Many of you have asked about our panelists from our screening of the documentary 13th over the weekend, so we want to share their mini-bios. They were incredible and we hope to host a part 2 of this panel, so we can glean more from their wisdom and experience about the issues of race, justice, community development, education and mass incarceration. If you'd like to connect with any of our panelists, or book them for speaking engagements, please email us.
Jim St. Germain: Jim is a speaker, and author of the memoir a Stone of Hope (available for pre-order), and founder of Plot Youth. Originally from Haiti, he grew up in Crown Heights, and was arrested more than a dozen times. Instead of prison, he ended up in a boys home for rehabilitation. Jim is now an advocate, a father, a mentor, and also served on the task force for the Obama Administration on mass incarceration.
Dequi kioni-sadiki: Dequi is a counselor at Landmark in Chelsea, as well as a human/prisoner rights activist. She married a formerly incarcerated man, who was a Black Panther and POW during civil rights movement. She leads several initiatives in NYC. Dequi is a mama, grandma, freedom fighter and peacemaker.
Ismael Nazario: Ismael was formerly incarcerated at Rikers, and his story is featured in the PBS documentary, Rikers. He is an advocate, a father, a mentor, speaker, and leads mentoring initiatives in NYC.
Marion Hayes: Marion is an ordained minister, and Prison Chaplain at Rikers Island, who works as an executive in Lower Manhattan. God gave her a burden for mass incarceration, and she began serving in jails, following her, and her husband's, time in seminary.
Stacey Touissant: Stacey is an NYC history expert, especially concerning the slave trade, issues of race and justice. Stacey is also a business woman and entreprenuer, who started Inside Out Tours six years ago. Offering tours of New York, such as the Underground Railroad and Slavery Tour, the Walking Gospel Tour and more, Stacey and her team educate people about the history of NYC. She's also a mama, and dedicated justice worker.
Cedric Johnson: Cedric is a professor at Wesley Theological Seminary in NYC, and wrote a book called Race, Religion and Resilience in the Neoliberal Age, and is knowledgable about the issues we face as a nation. He also works with community developers and church planters in NYC through Redeemer's City to City. He is an advocate, speaker, husband and father. Cedric and his wife, and their three children are planting a church in Crown Heights, Brooklyn.