Congresswoman - Bonnie Watson Coleman
Bonnie Watson Coleman, a long-time and influential advocate for the people of New Jersey, is currently serving her sophomore term in the United States Congress. Prior to her election as Representative for New Jersey’s 12th Congressional District, Watson Coleman served eight consecutive terms in the New Jersey General Assembly. The daughter of legendary state legislator John S. Watson, Watson Coleman has continued a family legacy of public service fighting for women, economic and socially disadvantaged populations, and other vulnerable groups in our society. Watson Coleman has led the call for reforms to prisoner re-entry programs, fighting tirelessly to shut the revolving door of recidivism for individuals who have returned from incarceration. She also serves on the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform. In 2016, Watson Coleman was a founder of the Congressional Caucus on Black Women and Girls, the first House caucus to study policy issues related to the success and accomplishments of that population.
Founder of New Vision Organization - Leonna Brandao
Leonna Brandao is a social worker and the founder of New Vision Organization, Inc., which is a nonprofit, grassroots organization, advocating for the incarcerated and soon to be released, men, women and youth. As a Social Worker, Leonna spent many years working with families, children and adolescents before coming to the reality that lightning can strike anyone, anywhere and anytime. After returning to the States from her travels in 1996, Leonna continued working in the health care profession, while advocating for prisoners and prison reform. As Leonna became more aware of the abuses, deprivations, harassment, provocations and lack of appropriate medical and psychological care within the penal system, she put all her energy and efforts into helping prisoners in every area.
Dean/Professor - Stan Stojkovic
Stan Stojkovic (Ph.D., Michigan State University) is Professor of Criminal Justice and Dean in the Helen Bader School of Social Welfare at University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, where he has taught since 1983. His primary teaching responsibilities and interests are in the areas of corrections, public administration, philosophy, delinquency, and criminology. His major research interest is in the area of correctional administration. He has been a presenter at professional conferences, and his essays and reviews have been published in such journals as Pace Law Review and Criminal Justice Policy Review. In addition, he has served as coordinator of the California Leadership Institute for the California Department of Corrections.
Congressman - Elijah Cummings
Congressman Elijah E. Cummings has dedicated his life of service to uplifting and empowering the people he is sworn to represent. He began his career of public service in the Maryland House of Delegates, where he served for 14 years and became the first African American in Maryland history to be named Speaker Pro Tem. Since 1996, Congressman Cummings has proudly represented Maryland’s 7th Congressional District in the U.S. House of Representatives. Congressman Cummings often says that our children are the living messages that we send to a future we will never see. In that vein, he is committed to ensuring that our next generation has access to quality healthcare and education, clean air and water, and a strong economy defined by fiscal responsibility. Congressman Cummings currently serves as the Ranking Member of the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform. He also seeks to identify appropriate reforms that prevent waste, fraud and abuse and that ensure government programs meet the needs of the American people.
Lawyer/Director - Thena Robinson Mock
Thena Robinson Mock serves as Director of Advancement Project’s Opportunity to Learn Program. She is a civil rights and community lawyer with over a decade of experience in racial and social justice advocacy. In this role, Thena leads Advancement Project’s education initiatives aimed at supporting grassroots community organizing to end the criminalization of students of color and challenge school privatization policies that fuel education inequity in communities of color. Thena also served as a Staff Attorney for the New Orleans office of the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) where she defended youth impacted by school-based arrests. Her legal and policy background also includes fair housing and juvenile justice.
Congressman - Steve Cohen
Congressman Steve Cohen is a fourth-generation Memphian who has dedicated his life to public service. As a child, the challenges of living with polio taught him how to overcome obstacles through persistence and determination, values which would shape his career as a legislator. Filing to run for office on the same day he first registered to vote, Congressman Cohen stepped onto the path that has defined his life and affected the lives of people in Memphis, across Tennessee and now across America throughout his career in national, state and local politics. During his 24 years in the Tennessee State Senate, Congressman Cohen amassed a strong record of passionate, honest and unselfish service. Upon election to the U.S. House of Representatives in 2006, Congressman Cohen immediately distinguished himself on the Hill for his thoughtful legislation and quick wit. Congressman Cohen has also dedicated himself to providing outstanding constituent service to the citizens of Memphis.
Congresswoman - Robin Kelly
Congresswoman Robin Kelly has dedicated her career to public service as an advocate for Illinois families. Since being elected to serve the 2nd Congressional District in 2013, she has worked to expand economic opportunity, community wellness, and public safety across the state, championing numerous initiatives to generate job growth, reduce health disparities, and end gun violence. Congresswoman Kelly is a Member of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee (the main investigative body of the House), and serves as the Ranking Member of the Subcommittee on Information Technology, where she has focused her efforts on improving cyber-security, strengthening IT-infrastructure, and encouraging new and emerging technologies. Prior to her election to Congress, Kelly was a member of the Illinois House of Representatives, served as Chief Administrative Officer of Cook County (the second largest county in the United States) and was Chief of Staff to Illinois State Treasurer Alexi Giannoulias - becoming the first African American woman to serve as Chief of Staff to an elected constitutional statewide officeholder.
Congressman - Bennie Thompson
Congressman Thompson has spent his entire life giving a voice to the voiceless. The Congressman’s lifelong public service record is a testament to his unwavering dedication to fulfill and exceed the expectations of the constituents of the Second Congressional District of Mississippi. A native of rural Bolton, Mississippi, Thompson has always been aware of the realities that plague the South. Viewing the experiences his family endured first hand became the catalyst for his passion for those who were oftentimes under-served. After graduating from college, Thompson followed in the footsteps of his mother and worked as a schoolteacher. It was during this time that he began to aggressively pursue a career in politics. Congressman Thompson has served the Second Congressional District since 1993. He is the longest-serving African-American elected official in the state of Mississippi. He is also the only Democrat in the Mississippi Congressional Delegation.
Director of Federal Legislative Affairs - Molly Gill
Molly Gill is FAMM’s director of federal legislative affairs. She works with federal legislators, affected family members, and other criminal justice stakeholders to promote sentences that protect public safety and that are proportionate to the offense. She also serves as a commissioner on the District of Columbia Sentencing and Criminal Code Revision Commission. She is a member of the D.C. Bar, and has a law degree from the University of Minnesota Law School and a bachelor’s degree from Oral Roberts University, where her Christian faith inspired her to advocate on behalf of prisoners. She has spoken on a wide variety of academic and conference panels and is frequently a guest lecturer for the Washington Semester program at American University in Washington, DC.
Visiting Criminal Law Scholar - Melissa Hamilton
Dr. Melissa Hamilton is a visiting criminal law scholar at the University of Houston Law Center. She earned her J.D. from The University of Texas School of Law and a Ph.D. within the fields of criminology and criminal justice from The University of Texas's graduate program. Her research focuses on the theory and statistics of criminal punishment. She was an editor of the Texas Law Review, was awarded the designation of Chancellor based on academic achievement, and graduated with honors. After law school, she clerked for Judge Sam Johnson on the United States Circuit Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit. Hamilton also has years of prior experience in the capacities of a police officer, corrections officer, and undergraduate lecturer.
Congressman - James Clyburn
James E. (Jim) Clyburn is the Assistant Democratic Leader, the third-ranking Democrat, in the United States House of Representatives. When Jim Clyburn came to Congress in 1993, he was elected co-president of his freshman class and quickly rose through leadership ranks. He was elected Chairman of the Congressional Black Caucus in 1998 and Vice Chair of the House Democratic Caucus in 2002. Three years later he was unanimously elected Chair of the House Democratic Caucus, and when Democrats regained the House majority in 2006, Congressman Clyburn was elevated by his colleagues to House Majority Whip. As a national leader he has championed rural and economic development. Many of his initiatives have become law.
Immigration Attorney - Claudia Slovinsky
Claudia Slovinsky is widely regarded as one of New York City’s top immigration and nationality attorneys. She has over thirty-five years of experience in the field and founded her firm, Claudia Slovinsky and Associates, PLLC, in 1980. The firm represents businesses, non-profit organizations and individual clients in the full range of immigration and nationality matters. Ms. Slovinsky, in addition to representing clients, is active professionally in immigration law and policy issues and serves as a teacher, advisor, and mentor in the field. In addition, Ms. Slovinsky is a past chair of the Committee on Immigration and Nationality Law of the New York City Bar Association. She is also a member of the American Immigration Lawyers Association and the National Immigration Project of the National Lawyers Guild.
Congresswoman - Suzan DelBene
Congresswoman Suzan DelBene represents Washington’s 1st Congressional District, which spans from northeast King County to the Canadian border, and includes parts of King, Snohomish, Skagit, and Whatcom counties. First sworn into the House of Representatives on November 13, 2012, DelBene brings a unique voice to the nation’s capital, with more than two decades of experience as a successful technology entrepreneur and business leader in the private sector. Through her role on the House Judiciary Committee, DelBene is at the forefront of issues relating to technology and privacy, and has become a leading voice in the House calling for greater transparency and oversight of the NSA to restore American’s privacy rights, which passed. DelBene also serves as co-chair of the New Democrat Coalition’s 21st Century Job Skills Working Group, and co-chair of the Women's High Tech Caucus, Internet of Things Caucus, Trademark Caucus, and Aluminum Caucus.
Author/Wrongly Convicted - Howell Woltz
Howell Woltz, was born in Mt. Airy, NC. He has three children and currently lives at his farm in Advance, NC, writing and fighting for reform of the American System of Justice, which now incarcerates more of its citizens than any nation on earth or in history. In April 2006, Howell Woltz was arrested at his farm by the FBI and was falsely imprisoned for conspiring to defraud the United States government. He was forced to plead guilty to a crime he did not commit and to give false testimony against the real target of a federal investigation. Although his wife committed no crime, she was imprisoned and held hostage to guarantee Howell would be a "cooperative witness". He refused to do so, until his wife was near death as a consequence of her imprisonment. In order to secure her release, he agreed to "cooperate". Howell Woltz served his 87 month sentence in a Federal prison, though never convicted by any court with jurisdiction. Howell Woltz a book about his true wrongful convictions story, titled: Justice Denied, revised and updated January 2014; it can be purchased on Amazon.com.
44th President of the United States - Barack Obama
President Barack Obama was born on August 4th, 1961 in Honolulu, Hawaii to a mother from Kansas, Stanley Ann Dunham, and a father from Kenya, Barack Obama Sr. Barack Obama was sworn in as president on January 20th, 2009, in the middle of the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression, at a time when our economy was losing 800,000 jobs a month. He acted immediately to get our economy back on track. Since then, the private sector has added back more than 10 million jobs during the longest, uninterrupted period of job growth in our nation’s history. Obama believes an economy that's built to last starts by growing and strengthening the middle class. He’s been driven by the basic values that make our country great: America prospers when we’re all in it together, when hard work pays off and responsibility is rewarded, and when everyone—from Main Street to Wall Street—does their fair share and plays by the same rules.
Senator - Dianne Feinstein
As California's senior Senator, Dianne Feinstein has built a reputation as an independent voice, working with both Democrats and Republicans to find commonsense solutions to the problems facing California and the nation. Since her election to the Senate in 1992, Senator Feinstein has worked in a bipartisan way to build a significant record of legislative accomplishments, helping strengthen the nation's security at home and abroad, combat crime and violence, battle cancer and protect natural resources in California and across the country. In 2009, Senator Feinstein assumed chairmanship of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, where she oversaw the nation’s 16 intelligence agencies. She was the first female Senator to hold that position.
We discuss the attorneys and prosecutors of America's judicial system, and focus on their motives inside and outside of the courtroom. Are they interested in fair and true justice or are they putting up a front?
Denver Community Liaison - Stephanie King
Stephanie has been involved with Addiction and Recovery for over 10 years. She is a certified Drug and Alcohol interventionist. Over the past 10 years Stephanie has dedicated herself to helping addicts and has been successful in doing so. Involved not only as an interventionist, but also sober coach, relapse prevention, and working with families. "I was inspired to do this work because I know firsthand all the effects that addiction has on the addicts loved ones". Addiction is a family disease that does not discriminate. Stephanie, has also made a commitment not only to raise public awareness of the epidemic of alcoholism and drug addiction, but also do what she can to change the stigma associated with addiction. Today, Stephanie is working for one of the best treatment centers in the country - The Shores Treatment and Recovery.