Teiahsha Bankhead, Ph.D., LCSW, Executive Director, is a social justice activist, a restorative justice advocate, a licensed psychotherapist and a professor with both MSW and Ph.D. degrees in social welfare from the University of California, Berkeley. Born to a Black radical mother during the uprising of the Watts Rebellion and coming of age in South Central Los Angeles during the embittered racial relations and social unrest of the civil rights era ignited within Dr. Bankhead a passionate commitment to social justice advocacy and transformative community empowerment. Dr. Bankhead has a commitment to racial justice, racial healing and restorative economics. She has taught racial, gender and sexual orientation diversity, theories of criminal behavior, and US social policy at the undergraduate and graduate levels. She speaks and holds circle on the subjects of School-Based Restorative Justice, Race and Restorative Justice, the Indigenous Roots of Restorative Justice, Social Justice and Restorative Justice, Truth-Telling and Racial Healing, Youth-Led and Movement-Based Restorative Justice, the School-to-Prison Pipeline, Mass Incarceration, and Restorative Cities.

Jodie Geddes is a national thought leader on restorative justice and truth-telling. She is a graduate of Eastern Mennonite University where she received her M.A. in Conflict Transformation. Jodie currently serves as the Healing Circles Manager at Restorative Justice for Oakland Youth (RJOY). Her role involves supporting the design and implementation of weekly African-American Healing Circles, events, and training.

Jodie is also a published author and poet.

Katherine Culberg, RN, PHN, Re-Entry Project Director. Katherine, a Euro-American and queer woman, began her career as a registered nurse, who quickly developed a passion for public health and social justice. Her focus has been on adolescent girls and boys in urban, under served, and under resourced areas. Katherine has worked in remote areas of Nicaragua with teen mothers. She has been active in developing and managing school based health centers in Oakland as well as providing direct service to youth as a school nurse. After years of feeling that traditional intervention and prevention models were limited, she began to look for additional ways to best meet the healing needs of those youth she worked with and loved. She turned to the study and practice of Restorative Justice, ultimately resulting in a position with RJOY on an independent contractor basis directing the re-entry program at Camp Sweeney and facilitating Victim Offender Education groups at San Quentin State Prison with Insight Prison Project.

Andrea Jones, RJOY Administrative Manager. Andrea joined the RJOY team after over 25 years of professional experience working in Oakland at a nonprofit healthcare company. She earned her MPH at the University of California at Berkeley and a B.A. in Human Biology from Stanford University. Andrea’s career interest in promoting healthy communities, lifestyles and experiences for folks in her community reached an inflection point on the morning of Friday February 17, 2017 when she and her young son were victims of a violent gun crime. The experience triggered a series of negative health outcomes (physical and mental) for her family.  The circumstances of the shooting also left her feeling angry, confused, let down and uncared for by city servants she trusted. A twist of fate brought her to Restorative Justice for Oakland Youth where she contributes her talents to leading the office operations and administrative functions at RJOY as well as embarking on a restorative justice healing journey for herself and her family. In her spare time, she’s a soccer mom, a gardener with a budding farm to table vegetable plot, a mother, daughter, sister and friend and one of a group of women who camp (glamp, actually) together at Fallen Leaf Lake every August and spend a great deal of time watercolor painting, hiking and crafting!

Gary Malachi Scott is the Re-entry and Community Restorative Justice Coordinator. He co-founded the North Oakland Restorative Justice Council and is on the Safety and Services Oversight Commission (Measure Z) in Oakland. Malachi has experience as a journalist, including articles in the New York Times and the San Francisco Chronicle. He has been featured in other articles around the issue of incarceration and restorative justice. He came to restorative justice through the Victim Offender Education Group, a program of the Insight Prison Project, while incarcerated at San Quentin State Prison. During his incarceration, he obtained an Associate’s Degree, co-founded a restorative-justice based group called Kid C.A.T. (Creating Awareness Together) and was the sports editor for the San Quentin Prison News.

Bijon J. Barnes, Communications Coordinator, Bijon J. Barnes is currently a communications major and Africana studies minor at San Francisco State University. Bijon graduated from Citrus College with an Associate’s degree in liberal arts for communications as well as an Associate’s degree in language arts. He first began to engage in social justice, community and non-profit work with the Youth Mentoring Action Network, a non-profit organization focused on youth of color, where he was a mentee turned youth mentor and staff member. He took his experiences and brought them to the Community Service Division of The City of Rancho Cucamonga where he worked in various positions for nearly five years. Barnes contributes both his professional and lived experience to RJOY and is committed to uplifting the healing practice of restorative justice from an anti-racist anti-biased lens as enlightened by indigenous practice.

Ellen Barry is a longtime racial and social justice activist. She serves as RJOY’s Director of Development and Contracts. She founded Legal Services for Prisoners with Children in 1978 and was executive director until 2001, when she passed the baton to formerly incarcerated leadership. She has consulted extensively with organizations, foundations and communities around the prison industrial complex, mass incarceration and issues affecting incarcerated parents, especially women and girls. She was a co-founder of Critical Resistance, National Network for Women in Prison and the Circle for Justice Innovations. She is a Senior Soros Justice Fellow (1997), a MacArthur Fellow (1998) and, as one of 1000PeaceWomen, was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize (2005/2008.) She is a family member of incarcerated and formerly incarcerated people, and the mother of two amazing young people.

Reuben Roberts Restorative Justice Schools Coordinator. After graduating college with a Bachelor’s Degree in Sociology, Reuben began his career on the East Coast in the Tri-State Area, where his work consisted of Group homes and Juvenile Detention Centers. He would eventually move to the Bay Area, where he started his career in OUSD as a Restorative Justice Schools Facilitator for 7 years. After gaining a ton of experience working in schools, Reuben would take it a step further by aligning with organizations in the community that focused on restorative healing for the entire family. This led to where he is now, at Restorative Justice For Oakland Youth. His goal is to not only create safe spaces for young people to address their trauma, but also create healing spaces for their families and the communities that they reside in.

Naima Shalhoub, Restorative Justice for Oakland Youth (RJOY) is the Restorative Women and Girls Services Coordinator for RJOY with an M.A. in Postcolonial Anthropology. She is a vocalist, musician, performer and educator. For the past twelve years Shalhoub’s work has explored the “borderlands” of belonging, memory, and freedom to which she refers in her TedXLAU talk in Beirut. Within that, her community organizing work has focused on interrupting and ending cycles of violence from military occupation, colonization and the prison-industrial complex while participating in the collective imagination and dreaming of a liberating present and future. Three years before joining RJOY this year, Naima was a school-based RJ coordinator for Oakland Unified School District for two years and taught music full-time for one year at a charter school in Richmond. Naima has toured the United States and Lebanon extensively with her music and community organizing work. She has performed at national conferences and universities such as the National Conference on Community and Restorative Justice, Rutgers University, the National Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation and others. She’s given keynotes speeches at secondary schools, taught at universities such as San Francisco State University, and her intersectional work combining music, performance and social justice with a focus on ending the prison industrial complex has been featured on AJ+, the San Francisco Chronicle, East Bay Express, Upworthy and others.

Dewey has Bachelor Degree in Business/Accounting and has been working in non-profit and public
accounting for the past twenty years. He began as a student of Sociology and was disenchanted with
what he perceived as academia’s distance from the social problems which it studied. A switch to
studying Business was born out of a realization that organizations who were passionately pursing social
interest work needed authentic allies in the area of business administration.

Outside of his work time he enjoys reading, hiking, watching films, listening and playing music (bass &
keyboard), and self-reflection.

Community Initiatives

Ruth Williams, President/CEO, Community Initiatives, was named President and CEO of Community Initiatives in 2017, after serving on the board for nearly 8 years including 2 years as chair. More than anything else, Ruth loves the diversity of causes served by Community Initiatives. Ruth brings to Community Initiatives 20 years of experience in philanthropy, grants administration, financial analysis, and program development. She has served as Chief Operating Officer at the Osher Marin Jewish Community Center, an 11-acre campus visited by over 2,000 people daily. There she managed a 14-person leadership team and was responsible for 250 union and non-union employees in multiple programs and operations functions. Previously, Ruth served as Single Stop USA’s West Coast Regional Director. Single Stop is a national anti-poverty non-profit based in Harlem, New York. Through a network of 1.5 million nonprofits nationwide, they provide coordinated access to safety net services worth $750 billion. Prior to that, Ruth served as a Senior Program Officer for ZeroDivide, a technology foundation based in San Francisco. She was responsible for a portfolio of media-related social justice grants and initiatives that strengthen families and empower young people using information and communication technologies. She has also served as Deputy Director of Young Community Developers in San Francisco, Director of Operations for the Mayor’s Office, under the Honorable Willie L. Brown, and Senior Project Manager at the Department of Elections. Over the past 15 years, Ruth has served on more than a dozen nonprofit boards. Currently, she serves on the board of Bay Area Blacks in Philanthropy (BABIP), a membership organization that addresses the impact of racial disparity within philanthropic institutions and African American communities in the Bay Area. Ruth holds a Masters of Arts degree from the University of Illinois and a B.A. degree from the University of Chicago. Born and raised in Chicago, Ruth came to the Bay Area to “run from the cold” and dive into the area’s vibrant nonprofit sector. When she is not in the office, she may be in the pool or on the trail! Ruth has been a member of a master swim team where she competed around the country, and she continues to participate in swim clubs. She also volunteers her time to trail maintenance and beach cleanups for national and local parks.

RJOY’s capacity to continue its ground-breaking advocacy, training, and demonstration programs is made possible through the generosity of donors like you.


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