Graphic Designs and Media Specialist certificate. Bridgette has completed formal training in running campaigns and canvassing with WFP. She also works with Women on the Rise, Racial Justice Action Center, Solutions Not Punishment, Women Run Campaigns, Working Families Party, National Council for Incarcerated and Formerly Incarcerated Women and Girls, and A Loving Act.
MEET THE BOARD
Adande Lane Is The CEO And Founder, EmpowerSHE Coaching And Consulting
St. Louis, MO
Adande is an Empowerment Expert, educator, author, and speaker who specializes in identity development, transformational coaching and relationship building. She has worked for years to create quality seminars and workshops for young adults, women and the LGBTQ community. As a Guidance Specialist, by day, Adande is credited for her bold and genuine approach to character development. She makes the hard work it takes to grow into your best self—seem effortless. Now the founder of empowerSHE Network, Adande creates safe spaces for women to BE and Become by offering spirit centered coaching and transformative workshops for the everyday woman.
Shetika Watkins CEO and Founder, Uplifting Families Therapeutic Services, LLC
Shetika Nicole Watkins (affectionately known by peers and family as Tika), hails from Nashville “Music City” Tennessee. Ms. Watkins received her formal education in Nashville Davidson County school system, and graduated with a B.S in psychology from Tennessee State University in 2000, and pursued a graduate degree in Organizational Leadership and Communication from Belmont University in 2009. Shetika has been a humble and public servant in the social service sector with more than 19 years of experience as an family and children services social worker, alcohol and drug counselor, mental health counselor, consultant, life coach, educator, as well as a fiery advocate for the voiceless and looked over in today’s society. As a self-described “introvert”, Shetika is totally fulfilled by the love of God, family, her faithful dog Tux, and her favorite sports teams ever, the Tennessee Titans and the Los Angeles Lakers. Shetika currently resides in Atlanta, GA. where she is the proud co-founder Uplifting Families Therapeutic Services LLC. located in Lawrenceville, Ga.
Civil Rights Attorney, The Moore-O’neal Law Group, LLC
New Orleans, LA
Mandisa Moore-O’Neal is a Black feminist and founder of The Moore-O’Neal Law Group, LLC, a black feminist law and policy practice. Currently, she is a civil rights attorney with a focus on employment and public accommodations discrimination litigation and advocacy, labor law litigation and advocacy, HIV De-criminalization education, advocacy and litigation, family law and just entering the police accountability realm. Mandisa has researched, published and presented on reproductive justice and the law, punitive social policies, and state violence. Her current research project is “A Black Feminist Approach to HIV De- Criminalization.”
Primary Care Social Worker, TVHS VA Medical Center Women Veterans Clinic
Karen Roberts works as a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW) with a myriad background of education and training in human behavior, mind/body therapies, expressive arts and non-profit management. have extensive experience in working as a change agent, building, organizing, envisioning and implementing programs for non-profit agencies whose missions are to provide programming for vulnerable populations. Karen has a broad therapeutic knowledge base with a focus on working with women, children and families exposed to trauma/abuse. She is an integrated health practitioner with knowledge and training in evidenced based therapies, expressive arts facilitation and mind/body therapies. Prior to becoming an LCSW, she served as the founder and artistic director of a 20- year non-profit performing arts company that used dance as a vehicle for behavior and social change. She is flexible, multi-dimensional, pragmatic, yet highly creative. She is also a self-motivated, introspective and a life-long learner.
Dr. Chenobia Webster-Hill holds a Doctor of Social Work (DSW) in Clinical Practice and Leadership. She is currently active as a licensed clinical social worker (LCSW) in the states of Arkansas, Mississippi, and Tennessee with experience in clinical counseling in higher education. She has almost 20 years combined as an educator, licensed clinical supervisor and clinical practitioner with experience of clinical licensure, understanding the DSM and its application in clinical practice, anxiety, depression, relationships, diversity focusing on microaggression at Predominately White Institutions and developing mental health outreach focus on dismantling the stigma of mental health. Dr. Webster-Hill brings the art of storytelling to dialog on difficult conversations surrounding the social work role in acknowledging, understanding and actively engaging to confront societal inequities.
Reentry Staff, Philadelphia Public Defender’s Office
The Philadelphia Defenders Office
LaTonya Myers is community organizer in Philadelphia. While incarcerated LaTonya has found that her true passion in rooted in organizing and educating people on issues affecting formerly incarcerated people. Upon being released, LaTonya began volunteering for the ACLU Smart Justice Campaign. She also began volunteering as a Social Justice and Advocacy Initiative leader in the People’s Paper Co-Op, a reentry program run by the Village of Arts and Humanities using art to bring awareness to women being affected by mass incarceration. This past March, LaTonya organized the Annual Liberty and Justice for All event, a community event that educates the LGBTQIA community of their civil rights before voting in elections in addition to getting folks registered to vote. LaTonya was a keynote speaker at the National Association of Incarcerated and Formerly Incarcerated Women and Girls Conference in 2018. LaTonya is presently employed at the Defender Association of Philadelphia as a bail navigator. She recently co-authored the State of Women and Reentry Report with the Philadelphia Commission for Women.
Director of Black Leadership and Engagement Strategic Partnerships, Planned Parenthood
New Orleans, LA
Nia E. Martin-Robinson is an avid social justice activist, originally from Detroit, MI. Since 2000, she has been a strong advocate for Environmental Justice. She began this work with Detroiters Working for Environmental Justice and later switched gears to sharpen her organizing skills with the Service Employees International Union. From 2006-2011, she served as Director of the Environmental Justice and Climate Change Initiative. There she worked with her team to bring the voices of people of color, Indigenous Peoples and low-income communities to the debate on a state, federal and international level. Nia is an alumna of Bennett College in Greensboro, NC where she also served as the Activist in Residence. She graduated summa cum laude with a Bachelor of Arts & Sciences in Interdisciplinary Studies with a concentration in Women’s Studies and Political Science and minors in Sociology and Global Studies. Nia is currently lending her talents and expertise as the Director of Black Leadership and Engagement with Planned Parenthood Federation of America.