More about ...
Jarrell Daniels - Plenary Speaker
Jarrell is a Friends of the Island Youth Leadership peer mentor and a member of the 2018 Justice-In-Education Scholars cohort at Columbia University. Since his release from prison, he has become a sought after speaker on college campuses, where he has shared the experiences that led to his incarceration and that of others from similar communities. Through his work with the community, he offers disciplined advice for at risk and troubled teens re-emerging from Rikers Island and juvenile detention centers throughout NYC.
José A. Lora - Facilitator
A nonprofit professional with over 15 years experience in youth programming, holistic mentorship, organizing and social justice-based education across the US and internationally. His passion is engaging community members from all walks of life to learn how we can all build with each other to make life better for us all. José is aiming to utilize what he's learned from direct youth and community organizing into helping shape and advocate for policy that can benefit young people in particular, and the community at large, from a systemic platform. José was born and raised in NYC (Uptown to be exact), is married and has an almost-2-year-old son.
Simone Gamble - Facilitator
Simone Gamble is a community organizer who resides with roots in the South Bronx. She earned both her undergraduate and graduate degrees at Hunter College with a focus on Secondary Education and History and later Social Work and Community Organizing.
She has interned and worked at various youth organizations throughout NYC, focusing on various social justice issues including immigration rights, police accountability, education funding inequity, and the school to prison pipeline.
Simone is also an independent consultant leading workshops with a myriad of nonprofits, schools, camps, and after school programs centered in youth work around the issue of safer spaces for people of color with an intersectional, anti-oppressive lens. She has spoken at conferences and privately consulted with organizations around radical curriculum and facilitation.
Currently she is an Adjunct Professor at the Silberman School of Social Work at Hunter college teaching the Practice Lab Course for Social Work Graduate students.
Jeremy Zimmerman - Facilitator
Hello my name is Jeremy Zimmerman and I'm a senior at the Sustainable Development at the Earth Institute at Columbia. I am originally from Lancaster, PA and have previously studied Political Humanities in France. Currently I lead the university's America Reads tutoring program and am a part of the educational outreach team at the Center for Sustainable Development. With these roles I am incredibly passionate about the power of education and the role schools and other institutions play in our society and how we can use education as a tool for empowerment and justice.
Joshua Muhammad - Facilitator
Joshua Muhammad is finishing his first year at SUNY Polytechnic Institute of Technology, where he is majoring in Computer Engineering Technology. Growing up, Joshua always had an affinity for all things technology; this early attachment ultimately influenced his future career decision. Joshua managed many IT projects in high school and was lauded for his savviness and quick problem-solving abilities. From these experiences, he learned the value of consistency, discipline, and dependability. In the future, he hopes to become a freelance computer technician and develop his own computer hardware. Joshua is an avid music listener, and he has been playing the violin since the age of 8.
Ashley Stephenson - Facilitator
Ashley Stephenson is from the Bronx, NY. She is currently a senior at St. John Baptiste high school and outside of her academic career she enjoys cooking, singing, and writing. She plans to pursue a future in nursing and continue to engage in her community in the medical sector. Since 2019 she has been an IYLI fellow, and fulfilled her passion of studying abroad in Senegal.
Julia L. Davis - Facilitator
Julia L. Davis is the Director of Youth Justice and Child Welfare, Children's Defense Fund-New York. She has spent two decades advocating for vulnerable children through civil rights litigation and public policy advocacy. At CDF, she works to advance reforms that support communities where children and youth can grow and thrive, through City and State advocacy to reduce youth contact with the justice and child welfare systems, and support young people on their journey to adulthood. She received her A.B. from Brown University and her law degree from Cardozo School of Law.
Melissa Clarke - Facilitator
Melissa Clarke is the Youth Justice and Child Welfare Policy Associate, Children's Defense Fund-New York. She has spent the last five years dedicated to systemic change and advocating for vulnerable populations across New York City. Most recently, Ms. Clarke worked at New York City Charter School Center where she worked towards building community and political support in order for charter schools to flourish in the communities that needed access to high quality schools. Melissa received her B.A in Political Science from John Jay College of Criminal Justice and her Masters of Science in Social Work where she focused her work on public policy and contemporary social issues.