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 an international speaker on restorative justice, author, and advocate for racial healing and justice. She has an MA in Conflict Transformation from Eastern Mennonite University’s Center for Justice and Peacebuilding. While there, Jodie explored the intersections of peacebuilding, restorative justice, and systems change. As a Jamaican native who grew up in Brooklyn, NY, she uses her journey as a catalyst for creating new narratives about the Black experience and the possibilities for healing. Jodie serves as the Safe Outside the System Program Director at RJOY (Restorative Justice for Oakland Youth), providing support for community members experiencing a crisis with mental wellness and other community resources. In addition, she is the Co-Manager for CTTT (Coming to The Table), providing training and resources for communities and individuals to explore the history and legacy of enslavement.

Jodie is the co-author of the Little Book of Racial Healing: Coming to the Table for Truth-Telling, Liberation, and Transformation. In addition, she co-hosts a podcast called Ma.ternity Leave.

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.

Dr. Komoia Johnson currently serves as the Program Director for RJOY. She is an experienced Trainer, Curriculum Designer, and Restorative Justice (RJ)/Conflict Resolution Practitioner in the Bay Area since 2006.  Her training audience includes teachers, students, families, and administrators, locally and nationally as well as community-based organizations, professors, teachers in training, and mental health interns and licensed practitioners in higher education. In addition to restorative justice and conflict resolution skills, Dr. Johnson is trained in Nonviolent Communication, Behavior Analysis Case Management, and Coaching for Equity.

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.

Dr. Jerdine Clarke- Clinical Director (she/her/hers)

Jerdine Clarke, Psy.D. is a licensed clinical psychologist who graduated from the Wright Institute in Berkeley. She completed her bachelor’s degree at the University of California, Berkeley in African American Studies. Dr. Clarke is excited to join the RJOY family and brings with her over 25 years of working with trauma across the lifespan. Dr. Clarke is an APA Minority Fellow who brings her passion for enacting social justice, diversity, equity, and inclusion in more than just clinical spaces. She completed her post-doctoral clinical training at Kaiser Permanente Oakland’s Child and Family Psychiatry in their Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP) and at Core Insights Psychological Group. Dr. Clarke completed a postdoctoral fellowship in the Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion at the Wright Institute where she helped develop graduate student leadership through mentorship and teaching and provided consultation to students and staff around DEI related challenges. Dr. Clarke’s APA doctoral internship was completed at Kennedy Krieger Institute in the Center for Child and Family Traumatic Stress in Baltimore, Maryland and her dissertation focused on the impact on gender and race in assessment, diagnosis, treatment, and outcomes for commercially sexually trafficked children. Prior to beginning her graduate studies Dr. Clarke worked at the Victim Services Division at the San Francisco District Attorney’s Office supporting child and adult survivors of violent crime. Over the past 30 years, Dr. Clarke has worked in and with various community-based agencies and grassroots movements to promote individual and community activism, involvement, and empowerment.  Dr. Clarke also runs a small private practice in Alameda

Linda Grubbs joined RJOY in 2023 and now serves Human Resources and Finance Manager. She has a Master of Education with an emphasis in Instructional Technology and spent 16 years on the business side of the healthcare field. She is a Learning and Development Specialist whose experience includes Program and People Management; Instructional Design, Curriculum Development, and Training; Workshop Development, Design, and Delivery; and Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Belonging. While new to Restorative Justice, Linda is excited about using her skills and experience in this area. She spent the past 16 years supporting a system-impacted family member in upstate New York, and she is eager to help RJOY further its mission in Oakland and the Bay Area.

Ayo is a passionate educator, activist, and Restorative Justice  facilitator. Born and raised in Oakland, California, Ayo matriculated through the Oakland Unified School District and has served in Oakland Schools, as a tutor, teacher, and RJ facilitator. Ayo earned his Bachelors in Political Science with a Minor in Communications from Oakwood University in Huntsville Alabama. While in undergrad, he served as a Community Engagement Associate for the Alameda County Board of Supervisors, an Executive Board Member with Alabama State Democratic Party, and a Field Representative for multiple Congressional Offices. With experience in both local government and in education, Ayo uses his skills in building and maintaining interpersonal relations to uplift his community and people.

Nyjahl Thompson is a Restorative Justice Associate & Co. Youth Program Coordinator for Restorative Justice for Oakland Youth. Nyjahl teaches a Restorative Justice 101 class at Rudsdale High School based in Oakland, California. Along with facilitating curriculum development and training for the Youth Internship program that takes place during the school year and summer sessions. He has experience facilitating community building circles at a number of schools, libraries, and youth development centers in Oakland. Nyjahl is an English and Psychology student at California State University, East Bay with aims of pursuing careers in writing and clinical psychology.

Norma Ward has over 25 years of experience working with nonprofit, community based organizations providing program management, program development and health care administration. Norma is a trainer and sought-after public speaker on the topics of domestic violence, sexual assault, and sexual exploitation in both public and private sectors. Norma serves as a part of the clinical team supporting individuals and families impacted by intimate partner violence.

Charles Anderson is a Los Angeles native passionate about personal development and encouraging positive change in those around him and within his community. He studied Africana Studies at San Diego State University and works at Pottery Barn in the Digital Creative department. 

Charles is currently serving as the Black Associate Network (BAN) Chair of Williams-Sonoma, Inc. His team’s efforts are focused on producing comprehensive programming for associates in the various work centers across the eight brands nationwide. In 2022, as BAN Co-Chair, Anderson secured the allocation of $100,000 in company sponsorship to assist the missions of the Jackie Robinson Foundation, NAACP, and National Urban League. 

Charles’ vision is to continue contributing his knowledge and passion by supporting causes he upholds and values. He has served as President of the The Urban League of San Diego County Young Professionals Chapter, NULYP Western Region Vice President, NULYP Programs Committee Member, NULYP Leadership, Training, Development Committee Member,  Chapter Advisor for the San Diego NAACP Youth and College Chapter, and NSBE’s Region VI Technical Outreach & Community Help Chair (T.O.R.C.H.).  His energy stems from visualizing the potential in people and projects and pushing them past boundaries that may look impossible to achieve extraordinary results.

A magnetic restorative justice leader and facilitator,  Colleen Tiffenson holds the reimagination of a  school climate culture that could interrupt the school-to-prison pipeline as the core of her work with young people at  Bret Harte Middle School in Oakland. The recipient of a double Ivy League higher education, and extensive work experience advocating for folks on the margins, Colleen is masterful at creating community and brings a practical yet human-centered approach to her practice as an RJOY staff member, facilitating a  weekly Sista Cypher healing space for intergenerational women of color seeking support and connection.

Harold Moore currently serves as a Credible Messenger with RJOY, providing support for incarcerated and system-impacted youth and families. He draws on his experience from over 40 years of incarceration after being tried as an adult at the age of 16. He previously served as a Community Behavioral Health Worker in San Francisco, also supporting young people. Harold describes himself as having a positive spirit, insightful, empathetic, thoughtful, and supportive.

Hewan Tesfaye is a Mental Health Specialist at RJOY. She graduated from Grand Canyon University with a degree in Behavioral Psychology with a focus on forensic psychology and a minor in pre-law. In response to the Tigray Genocide, Hewan Co-founded AboyforTigray, a non-profit mental health organization for people all over the world, to support women who had been sexually assaulted. Hewan joined RJOY as a Mental Health Specialist to not only create safe spaces for young people to express their trauma but also to create healing spaces for their families and communities.

McKayla Roberts, Clinical Trainee at RJoy, doctoral candidate and co-lead of Black Student-Union at the Wright Institute in Berkeley, California, mental health teletherapist based in Omaha, Nebraska, and mother. Her academic background includes a Bachelor of Science in Psychology from Oral Roberts University and a Master of Arts in Clinical Psychology from Montclair State University. She is expected to graduate with her Psy.D. in June 2026.

McKayla’s clinical experience encompasses a broad spectrum, spanning across diverse age groups, with a particular emphasis on serving individuals within the Black community. Her therapeutic engagements have addressed multifaceted issues including depression, complex posttraumatic stress disorder, postpartum depression, grief, adaptation challenges, and chronic medical conditions such as idiopathic intracranial hypertension, type 1 diabetes, and multiple sclerosis. Moreover, she has adeptly navigated cases involving anxiety stemming from familial dynamics, exposure to cultural trauma, academic pressures, trauma-related obsessive-compulsive disorder, social communication difficulties, specific eating disorders, and performance anxiety within sports contexts. McKayla employs a trauma-informed and culturally affirming approach, tailoring interventions to align with the unique needs and cultural backgrounds of her clients, while remaining attuned to systemic barriers that may impede their well-being.

McKayla strives to provide culturally humble care and address mental health challenges within Black and Brown communities. Her goal is to create psychological welcoming spaces reminiscent of familiar settings like family dinner tables, hair salons, and barbershops – such spaces are known for embodying  joy, genuine connection, and deep conversations. She plans to focus on underserved communities, offering direct assistance to those historically mistreated within the carceral system.

Jonathan Hampton comes to RJOY after serving 15 years on an indeterminate sentence. He draws from his experience of navigating his way throughout both the State and Federal habeas corpus ladder. Jonathan currently shares his knowledge as a Credible Messenger at the Alameda County Juvenile Justice Center and Camp Wilmont Sweeney.

Tichelle is a dedicated Executive Assistant and proud Bay Area native with a deep passion for community-based work. Beginning her journey as a young activist in 2008, she volunteered with movements advocating for justice and equality for Black and Brown communities. Transitioning to a behind-the-scenes role first in the Planning Department at The City of Oakland before moving on to non-profit organizations, she discovered her talent for providing vital support to social justice organizations and the people within them. With a sharp focus on setting and achieving goals, embracing new challenges, and intentionally utilizing her time to assist organizations and their teams, Tichelle excels in ensuring important work gets done effectively and efficiently.

max cadji is the happy father of Felana, JJ, and Hery.  He is a farmer, food &restorative justice advocate with over 20 years of installing greenhouses, community gardens, small farmers, and farmers markets  across Northern California.  He also has done community based restorative justice work for the last 15 years with the North Oakland Restorative Justice Council. Max cares for the Ubuntu Orchard at RJOY as well as doing community outreach work.

Kusum Crimmel is a facilitator of transformational change and generative conflict who seeks to increase our individual and collective capacity to lean into complexity, nuance and messiness as we struggle through layers of difference. Her style of facilitation creates space for truth, (re)conciliation, and healing to reclaim our humanity and the humanity of others.  She has spent nearly two decades working with teenagers; eleven of those years at Oakland Tech High School where she built a vibrant and highly acclaimed, peer-based Restorative Justice program.  She is an LCSW, has 10 years of rape-crisis counseling experience and more than 10 years of training with Generative Somatics, focused on trauma in the body and the path to healing from the inside out. While her LCSW offers movement into and through the mental health system, she is firmly and creatively committed to transformative justice and the complexities it requires. She’s the founder of Dissecting Whiteness, which offers services to people and organizations invested in dismantling white supremacy and the healing of those impacted by racialized harm and conflict. She has worked with white bodied people for almost two decades to support the transmutation of white supremacy both internally and collectively. She is currently the Clinical Program Manager with RJOY.

Kyle refers to himself as a son of Oakland. Before finding his passion for working with youth, Kyle held numerous jobs in the financial industry including working as a day trader. Kyle has worked in various Oakland Elementary, Middle, and High Schools. In 2009, he started contracting with Oakland Unified School District as a Conflict Mediator and later transitioned to work in the Restorative Justice (RJ) unit. Since working as an RJ Facilitator, Kyle has been a High School Dean, leadership, and advisory teacher. Outside of school he has partnered and consulted with many school districts across the United States. He has trained thousands of participants in Restorative Practices (RP) . Kyle currently is the Violence Prevention Supervisor for RJOY where he leads RP groups at local High Schools with youth to build stronger community, culture, and climate. Kyle’s passion for the work he has done is largely stemmed from his two children. 

My name is Joseph Johnson. I go by the name Yusuf. I received my BA in Public Administration, minor in Music, and MS in Educational Counseling from California State University, Bakersfield. I have worked in this field since 2004 in various capacities including but not limited to: Residential Facilitator at a group home, Case Manager at a homeless shelter, College Counselor, and Family Counselor with youth coming out of Juvenile Hall. Currently I work with RJOY as a Mental Health Specialist and assisting the Credible Messengers and local schools. I am also pursuing my LMFT and LPCC Licenses. I am very passionate about helping out the black people in East Oakland, as much of my family is from there.  I have a genuine desire to help all people globally. I have 4 siblings and 10 nieces and nephews that I love dearly.

I am very passionate about music. I have been playing and composing songs on the piano since middle school. I have composed over 100 songs. I love a host of genres that spans extremely wide. I will point out some of my favorite artists to illustrate my point: Black Thought, G Herbo, John Coltrane, Joy Division, Radiohead, Stevie Wonder, Zero 7, Ulrich Schnauss, Tupac, My Bloody Valentine, Janes Addiction, Black Sabbath, Rage Agaisnt the Machine, Earl Sweatshirt, Parliament-Funkadelic, Keith Jarrert, David and Steve Gordon, George Winston, Joyner Lucas, A Tribe Called Quest, Wu Tang Clan, Kendrick Lamar, Gorillaz, Faith no More, Coctuea Twins, Siouxsie and the Banshees, Outkast, Boards of Canada, Air, Cake, Seal, M.I.A., The Smiths, The Stooges, State Property, Sqad Up, Plaid, E-40, Keak da Sneak, Massive Attack, Eric Benet, Jimi Hendrix, Bob Dylan, Neil Young, Bach, Bob Marley….point proven?  I also have a deep passion for philosophy and spirituality including but not limited to great thinkers such as: Malcolm X, Immanual Kant, Plato, Marcuz Garvey, Joy Degruy, Michelle Alexander, Ta-nahesi Coates, Johann Hari, Jean Jacques Rousseau, The Archbishop Desmond Tutu, The Dali Lama, Peter A. Levine, Carl Jung, Joseph Cambell, Alan Watts and many, many others. I am deeply into the study of religions and study/practice Islam, Hinduism (particularly the Yoga Sutras), Bhuddism, Toaism, Christianity, Confucianism and Native American Traditions. I currently am going for my credentials to be a meditation instructor and meditate quite frequently. I also practice martial arts and exercise frequently.

Taribu Shakur serves as a Credible Messenger with RJOY. He comes from a long line of generational trauma and made his transformation at the age of 25. Taribu has been immensely impacted by the injustice system. He believes RJOY has helped empower him to move deeper towards his vision and passion. He is excited to bring his nearly 34 years of experience to at-risk youth. 

Taribu says, “I am about organizing the unorganized and reorganizing the organized in the complete interest of amelioration.” 

Tommy “Shakur” Ross was paroled in 2023, after being imprisoned for 37 years. During his incarceration, Shakur transformed his life and accomplished many achievements. He has gained training and experience as a peer health educator, circle keeper, group facilitator, podcaster, mentor, event planner/organizer, and restorative justice practitioner. In June 2022, Shakur joined RJOY as a Restorative Justice Coordinator. Shakur currently facilitates the Freedom Circle, a circle for formerly incarcerated and carceral-impacted people.

Sundus Waqia has been with RJOY for 3 years.  She embarked on her journey starting at the RJOY Ubuntu Farm and Healing Center during the 2021 summer program. She began as an Intern and made her way to the Associate position. Currently, she leads the hybrid Black Women’s Circle on Monday nights. She also holds a weekly Peer Circle for young people at the Dimond Library Branch. 

Ivy is a clinical trainee at RJOY. She is pursuing her doctorate in Clinical Psychology (PsyD) at the Wright Institute. As a bicultural Mexican-American woman, she is devoted to delivering psychological services using relational, multiculturally informed, restorative justice, and social justice perspectives. She is dedicated to providing easily accessible mental health care to marginalized communities, with a primary focus on supporting children and individuals impacted by the carceral system and substance use as they navigate their journey towards healing.

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Jireh Mathews is a Junior at the University of California, East Bay. She’s chosen to major in Psychology with hopes of going to graduate school to become a Licensed Mental Health Specialist. Jireh currently serves as an Associate at RJOY, supporting the youth program and other special projects.

Embarking on this journey five years ago during high school, Saaraaj Waqia has been dedicated to community transformation. Currently serving as an Associate at RJOY, he finds fulfillment in guiding transformative circles and delivering impactful training. Beyond formal duties, Saaraaj supports social media management and co-facilitates a weekly Circle for young men and boys developing questions and activities to engage them in thought-provoking dialogues. He encourages others to join in on this collective journey to redefine justice and foster lasting connections. 

Growing up Shamail has always had a passion for community work and art.  She admires building and being in community with her neighbors, family and friends. She leaned into this passion while serving as an intern in the RJOY youth program from 2021-2022. She continues to practice being in community through holding art and healing circles with RJOY, practicing nail art, exploring fashion styles and design. She’s  currently pursuing a bachelor’s degree in marketing, in hopes to have a career in fashion marketing.

I’m Jeremy, my friends call me Jerm and I’m the receptionist & co-Store Manager here at RJOY. I went to San Francisco State University where I studied Print+Online journalism and Africana studies. I have a passion for cinema, activism, photography, writing & video games.

Jacqueline E. Harrison is a native of Oakland, Ca. She is a Doctoral Graduate of USC School of Social Work and also holds a master degree in Communications & Media Technology from the Academy of Arts.She is an accomplished scholar-athelete and a Big West Champion in the the 400 meter. She brings practical, applied solutions to large-scale social challenges to RJOY, including successful mentorship programs for at risk youth and policy to address systemic inequities.

Jacqueline Harrison is ROY’s “Grants & Contracts Manager”

CONTACT US | Restorative Justice for Oakland Youth

1733 Broadway Oakland, CA 94612