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Kevin Gallagher, President
Jeff Howard, Vice President
Campaign for the Fair Sentencing of Youth, Former Legal Director
Corrie Leech, Secretary
Howard Conant, Treasurer
Urban Innovations, President
Criminal Legal System Reform Advocate
Represent Justice, Policy Director
Law Office of the Cook County Public Defender, Assistant Public Defender
Barbara Flynn Currie
DePaul University, Professor Emeritus and Former Dean
Illinois Justice Project, Director
Exelon, Associate General Counsel
KPMG, Senior Associate
Community Behavioral Healthcare Association of Illinois, Chief Executive Officer
Nextpoint, Chief Executive Officer
Northwestern University Pritzker School of Law – Children & Family Justice Center, Clinical Assistant Professor
Illinois Juvenile Defender Resource Center, Staff Attorney
Legacy Reentry Foundation, Founder, Lake County Jail, Chaplain
Communities and Relatives of Illinois Incarcerated Children, Member & Advocate
The Red Balloon Co., President and Owner
Fortis Global, Chief Executive Officer
Precious Blood Ministry of Reconciliation, Mentor Coordinator
FDSET, Assistant Federal Defender
Facing History – Chicago, Co-Founder and Former Director
Court Theater, Executive Director
Restore Justice, Executive Director
Kevin Gallagher is a civic leader and criminal legal system reform advocate in Chicago. He is actively involved with Old St. Patrick’s Church and its Kinship Initiative with the people of North Lawndale. He also serves as a mentor for formerly incarcerated youth. Retired, Kevin previously served as the Vice President and Corporate Secretary for Telephone and Data Systems (TDS), a Chicago-based telecommunications service company.
Jeff Howard is a lifelong advocate for children and people who are indigent within the criminal legal system. Jeff worked for the Law Office of the Cook County Public Defender for 30 years. As an Assistant Public Defender, Jeff engaged in extensive defense work on behalf of children and other clients. He represented people in capital cases. Jeff also served in a variety of supervisory roles, including as Chief of Operations (known as First Assistant Public Defender). Jeff is extremely proud to have played a part in abolishing capital punishment in the State of Illinois. He is past President of the Illinois Public Defenders Association. After leaving the Law Office of the Cook County Public Defender, Jeff became the Legal Director for the Campaign for the Fair Sentencing of Youth (CFSY), a national organization working to abolish youth life without parole. At CFSY, Jeff shaped and implemented strategy and worked with coalition partners and firms working on youth life cases. Jeff has presented on a variety of criminal defense topics at seminars across the country. He is a founding Board Member of Restore Justice.
Corrie Leech is a web developer in Chicago. She previously served as the director of communications for Start Early (formerly the Ounce of Prevention Fund), where she led the organization’s media and public relations strategy. She has also served as the director of communications for the National Association of Charter School Authorizers (NACSA) and as a development officer for Human Rights Watch, where she managed fundraising, outreach, and cultivation events in Chicago. She began her career at the global public relations firm Burson-Marsteller, where she executed strategic communications plans and provided corporate reputation, executive visibility, and media relations support on campaigns ranging from women’s empowerment to green industry. Corrie holds a bachelor’s degree from Northwestern University, where she majored in Gender Studies and Political Science.
Howard Conant, Jr. is the founder and president of Urban Innovations, LLC, a real estate development and property management company based in Chicago’s River North neighborhood. He is responsible for acquisition and development, financial analysis, and negotiation of major transactions. Howard holds a Bachelor of Arts from Harvard University and a masters degree in Architecture from the University of California Berkeley. In addition to his involvement with Restore Justice, Howard is active on the boards of Archeworks, the Writers Theater, and the Chicago Committee of Human Rights Watch.
Cathy Cahue-Aguilar is the sister of Joseph Rodriguez, who was sentenced to natural life without parole in 1982 for a crime committed at age 16. Cathy has advocated for releases and criminal legal system reform for more than 35 years. She was an early member of Communities and Relatives of Illinois Incarcerated Children (CRIIC) and remains actively involved in the group’s activities and advocacy. Since Joseph’’s release in November 2016, Cathy has provided him with a home and support as he adjusts to life outside of prison. She has unique experience with the needs of individuals who grew up behind bars as well as the difficulties faced by families as loved ones transition back into society. Cathy is a Customer Data Analyst for Newark element14, an electronics distribution company. She and her partner, Humberto, have 7 children, 22 grandchildren, and 3 great-grandchildren.
Marshan Allen is the National Policy Director for Represent Justice, an organization that started as an impact campaign inspired by the life and legacy of Bryan Stevenson and launched in December 2019 alongside the Warner Bros. theatrical release of Just Mercy. Before joining Represent Justice, Marshan was a Research & Policy Fellow with Fair and Just Prosecution (FJP) and Policy Director for Restore Justice Foundation. Marshan received a sentence of life without parole for an offense that occurred when he was 15 years of age; he was released after almost 25 years because of the US Supreme Court’s decision in Miller vs. Alabama. While incarcerated, Marshan assisted the Illinois State Bar Association with the 2006 revision of Post-Trial Remedies: A Handbook for Illinois’ Prisoners. He has earned certificates in paralegal studies, business management, computer technology, and restorative justice, and he holds an associate degree from Lake Land College, where he graduated Summa Cum Laude. In August 2020, Marshan graduated from Northeastern Illinois University with a bachelor’s in Justice Policy & Advocacy. In 2018, the Illinois Judges Association presented Marshan with the Recognition of Excellence in Outreach Award. In 2019, Marshan received the Liberty Bell Award from the Chicago Bar Association and the Grace Warren Award from the Campaign for the Fair Sentencing of Youth (CFSY), for which he currently serves on the Board of Directors. In February 2020, Marshan was appointed by Governor JB Pritzker to the Illinois Juvenile Justice Commission. He is also an active member of the Incarcerated Children’s Advocacy Network (ICAN) and the Loyola University Center for Criminal Justice’s Emerging Adult Policy and Practice Network.
Jeanne Bishop is the sister of Nancy Bishop Langert, who, along with her husband Richard and their unborn baby, was murdered by a teenager in 1990. Jeanne Bishop is a felony attorney with the Office of the Cook County Public Defender, an adjunct professor in the Trial Advocacy Program at Northwestern University Pritzker School of Law, and the author of two books on mercy and forgiveness. She serves on several boards supporting reform in the criminal legal system, including the Illinois Prison Project and the James B. Moran Center for Youth Advocacy. Jeanne is the mother of two sons, Brendan, a graduate student at the Naval Postgraduate School, and Stephen, a high school senior.
Mitchell Cobey, who retired in 2008, opened perhaps the first gourmet takeout food and catering shop in Chicago on the Near North Side in 1977. A graduate of Washington University and the Columbia University Business School, Mitch picked up his studies again at the University of Chicago, where he has taken more than 70 courses, mostly focusing on political science and film. He is Co-Chair of the Human Rights Watch Chicago Committee and a volunteer docent for the Chicago Architecture Foundation. Mitch serves on the board of FACETS, a Chicago-based nonprofit that connects people to independent ideas through transformative cinema, and he is active in national and local politics.
Barbara served in the Illinois House of Representatives from 1979 to 2019. Her District included many Chicago Lakefront neighborhoods on the South Side, including Kenwood, Hyde Park, South Shore, and South Chicago. In 1997, Barbara became the first woman to serve as Majority Leader of the Illinois House; she remained in this position until she retired from the Legislature. While in the House, Barbara chaired committees charged with proposing district maps based on Census data, and looking into allegations of misconduct against a governor, an Illinois Supreme Court justice, and a sitting lawmaker. She chaired bipartisan task forces on education financing reform and improvements in reporting and enforcement procedures for private and public sector victims of sexual discrimination and abuse.
Bernardine Dohrn is a civic leader and advocate working to protect children involved with the legal system. Bernardine champions human rights locally and internationally. In 1992, she founded the Children and Family Justice Center (CFJC) at Northwestern University Pritzker School of Law. She served as director and Clinical Associate Professor of Law at the CFJC for more than 20 years until her retirement in 2013.
Susanne Dumbleton earned a Bachelor of Arts, Master of Arts, and PhD in English from the State University of New York at Albany. She served as a Professor and Dean at DePaul University’s School of Continuing and Professional Studies. Susanne is a dedicated social justice researcher and advocate.
Garien Gatewood joined the Illinois Justice Project in April 2019. Previously, he served as the Director of Policy Advocacy at the Juvenile Justice Initiative (JJI), where his work focused on legislation and policy reform for youth in Illinois. While at the Juvenile Justice Initiative, Garien worked on state and local policy with a focus on the rights of children, detention reform, eliminating youth homelessness, juvenile expungement, and reentry. Prior to JJI, Garien worked for the Children’s Law Center; his work focused on systemic change and individual reentry services for youth throughout Ohio and Northern Kentucky. This youth reentry project was the first in the region to provide both reentry and legal services. In 2015, Garien was one of 10 people selected as a Youth Justice Leadership Institute Fellow of the National Juvenile Justice Network. During his fellowship, he developed a statewide youth reentry guide for Ohio and partnered with organizations throughout the nation to develop youth reentry programs. Currently, Garien serves on the Illinois Criminal Justice Information Authority Board of Directors, the Cook County Juvenile Temporary Detention Center Advisory Board, the National Juvenile Justice Network’s Membership Advisory Council, the Board of Directors for Restore Justice, and the Restore Justice Illinois Board of Directors, for which he is President. Garien earned his law degree from the University of Mississippi. During law school, he clerked with the Southern Poverty Law Center and the Mississippi Innocence Project. Prior to law school, he earned his Master’s Degree in Public Administration from Belhaven College and a B.A. in Political Science from Jackson State University.
Mickey Gaynor, a retired attorney, has been a passionate advocate for youth who are incarcerated since joining the Illinois Coalition for the Fair Sentencing of Children (housed at his alma mater, Northwestern University Law School) in 2006. He has visited with youth serving adult prison terms in Illinois and has made significant contributions to the legislative agenda of the Coalition. Mickey was among the founding board members of Restore Justice Illinois and Restore Justice Foundation.
Mickey’s legal career focused on bankruptcy law. He and his wife, Judy, are deeply rooted in Democratic politics in Illinois and both were close friends and allies of former Congressman, Federal D.C. Circuit Judge, and White House Counsel, the Honorable Abner Mikva, also a founding board member of Restore Justice Illinois and the Foundation. Judy and Mickey spend time traveling to visit their three grown children and four grandchildren.
Marvin Lindsey is the CEO of a statewide behavioral health association in Illinois. He provides leadership, guidance, and advocacy about building effective community behavioral health systems. He is also an executive for a limited liability company of behavioral health providers, ProviderCo, created to act as preferred providers for behavioral health services to Medicaid beneficiaries for third-party payors. Marvin previously served on the Illinois Medicaid Advisory Committee and currently serves on the Illinois Advisory Council on Alcoholism and Other Drug Dependency, the Illinois Behavioral Health Workforce Taskforce, and the Governor’s Adult Use Cannabis Health Advisory Committee.
Previously, Marvin worked as an adult and adolescent behavioral health clinician and as a research assistant and senior research assistant with Harvard University, TASC, and the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC). He serves on the Community Advisory Committee of the UIC Urban Health Program, as a committee member of the DePaul University’s Men of Color Program, and as the co-chair of the UIC Jane Addams College of Social Work’s Dean Advisory Committee. Marvin facilitates UIC’s We Are Men Program, which recruits and supports African American graduate students.
Marvin is a graduate and scholar of the American Society of Association Executives Diversity Executive Leadership Program (DELP). He attended Loyola Academy and received his bachelor’s degree from DePaul University and his master’s degree in social work from UIC’s Jane Addams College of Social Work. Marvin has received awards for community service and leadership and was the 2019 commencement speaker at the College of Social Work graduation ceremony.
Rakesh Madhava is the founder and Chief Executive Officer of Nextpoint, an award-winning 50+ person software-as-a-service company with clients across the world. During the past 20 years, Rakesh and Nextpoint have provided software, strategy, and advice to more than 500 law firms and other legal-focused organizations. Rakesh continually looks for innovative methods and techniques to encourage the use of internet-based technologies in the legal sector. He has written dozens of articles on eDiscovery, data strategy, internet security, and business strategy, and has been a frequent speaker at legal technology conferences. Rakesh is a patent-awarded inventor and founding member of the Legal Cloud Computing Association. His work has been featured in press coverage by the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Chicago Tribune, Reuters, ABA Journal, Law Technology News, and Information Management. He is an adjunct Lecturer focused on new media at the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University. Rakesh and his team organize Nextpoint’s Technology Advisory Group (TAG) conference and Spring Learning Series (SLS). He’s also a member of the Chicago Committee of Human Rights Watch and supporter of Common Pantry. Rakesh has dedicated his efforts to increasing awareness and education about the use of technology for attorneys to increase equal access to justice for all people.
Shobha L. Mahadev is a Clinical Professor of Law at the Children and Family Justice Center (CFJC), housed in the Bluhm Legal Clinic at Northwestern Pritzker School of Law. In that capacity, Shobha represents adolescents, as well as adults, facing trial (or previously convicted) for offenses that occurred in their youth, on appeal, and in post-conviction and clemency proceedings; Shobha also supervises students working on those cases. In addition, she serves as the project director for the Illinois Coalition for the Fair Sentencing of Children, overseeing policy and litigation strategy with respect to advocating for fair sentencing laws for youth and young adults convicted of serious crimes. The Coalition’s work and Shobha’s expertise has contributed to significant reforms of Illinois’s sentencing laws and sentencing laws across the country. Shobha has co-authored numerous amicus curiae briefs submitted in the United States Supreme Court, state supreme courts, and other courts of review. She was also the primary author of The Illinois Juvenile Defender Practice Notebook, a training manual for attorneys representing youth in court. Prior to joining the CFJC, Shobha was a litigation associate at a Chicago-based law firm and an Assistant Defender with the Office of the State Appellate Defender, First Judicial District, where she represented clients who are indigent on appeal.
Scott Main served as an Assistant Appellate Defender in the Office of the State Appellate Defender’s first District Office for more than 10 years. From 2012 through 2019, he was a Clinical Fellow in the Children and Family Justice Center at Northwestern Pritzker School of Law focusing on policy and litigation strategy for youth in adult court facing or serving lengthy sentences. As a Fellow, his work primarily focused on youth serving life without parole sentences, but also included reform and litigation efforts surrounding transfer, parole, and enhanced sentencing discretion for youth. Scott has taught legal writing and the Criminal Appeals Clinic at DePaul University College of Law and a Criminal Law Practicum at Northwestern Pritzker School of Law. Scott holds an A.B. from the University of Chicago and a J.D. from Loyola University Chicago.
George Moore Jr. is the Founder of Legacy Reentry Foundation, NFP. NFP is a faith-based organization committed to providing resources to people who were formerly incarcerated. The organization is focused primarily on reentry and prevention.
George is involved in several community organizations that drive policy and legislative change, including the North Chicago Exchange Club, Tri-Coalition and Criminal Justice Community Council, Parole Illinois, and Illinois Policy. His partnerships with local organizations drive collaborative efforts to build stronger communities. As a Pastor, George oversees From Lock Up to Legacy Ministries with his wife, ReGina. The curriculum for From Lock-Up to Legacy will be released on a larger scale. George also serves as a Chaplain at the Lake County Jail. George has authored 13 published books, reaching national and international audiences. He is a sought-after speaker focused on mass incarceration, recidivism, legislation, and marginalization.
Cynthia Morfin became involved with the criminal legal system in 1995 when her son, Nick, received a life without parole sentence for a crime committed at the age of 17. In 2021, prosecutors dropped charges against Nick; Nick came home after more than 25 years in prison. During the past 20 years, Cynthia has grown increasingly more passionate about reforming the system. She is an active member of Communities and Relatives of Illinois Incarcerated Children (CRIIC) and frequently participates in legislative change initiatives, going to Springfield to advocate for change. Cynthia retired after working for 30 years in finance for Quantum Foods. She volunteers for the NICU Unit at the Advocate Christ Hospital, where she soothes infants with natal complications.
Jennifer Pope is the president and owner of The Red Balloon Co, a children’s retail business based in Chicago’s Bucktown neighborhood. She started The Red Balloon in 1999 with vintage and custom furniture for kids. The Red Balloon has grown to include clothing, toys, and gifts; it has been named “Best Children’s Store in Chicago” numerous times during the past two decades and has been featured in more than a dozen national news publications. Jennifer graduated with a B.A. from Sarah Lawrence College and is a wife and mother of two teenagers. She has served on the Executive Committee of the Andersonville Chamber of Commerce and has volunteered her time with Human Rights Watch, Care for Real, and the Lakeview Pantry.
Ashley Tate-Gilmore was born and raised in Chicago. She is a graduate of Whitney M. Young High School and attended Howard University. Ashley served as an intern with Barack Obama’s 2004 Senate campaign and subsequently as an executive assistant in his Senate office. Ashley was active in Senator Obama’s 2008 presidential campaign and, in 2010, became the Director of the White House Travel Office. Since her time working in the White House, Ashley has continued to manage the Obama family’s personal travel. She has also established her own company, Fortis Global, an exclusive travel concierge service. In addition, Ashley heads the consulting company, Tate & Associates, established by her late mother Desiree Tate. She also serves on the boards of Breakthrough Urban Ministries, the Chicago Elite Classic Advisory Board, and the City of Chicago’s Status of Women and Girls Working Group.
Fred Weatherspoon was born on the West Side of Chicago. He was incarcerated at the age of 17 and spent 25 years in prison. During that time, Fred obtained a GED and taught classes on cognitive behavior therapy, substance abuse, and many other courses to men he was incarcerated with. He also led a fundraising campaign that raised thousands of dollars for children living in poverty on the South Side of Chicago. Now that he is home, Fred helps families obtain first-time homeownership in the New City and Back of the Yards communities.
Presita West is a former resident of Chicago. She has been a licensed attorney for 21 years. She worked as a Cook County Public Defender for 16 years representing clients charged with juvenile petitions, traffic cases, and felony charges. Presita honed her teaching skills at the University of Chicago Intensive Trial Practice Workshop and through the National Institute for Trial Advocacy Midwest Trials Program. Presita previously received two fellowships, Equal Justice Works and Soros Justice, to serve the Englewood community through First Defense Legal Aid. During these fellowships, she served as a community educator and attorney representing people detained in Chicago Police Department custody. Presita is the mother of three children and served for many years on the Local School Council for Chicago Public Schools; she remains an active football mom. Since relocating to Chattanooga, Presita has joined the Bessie Smith Cultural Center Board of Directors. She currently works on behalf of clients in the Eastern District of Tennessee federal system as an Assistant Federal Defender.
Judy Wise is a founding member of the Restore Justice Board of Directors. Formerly the Senior Director of Facing History and Ourselves, an international non-profit professional development organization for educators, Judy founded the organization’s first regional office in Chicago and later founded the United Kingdom office. She served in executive positions for 25 years and remains involved as a member of the organization’s board of directors. Judy also serves on the boards of the Chicago Media Project and the Baskin Family Foundation, and chairs the board of Mother Jones Magazine. She served on President Barack Obama’s Commission on White House Fellowships for eight years. Judy received her Bachelor of Arts from Washington University and Master of Arts in psychiatric social work from the University of Chicago. She was married to Sheldon Baskin and has three children and four grandchildren.
Angel Ysaguirre has been the Executive Director of Illinois Humanities since 2014. From 1999 to 2005, he was also the Director of Programs, creating programs and series that include The Odyssey Project, Einstein’s Revolutions, and the Law. Angel was Deputy Commissioner at the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events from 2012 to 2014, where he managed the city’s public art program, creative industries offices, and arts programming. From 2005 to 2012, he was Director of Global Community Investing at the Boeing Company, overseeing the company’s grantmaking program in 60 offices throughout the globe. Angel began his career in Chicago as a program officer at the McCormick Tribune Foundation.
Jobi Cates is Executive Director and Founder of Restore Justice, a statewide criminal legal system reform organization focused on long-term incarceration and its impact on individuals, families, and communities. From 2008 through 2014, Jobi was the Senior Director of the Chicago and Midwest Regional Office of Human Rights Watch (HRW). In her role there, she led the legislative and communications efforts of a broad-based coalition to end the practice of sentencing children who commit serious crimes to “life without parole.” Jobi has extensive non-profit leadership experience over more than 25 years, including roles as Executive Director of the Illinois Caucus for Adolescent Health and Executive Director of the Mayer and Morris Kaplan Family Foundation. She has served in government twice, leading initiatives for Mayor Richard M. Daley and Chicago Public Schools CEO Arne Duncan. As a consultant, Jobi has managed projects for the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the Fund for a Safer Future, the Asset Funders Network, the Chicago Community Trust, and Americares. She is a graduate of Northwestern University, the mother of two children, and an avid crafter. Jobi was recently confirmed as a member of the Illinois Youth Budget Commission by Governor JB Pritzker.