Ray V. Boyd
Ray was released from the Connecticut Department of Correction on November 15, 2021, after serving twenty-nine and a half years of a fifty-year term for a crime that was committed when he was just seventeen years old. During his incarceration, in 2015, he Co-Founded the Skills of Socialization (S.O.S.) program at the Osborn Correctional Institute and in 2018 he Co-Founded the T.R.U.E. Reentry program at the Cheshire Correctional Institute, where the program was aired on 60 Minutes news magazine.
Since his release from incarceration, he has worked at Lewis Real Estate while attending real estate school. He volunteers his time to abolish the American Prison Industry Complex and solitary confinement with CT. Stop Solitary Confinement while advocating for second chance offenders. He is the Author of The Model Inmate which explores his time of incarceration.
He looks to share his lived experience with all so that it may benefit the lives of others.
Debi Campbell is Deputy Director of Family Outreach & Storytelling at FAMM. As a fierce advocate for criminal justice reform, she works with families, prisoners and media to tell the stories of those unjustly sentenced to draconian drug laws and other unjust sentences. Debi has met with families, college students, and has testified before Congress about the need for judicial reforms, as well as the need to reduce mass incarceration in America. Before joining FAMM, Debi served 16 years in Federal Prison for her participation in a 1993 drug conspiracy. Since her release in 2010, she has been a vocal advocate for criminal justice reform and she works daily to help those she left behind.
Gisele has dedicated her career to creating and leading organizations focused on equity in justice for court-involved youth. With 20+ years of experience, she holds a Master’s of Public Administration & Non-Profit Management from Pace University and studied at Oxford University, researching U.S. vs. U.K. juvenile justice systems. Gisele is a Sterling Clark Foundation Fellow, a member of the Spark Youth NYC Board of Directors, a Leap Ambassador and an adjunct professor at NYU – Steinhart School of Culture, Education, & Human Development.
In her role as Executive Director of exalt, an organization that engages youths who have become involved with the criminal justice system, giving them skills needed to avoid jail, her organization reengages young people in their love for learning and helps them understand the urgency of taking action to reverse their journey along the school-to-prison pipeline.
Through Gisele’s leadership, exalt was named runner-up for the Nonprofit Excellence Awards for best management practices. In 2021, Gisele was recognized as one of the “Responsible 100” by City & State NY Magazine as one of NY’s most effective executives, thought leaders, visionaries, and influencers, who are setting new standards of excellence, dedication, and leadership by improving their communities, making transformative change.
Catherine Jones joined the CFSY team in 2020 and serves as the Co-Director of Outreach & Partnership Development. In this role, she holds leadership positions in both the Movement Building and Strategic Partnerships departments, responsible for helping bridge these areas of work. Catherine develops and implements a range of projects and initiatives, aimed at ensuring those returning from prison have meaningful opportunities to prosper and thrive. Catherine also conceived and oversees Heart to Heart, a program for female-identified ICAN members to create and experience mentorship and peer support. Catherine is a seasoned and sought out public speaker and content expert on criminal justice reform. She presents nationally to diverse audiences, and her story and expertise has been highlighted in numerous articles, podcasts and documentaries… Catherine, herself, is a formerly incarcerated youth and proud ICAN member. Incarcerated at the age of 13 for murder, she was released in 2015 at the age of 30. Her experiences as a child within the penal system sparked her passion to be a voice for those she left behind and for the ones who will come after her. When not wearing her advocacy cape, Catherine relishes her role as Mommy to her two beautiful children.
Carmen Perez is an award-winning, internationally-known civil and human rights leader and Chicana feminist. She is the President & CEO of The Gathering for Justice, co-founder of Justice League NYC and Justice League CA, two state-based task forces for advancing a juvenile and criminal justice reform agenda, where she spearheaded campaigns to Free Meek Mill and Take a Knee with Colin Kaepernick, among many others. She was one of the National Co-Chairs of the 2017 Women’s March on Washington, which drew over 5 million people across the globe. Carmen is also the co-founder of Poderistas and is on the Advisory Board of Monogram. In addition to being named one of Fortune’s Top 50 World Leaders, one of TIME’s 100 most influential people, Glamour Women of the Year and Forbes’ 100 Mujeres Mas Poderosas, Carmen has also been a featured speaker at Harvard University, Columbia University, the University of California – Santa Cruz and she has been featured in numerous media outlets including Forbes, TIME, Newsweek, MSNBC, Univision, ELLE, Glamour, Bustle, Common Dreams and more.
Duc Ta, at 16, was charged as an adult and sent to adult prison. He was driving a car from which gunshots were fired. Although no one was physically injured, he was charged and convicted under gun and gang enhancement laws for attempted murder and sentenced to 35 years to life. Duc was released from prison after serving 15 years in 2013. He is the Co-Founder of API RISE (Asian Pacific Islander Through Re-Entry and Inclusion Through Support and Empowerment) a Los Angeles nonprofit serving the AAPI formerly incarcerated community. Duc has also served on LA County’s Alternative to Incarceration Measure J Advisory Committee as an advisor in 2021 helping to pass the first historical budget of $187.7 million for projects serving impacted communities. Duc is a chef by trade, working for the likes of Jose Andres (Bazzar, World Kitchen) and Roy Choi (Kogi, Broken Bread) before becoming a culinary instructor for impacted community members.
Rev. Dr. John Vaughn
Rev. Dr. John Vaughn serves as the Executive Pastor of the historic Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta, Georgia. He works closely with the Church’s Senior Pastor and newest United States Senator, the Rev. Dr. Raphael G. Warnock in managing the overall vison, ministries, and operations of this iconic, international congregation. Known as America’s Freedom Church and the spiritual home of the Rev. Martin Luther King Sr. and Rev Dr. Martin Luther King Jr, Ebenezer remains at the forefront of the fight for social justice and community transformation, while remaining committed individual growth and discipleship. Previously, Rev. Vaughn served for almost ten years as the Executive Vice President at Auburn Theological Seminary. Auburn is a national leadership development and research institute that equips leaders of faith and moral courage for multifaith movements for justice.
Before joining the staff of Auburn Seminary, Rev. Vaughn served as the Program Director for the Twenty-First Century Foundation based in Harlem, New York, a national foundation that advanced strategic giving for Black community change. He also previously served as the Executive Director of the Peace Development Fund, which provides funding, training and assistance for grassroots peace and justice community organizing throughout the United States and select countries internationally.
From 1996 to 2000, he served as the Minister for Education and Social Justice at the Riverside Church in New York City. His responsibilities included overseeing the Church’s ministries with children, youth, young adults, adult education, social justice, social services and small grants. Rev. Vaughn has also served as the Director for Community Development at the Community Training and Assistance Center (CTAC) in Boston, Mass; The executive director of East Harlem Interfaith in New York City; The Action Assistant at The Riverside Church, and the Assistant Minister at the Hamilton United Methodist Church in San Francisco, Ca.
Rev. Vaughn, an ordained minister in the American Baptist Churches, received his undergraduate degree from Holy Cross College in Worcester, Mass, his Master of Divinity from the Pacific School of Religion in Berkeley, California, and a Doctor of Ministry from Drew Theological School. He is married to the Rev. Dr. P. Kimberleigh Jordan, an ordained minister in the United Church of Christ who serves as the Associate Director for Educational Design at the Wabash Center for Teaching & Learning in Theology and Religion . They are the proud parents of a two, teenage sons — James (a rising college sophomore at Duke and member of the baseball team at Duke) and Caleb (a rising high school sophomore at the Professional Performing Arts School in NYC).