President and Co-Founder, Alliance for Safety and Justice Executive Director and Founder, Californians for Safety and Justice Co-Founder, Crime Survivors for Safety and Justice
Lenore is an attorney with extensive experience working to improve our criminal justice system. Lenore was the Campaign Chair and co-author of Proposition 47, a California ballot initiative passed by voters in November 2014 to reduce incarceration and reallocate prison spending to mental health, drug treatment, K-12 programs and victim services. The initiative represents the first time in the nation voters have elected to reclassify multiple sections of the penal code to reduce incarceration and reallocate prison spending to communities. Previously, Lenore served as Chief of Policy and Chief of the Alternative Programs Division at the San Francisco District Attorney’s Office, where she spearheaded initiatives to reduce recidivism and improve public safety. She also crafted local and state legislation to aid victims of domestic violence, protect violent crime witnesses, reduce elementary school truancy and reduce recidivism. Lenore also previously served as Director of Public Safety for the Oakland Mayor, overseeing the Mayor’s violence-reduction and police recruitment initiatives, and as Director of the San Francisco Mayor’s Office of Criminal Justice. There she oversaw $10 million in violence-prevention grants, advised the Mayor on public safety matters, and launched a citywide gun buy-back program, Community Policing Task Force and Juvenile Justice Task Force. Lenore serves on the Advisory Board of the Innovations in Prosecution initiative of John Jay College of Criminal Justice. She is also a cofounder and served as the inaugural Chair of the Board of the Center for Youth Wellness, an initiative to reduce the health impacts of toxic stress on urban youth. She holds a J.D. from NYU School of Law and a B.A. from UC Berkeley, and lives with her family in Oakland, California.
Vice President and Co-Founder, Alliance for Safety and Justice Associate Director, Californians for Safety and Justice Co-Founder, Crime Survivors for Safety and Justice
Robert is a seasoned criminal justice organizer, campaigner and expert who over the last two decades has achieved landmark wins in multiple states, working to advance solutions to criminal justice problems through sentencing reform, crime victim advocacy and advancing new safety priorities. Robert previously served as Californians for Safety and Justice’s Organizing Director and the Organizing Director for the Yes on Prop. 47 campaign, a statewide ballot initiative to reduce incarceration and re-allocate savings to drug treatment, K-12 programming and victim services. Robert also previously served as the Criminal Justice Director for the NAACP. Robert was the founding director of the program and provided strategic direction, oversight and management of criminal justice activities. He was responsible for launching the “Misplaced Priorities – Educate Not Incarcerate” campaign, where he worked with Right on Crime to recruit conservatives to join NAACP’s efforts to reduce state prison populations. Robert served as an adjunct professor at the University of Connecticut School of Social Work and St. Joseph’s College, and at Central Connecticut State University. Robert lives in Sacramento, California with his family.
Managing Director, Crime Survivors for Safety and Justice
Shakyra is a strategist with extensive public policy and organizing experience grounded in authentic coalition building. Shakyra joined ASJ in 2016 as the Regional Director for the Midwest region, where she provided leadership for advocacy campaigns in the Midwest, resulting in criminal justice reforms and the establishment of trauma recovery centers to help underserved crime survivors heal. Prior to joining ASJ, Shakyra worked as an educator and led policy reform campaigns. In these different capacities, Shakyra enhanced educational outcomes for students and led successful policy, legislative, and judicial rules campaigns to improve justice systems. Her efforts have led to the elimination of unfair drug law policies, enhanced protections for sexual assault victims during interviews, expanded access to counsel, supported voting rights access for currently and formerly incarcerated people, and ended routine juvenile shackling in courts. Drawing on her personal experience with sexual and community violence and her understanding of various systems, Shakyra helped shape systemic recommendations for reform efforts, including the Cleveland Division of Police’s consent decree. Shakyra is a graduate of Case Western Reserve University and lives in Cleveland, Ohio with her family.
Anna Cho Fenley
Survivors Speak Campaign Director, Crime Survivors for Safety and Justice, California
National Training Director, Crime Survivors for Safety and Justice
Aqeela Sherrills is a spirit-centered activist, working to promote healing in marginalized communities and community ownership of public safety and is the National Training Director for Crime Survivors for Safety and Justice. Aqeela grew up in the Jordan Downs Housing Project in Watts, Los Angeles and at 19, he began working with football star Jim Brown and co-founded the Amer-I-Can Program, Inc. to heal gang violence around the country by negotiating peace treaties in those cities. In 1992, he and his brother Daude, along with several others, forged a historic truce between the Crips and the Bloods in Watts. When the ceasefire began to fray, the Sherrills brothers created the Community Self-Determination Institute in 1999 to tackle the overwhelming personal and social issues and trauma experienced by members of the community. On January 10, 2004, Sherrills’ 18-year-old son, Terrell, home from studying theater arts in college, was shot and killed. Determined that Terrell’s death not be in vain, Aqeela launched the Reverence Project to develop comprehensive wellness centers in urban war zones in order to introduce those who suffer from high levels of trauma to alternative healing technologies to support individuals on their healing journeys. Aqeela also advises the Honorable Mayor Ras J. Baraka, Mayor of Newark, NJ on his community-based violence reduction initiative, is a fellow with the Just Beginnings Collaborative, a national network of leaders and organizations working to end child sexual abuse, and serves as a partner in LOCOL, a national fast food chain bringing healthy and responsibly-sourced food to inner cities.
Chapter Development and Membership Director, Crime Survivors for Safety and Justice
On August 24, 2009, Aswad was 26 years old and just three weeks from going to Europe to play professional basketball. As he left a convenience store, he was approached by two men intent on robbing him and he suffered two near-fatal gunshots to his back, ending his basketball career. Aswad’s story was featured in the New Yorker Magazine, “Black Wounds Matter”, NPR, “Black Men Who Are Crime Victims Have Few Places to Turn, Sacramento Bee, “California’s crime survivors must speak out for smart justice, “VICE/The Marshall Project, “How I Came to Terms with the Man Who Shot Me, Marshall Project, “We are Witnesses”, and the Hartford Courant, “On Hartford Streets, A Life Nearly Derailed by Bullets”, “Hartford Shooting Survivor Stands Against The Violence”. He went on to become one of Connecticut’s most outspoken supporters of additional resources for victims of gun violence and has been a leader in building coalitions across racial lines to advance justice reform and prevent gun violence. Aswad founded Hartford Action, a grassroots organization working to empower communities to change policy and improve the relationship between the Greater Hartford community and the justice system.
Aswad is developing Crime Survivors for Safety and Justice Chapters in Alliance for Safety and Justice’s partner states (and beyond). He is helping to expand our national network of crime survivors to include those most commonly affected by violence, including young men of color, and help elevate those voices in state and federal policymaking debates. Aswad received a Master’s of Social Work, with a concentration in Community Organizing and focused area of study in Urban Issues, from the University of Connecticut, and a B.A. in Business Management from Elms College. He lives in Atlanta, Georgia with his wife.
National Crime Survivor Advocate, Crime Survivors for Safety and Justice and Alliance for Safety and Justice
In 2005, Dionne’s husband, a police officer in San Leandro, was shot and killed while responding to a disturbance call. Though her husband’s shooter was caught and convicted, the experience changed Dionne’s perspective on the justice system. She saw firsthand the ineffective and costly results of investing in strategies that respond to harm versus of preventing crime. In 2012, she began volunteering as a survivor advocate for Crime Survivors for Safety and Justice, joining other victims working to elevate their voices and calls for smarter justice policies. Dionne now helps to train and organize crime survivors to become advocates in the media and in state capitols across the country.
Digital Manager, Crime Survivors for Safety and Justice and Alliance for Safety and Justice
Prior to joining Crime Survivors for Safety and Justice and Alliance for Safety and Justice, Julian worked at the Center for Popular Democracy, where he moved online activists to offline action on economic and racial justice issues through email, social media, and fundraising. Before that, Julian came from Young Invincibles, where he built dynamic social media campaigns to engage young adults around health care open enrollment and important education policy fights. Julian earned his bachelor’s degree from the University of Maryland, College Park with a degree in English, and currently lives in San Francisco, CA.
Program Manager, Crime Survivors for Safety and Justice and Alliance for Safety and Justice
Regional Training Manager, Crime Survivors for Safety and Justice and Alliance for Safety and Justice
Regional Training Manager, Crime Survivors for Safety and Justice and Alliance for Safety and Justice
National Training Director, Crime Survivors for Safety and Justice and Alliance for Safety and Justice
Jonathon is a skilled community organizer who, prior to joining ASJ, worked as a Manager of Organizing Strategy for Leadership for Educational Equity – Louisiana, where he coached and provided strategies for teachers and former teachers to change education policies locally and statewide. He was also a Project Manager for Grassroots Solutions LLC, in Washington, DC, as well as a Regional Field Fellow with the NAACP and Deputy Youth Vote Director with the Obama campaign in Ohio.
Jonathon earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Criminal Justice with a minor in Psychology from Sam Houston State University in Huntsville, TX and a Masters in Public Administration from Bowie State University. Jonathon begin his organizing career during his collegiate years, where he mobilized young adults across the state of Texas around education, issue advocacy, and civic engagement.
He lives in Houston, Texas.