DC Peace Conference: A More Just Society: Addressing Mass Incarceration In The U.S. At The Washington Center For Internships And Academic Seminars On Saturday, September 23rd, 2017
As Hostelling International Washington DC (HI DC) strives to build world peace, it has organized the annual DC Peace Conference since 2011 to educate participants about current social issues that hinder the advancement of human and equal rights nationally and globally. Thus, the 2017 DC Peace Conference, which is also a celebration of HI USA Sleep for Peace Campaign, aims to raise awareness about the mass incarceration crisis and its negative impact on marginalized communities in the United States.
The conference features: a complimentary breakfast and an internationally-inspired lunch (Peruvian chicken and falafel balls), high caliber speakers, who will lead panel discussions & Q&A sessions. Below is the list of the speakers:
- Selvon Waldron – Founder of Mentor Post and Director of Student Transition at Carlos Rosario School
- Nicole D Porter – Sentencing Project Director of Advocacy
- Cherise Fanno Burdeen – CEO of the Pretrial Justice Institute
- John I Dixon – Former Chief of the Petersburg Police Department and Speaker of Law Enforcement Action Partnership (LEAP)
- Marc Carr – Founder of Social Solutions
- Gabriel Lewis, Writer in Residence at Free Minds Book Club
Selvon M. Waldron has a long professional background as a leader in social good programs, having sourced and managed over $40 million in federal and local government funds in support of human development and/or environmental programs. He has a love for developing young talent and coaching rising leaders by cultivating confidence in their brand.
Selvon has led nationally recognized mentoring programs and has completed training as a Citizen Diplomat proctored by the Civic League of Washington, DC. Selvon remains an active member of the United Nations Association and the National Forum for Black Public Administrators. He was a member of the 2013 cohort of Leadership Greater Washington’s Effective Leadership Institute and the 2014 cohort of Leadership Sanctuary, and he currently sits on the Advisory Board of the University of the District of Columbia School of Business and Public Administration.
In 2015 he was awarded the Honorable Ron H Brown Distinguished Leadership award. In February 2016 he was the recipient of the Amtrak/Monumental Pioneer Award for community and youth activism and in July 2016 he was awarded a Certificate of Special Congressional Recognition in recognition of outstanding and invaluable service to the community. Waldron has completed graduate course-work in Applied Economics at the University of Maryland-College Park. Waldron earned both his BBA in Management and his MBA with a concentration in International Business from the University of the District of Columbia.
Nicole D. Porter manages The Sentencing Project’s state and local advocacy efforts on sentencing reform, voting rights, and eliminating racial disparities in the criminal justice system. Her advocacy has supported criminal justice reforms in several states including Kentucky, Missouri, and California. Porter was named a “New Civil Rights Leader” by Essence Magazine in November 2014 for her work to eliminate mass incarceration.
Since joining The Sentencing Project in 2009, Porter’s work has been cited in several major media outlets including the New York Times, Washington Post, and National Public Radio. She has given a number of talks on state sentencing policy, collateral consequences, and racial disparity to various audiences including the League of Women Voters, NAACP, and the United Methodist Women’s Assembly.
Porter is the former director of the Texas ACLU’s Prison & Jail Accountability Project (PJAP). PJAP’s mission was to monitor the conditions of confinement in state jails and prisons. Porter advocated in the Texas legislature to promote felony enfranchisement reforms, to eliminate prison rape, and improve prison medical care. Porter received her undergraduate degree from Johns Hopkins University and a Master of Public Affairs from the University of Texas at Austin. Her master’s thesis addressed exploring self employment among formerly incarcerated African Americans. She also studied African Politics at the University of Ghana, West Africa.
John I. Dixon, III joined law enforcement in the 1980s. He first served in the US Marine Corps and then for 25 years as a police officer in Richmond, Virginia, rising from patrol officer to the rank of major. He served in patrol and in the narcotics and juvenile divisions. He became Chief of Police in 2007.
John developed a passion for community engagement and empowerment, youth outreach, and human resource development. As an officer, John focused on improving the overall quality of life for the community. Confronting several challenges in the police-community relationship, John led extensive outreach efforts in Petersburg and the surrounding areas. He implemented innovative practices including the Commonwealth of Virginia’s Lethality Assessment Protocol to prevent domestic-partner homicides, and Operation Renew with the Virginia National Guard Counterdrug Task Force to assist communities in removing unlivable structures associated with the drug trade. Known for his strong work ethic and uncompromising commitment to public safety, he was selected to serve on President Obama’s Commission on Gun Violence.
John is a regular participant in public safety conferences and national speaking engagements. He is also a former president of the National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives.
Cherise Fanno Burdeen has spent over 20 years working to improve public safety policies and practices across the country. After earning a Bachelors in Public Administration from Miami University (Ohio) and a Masters in Criminal Justice from Indiana University, she began her career with the DOJ’s National Institute of Justice. After field work that included time with the Safer Foundation in Chicago and post-9/11 federal service with the Department of Homeland Security, Ms. Burdeen joined PJI. Since 2006, Ms. Burdeen has developed innovative strategies to raise awareness of pretrial justice issues, amassed a broad constituency of criminal justice stakeholder groups, provided technical assistance and training on policy reforms, and engaged in communications and media efforts. She has extensive experience with strategic planning, initiative management, and change efforts across the criminal justice system. She serves as an issue expert for legal and correctional professionals, national and community advocates, the media, influencers and artists.
Marc Carr started Social Solutions after seeing a need for crowd-sourced tech solutions to intractable social problems. His passion for social justice and entrepreneurship has led him to work on civil rights campaigns in the Deep South and organize community forums in the U.S. and West Africa. Marc’s professional experience includes heading the sales division of a major international corporation in West Africa, consulting for the United Nations Foundation, and working as a Social Media Analyst for McKinsey & Company. Marc is expecting his Master’s Degree in Social Enterprise in 2016 from the American University School of International Service.
Gabriel Louis grew up in Washington, D.C., has attended the Callaloo Creative Writing Workshops, and received support from the D.C. Commission on the Arts and Humanities. He has a BA from Columbia University and an MFA from Washington University in St. Louis. He has taught creative writing in juvenile detention facilities in New York City and D.C., where he edited a journal of student work. He is the current writer-in-residence at Free Minds Book Club & Writing Workshop, where he works with incarcerated writers and those returning from prison as the Reentry and Writing Coach.