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TEAM MEMBERS.

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Bridgette Simpson

Co-founder/Executive Director

Bridgette Simpson is a formerly incarcerated survivor, activist, advocate, entrepreneur, published author, motivational speaker, mentor, and certified life coach who partners with other survivors, activists, social justice reform organizations, organizers, public figures, and formerly incarcerated and incarcerated people to empower, inspire change, and promote hope. She is a 2023 Soros Justice Fellow. 

 

Since being released from prison in 2018 after a decade inside, she has been: ►co-founder/co-coordinator of and lead organizer for Barred Business; ►campaign organizing co-manager, and minister of organizing and recruitment for ecosystem for the Movement for Black Lives (M4BL); ►site coordinator/case manager for the National Bail Out and the Center for Resilient Individuals, Families and Communities; and ►lead community organizer for Women on the Rise.

 

Bridgette spearheaded the successful 2022 Atlanta Protected Class Campaign. She has since been appointed by the Atlanta City Council President to the city’s Human Relations Commission—making her the first justice-impacted person to ever be a member of the body that is responsible for implementing local human rights ordinances and protecting people from all protected classes against discrimination. 

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Roslynn Calhoun

Executive Assistant

A dynamic individual, who is a passionate organizer, public speaker, and reentry specialist dedicated to making a transformative impact. My exceptional ability to turn adversity into advocacy is a driving force in criminal justice reform.

 

As a skilled organizer I have showcased an impressive array of talents, orchestrating events and initiatives that resonate with purpose and impact. My innate strength in public speaking shines through, captivating audiences with compelling narratives and insightful perspectives. Knowing how to engage and inspire is a testament to my commitment in driving meaningful change.

Specializing as a reentry specialist my deep passion supports individuals navigating the challenges of reintegration into society. As a facilitator I’ve learned to create spaces for growth and empowerment, embodying a transformative figure dedicated to guiding others toward positive paths.

Notably, I am recognized as a prison reform specialist, contributing significantly to the ongoing discourse surrounding criminal justice reform.

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Denise Ruben

Co-founder/Deputy Director 

Denise is an abolitionist, criminal justice/civil rights activist and advocate, community organizer, and survivor of incarceration. While working diligently to lift up the community and dedicating her life to changing the narrative of criminal and social justice reform; she works vigilantly to improve the quality of life for formerly incarcerated, demarginalized, and disenfranchised communities. She has been a community organizer for Women on the Rise; a member of the National Council for Incarcerated and Formerly Incarcerated Women and Girls; and a fellow with the National Bail Out (NBO). She is a member of the Movement for Black Lives (M4BL) Organizing Table.  She is a formerly incarcerated woman who actively seeks balance and stability for all humans affected by the judicial system. 

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Tera Bell

Operations Manager

Tera has over 25 years of experience in operations, administration, database administration and workshop facilitation.

 

She has worked with Federal and State government agencies, healthcare systems, non-profit organizations including but not limited to Federal Center for Disease Control (CDC), WellStar Healthcare Systems and Google 3rd Party logistics company.

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Quiana Malone

Campaigns & Canvassing Manager

Ms. Malone served as the Sr. Regional Field Manager for Color of Change, a prominent Social Justice Organization in the U.S, from 2018 to 2023, she passionately spoke out against injustices worldwide and advocated for rehabilitative support services for individuals with criminal records. Her advocacy work caught the attention of various news outlets, including The Guardian, and she was featured in Essences Magazine in November 2018. May 2020, Ms. Malone founded Dear Black Girl. an Initiative geared towards Trauma Informed Anti-Recidivism. The organization has successfully graduated six cohorts to date. and assisted over 100 women. In addition to her impactful work, Ms. Malone is also a published author of two books, "I Forgive You" and "PIvot." She has undergone training at the prestigious Harvard Kennedy School in Public Narrative and Storytelling, enabling her to conduct training sessions worldwide for different organizations. She was selected as one of the top 40 under 40  most influential people in FL. Furthermore, she serves as a certified Life Coach and Public Speaker, with her facilitation skills bringing added value to her endeavors.

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Cynthia White 

Canvassing Lead/Community Organizer

Cynthia White is a community organizer, activist, advocate, political observer, lead canvasser, and lover of people. She continually exemplifies her passion for movement and issue based causes.

 

Cynthia has a profound knowledge of the political process and a fearless approach to life. When Cynthia isn’t advocating for marginalized people, she enjoys living life and spending time with her grandchildren.

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Tristian Carpenter

Community Organizer

Tristian Carpenter is a paralegal, community organizer, and passionate advocate based in Atlanta, Georgia. As a formerly incarcerated individual, she brings a unique perspective to her work with Barred Business, an organization led by justice-impacted Black women.

 

Originally from Oklahoma City, Tristian has recently relocated to Atlanta after living in Dallas, Texas for several years. In addition to her role at Barred Business, she serves as the Community Organizer for Barred Business, an organization lead by justice-impacted Black women in Atlanta, Georgia.  Driven by her own experiences, Tristian is deeply committed to social justice and advocacy, particularly in the areas of transformative, restorative, and reproductive justice. 

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Devonnie McEwan

Digital Media Manager

With over 11 years of experience in graphic design, content creation, and brand development. Her professional journey includes a strong background in leadership, spanning over 8 years. She is also proficient in audio storytelling.

Educationally, Devonnie holds a Post Graduate Certificate in Radio & Media Production, a Bachelor of Science in Liberal Studies and various other academic achievements and is currently pursuing her Master’s Degree in Business Management.

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OUR 
TEAM.

BOARD MEMBERS.

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Dawn Harrington

Board Member and Executive Director of Free Hearts 

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Marcus Wilson

Board Member and CEO of Bounce Back and Intelligis

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Dean Steed

Board Member and Communications Director, Solutions Not Punishment Collective.

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Micah Herskind

Board Member and Organizer, Writer, & Law Student

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Jacqueline Worrell

Board Member and Realtor at JacKEYS Atlanta

Home

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Mathew Green

Board Member and Hot Sticky Buns Consultant

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Kwame Teague

Board Member and Currently Incarcerated Activist, Advocate, Film Maker and Essence #1 Best Selling Author.

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Sekwan Merritt

Board Member and Founder & Owner of Lightning Electric

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