Our TeamOur research team consist of socially conscious innovators consisting of psychologists, social scientists, educators, and social workers, who are committed to ending the social woes associated with mass incarceration.
Dr. O’Dell Johnson
Chief Executive Officer
O’Dell Johnson, Ph.D., is a Humanistic/Existential Psychologist, as well as a Mind Body Medicine master level practitioner. Dr. Johnson founded Research Institute for Social Equity (RISE), a 501c3, a social and criminal justice reform research organization. After discovering there were few research organizations in the US led by people of color conducting research on people of color, particularly those who experience the criminal justice system. Dr. Johnson recognized the possibility of bias in communities of color research studies conducted by non-ethnic member groups. To better ensure ethnic minority groups stories are fully told in a holistic manner, Dr. Johnson established RISE as a culturally responsive research concern to bring forth the voided voices of people of color from a social scientific and humanistic scholarly approach. Based on RISE findings, innovations in program development becomes better realized, and effective solution-based programming can be implemented.
Dr. Johnson has been successful in the design, development, implementation, and management of social transformative change programs in various communities throughout the US. Currently, he is conducting research on returning citizens from correctional institutions who have served more than 25 years in prison, and the psychosocial impact on self-actualization processes after reentry. He has served as visiting professor and lecturer at Arkansas Baptist College, Notre Dame Namur University, San Jose Community College, and Chopra University. He received an Honor of Distinction Award for his dissertation research, Voices of Survivors: The Lived Experiences of African American Males Who Entered Reentry or Rehabilitation Programs After Incarceration: Culturally Informed Lessons Learned. Dr. Johnson was honored in 2017 by Oakland, California with the prestige “In the Spirit Award” for outstanding community service and leadership.
Dr. Johnson earned his PhD in Psychology with a specialization in Social Transformation, Saybrook University, Oakland California. He received a Master of Science in Psychology with a specialization in Health and Wellness Psychology from Sofia University, formerly known as, Institute of Transpersonal Psychology, Palo Alto, California. He obtained his Bachelor of Science Degree in Christian Science from St Louis Christian College, with a specialization in community counseling, Ferguson Missouri.
Dr. Renee Galloway
Renee’ Norris Galloway, Ph.D., is a research psychologist offering an extensive background in social science research. She possesses over 14 years of progressive and diversified experience in human capital assessment, higher education administrative assessment, cultural analyses, data collection and analyses, as well as report writing and presentation.
Her background also includes working as a school psychologist, college level teaching and academic assessment. Her areas of research include the Impact of Trauma on Behavior and Effective Psychological Healing Modalities and the Impact of Western Culture on the Behavior of Indigenous Peoples.
Dr. Galloway educational background consist of a Bachelor of Science in Psychology from Morgan State University, Baltimore Maryland; Master of Arts in Clinical Psychology from Texas Southern University, Houston Texas; Master of Science in Industrial/Organizational Psychology from Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, Virginia. She holds a PhD in Human Science from Saybrook University, Oakland California.
Advisory BoardOur advisory board is comprised of a diverse array of professionals with extensive experience in business, research, policy, law, health, and social sciences. They are dedicated to officiating transformative social change in marginalized communities using innovative practices for the achievement of social equity for all.
Dr. Sonasha Auset Braxton, PsyD
Sonasha Auset Braxton, PsyD, is a Clinical Psychologist, and social activist. She founded Sekhmet International Consulting, which provides integrative consulting services for global health. Dr. Braxton serves as the Race and Ethnicity Chair at The Hampton Institute, a think-tank which provides working-class perspectives on current issues with the goal of creating social and criminal justice reform. Currently, she serves as Clinical Psychologist for Los Angeles County Correctional Health.
Dr. Braxton has spent the last seven years working in various capacities with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees in sub-Saharan Africa in the areas of child protection, community services, social justice, and resettlement. She is passionate about creating culturally-attuned mental health programming in the various phases of international humanitarian emergencies for both displaced persons and staff. Additionally, she is a Registered Yoga Instructor 200, dancer, language teacher, singer and spoken word artist, and thus – consistently integrates creativity into all facets of her work.
Dr. Braxton received her Bachelor of Arts Degree from the University of Miami in International Studies, and Africana Studies, Miami Florida, and her Master of Science in Political Science with a specialization in Human Rights from London School of Economics, London England. She also holds a postgraduate Global Mental Health Certificate: Trauma and Recovery in Global Mental Health from Harvard Medical School, Boston Massachusetts.
Tim Evans, M.S
Tim Evans, M.S., has over 17 years of nonprofit management in areas of strategic planning, project development and management in supportive housing, mental health, substance use, and HIV & Aids.
His professional journey has gained him experiences in change management, leadership & coaching, database/metric system development, quality assurance, policy and procedures, assessments, evaluations, and development of service contract agreements with nonprofit entities as well as private and governmental institutions.
Mr. Evans priorities for organizational management is focused on awareness of the agencies mission, professional development skills, strengthening operational systems, and ensuring that employees and other stakeholders are working toward integrated goals, established agreements around intended metric outcomes/results that will promote program sustainability. Mr. Evans attended Alliant International University Organizational Management Master’s Program, San Francisco California. Currently, he is enrolled at Saybrook University, Oakland California, in the Master of Science Program in Human Science.
Charles L. Alphin, BS
Mr. Charles L. Alphin, Jr., is President of Building Life Foundations Nonviolence Center, located in St. Louis, Missouri. He has taught this philosophy nationally and in South Africa, Ghana and Nigeria as an intervention and prevention method in psychological and physical violence.
Mr. Alphin Jr. has provided Kingian Nonviolence training for many organizations such as ST. Louis PAL, ST. Louis Can, Mentors in Blue, St. Louis History Museum, Midwest Regional Kingian Nonviolence Training Conference, Boys and Girls Club of Atlanta, Georgia; Fulton County Georgia; Bethel Christian Half-Way House for Substance Abuse, Atlanta. GA; Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Support Group, St. Louis, Missouri; Atlanta Public Schools, Atlanta, Georgia: “At Risk” students at the “4th Annual International Nonviolence Conference,” University of Rhode Island, Kingston, Rhode Island; Youth and adults, Johannesburg, South Africa; AmeriCorps, Nashville, Tennessee.
He is Vice-President of DDK Historical and Educational Tours, which conducts tours both nationally and internationally focused on nonviolence training. He has conducted tours from the Unites States to Europe, West Africa and South Africa. In addition, Mr. Alphin serves as board member of Gateway to Peace Museum, St Louis, Missouri. He is a Certified Trainer in Kingian Nonviolence and obtain over 1600 hours of classroom training at The University of Rhode Island Center for Nonviolence and Peace Study. He holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Business Management from Lindenwood University, St. Louis, Missouri.
Ms. Sue Ellen Allen
Sue Ellen Allen is the founder and executive director of Reinventing Reentry. After leading a prison program for seven years and researching other programs nationwide, she realized that change on a large and effective scale would not happen until the public realized how our current prison system fails both public safety and our children and families. Ms. Allen is a University of Texas graduate, educator, community leader, and current activist for criminal justice reform. After serving 7 years at Arizona State Prison herself, she found her purpose in Reinventing Reentry to help reshape the criminal justice system towards fair justice.
In 2016, Sue Ellen was honored to be one of twenty-three Americans invited to sit with the First Lady in her box at the State of the Union message, representing criminal justice reform. Later that year she was a guest speaker on criminal justice at the White House sponsored summit, The United State of Women. She was a guest at a White House Convening on Criminal Justice Reform bringing together both emerging and established leaders from the advocacy, philanthropic, business, and law enforcement sectors to lift up the progress and advancements that have been made and surfacing opportunities to tackle persistent problems.
She is the author of The Slumber Party from Hell, a memoir about prison life, and the recipient of the Dawson Prize in Memoir in the 2009 Prison Writing Contest for PEN American Center.
Dr. David Morelos
David Morelos, Ph.D., has spent the last 15 years working directly with incarcerated men. He is currently employed as a drug treatment specialist with the Federal Bureau of Prisons at Federal Correctional Institution (FCI) Englewood, just outside of Denver, CO. He and three other mental health professionals facilitate a 60-man residential substance abuse program that focuses on creating lasting behavioral changes through an emphasis on the therapeutic community, rational thinking skills, self-esteem development, healthy relationships, and emotional maturity.
Dr. Morelos spent the first ten years of his career as a correctional officer, which uniquely situated him to observe the interactions of prisoners first-hand. This also gave him the opportunity to experience working relationships with incarcerated men that often ran contrary to the stereotypical prisoner/officer dynamic. He also gained an appreciation for the numerous struggles incarcerated men face as part of the experience that transforms them in both positive and negative ways. Dr. Morelos has been able to bring this valuable experience to his current work as a drug treatment specialist in order to fully understand the problems specific to men who have spent periods of time in prison, and how these problems can affect their chances for success upon their return home.
Dr. Morelos holds a Ph.D. in psychology (transpersonal concentration) from Sofia University, formerly known as the Institute of Transpersonal Psychology. His main research centered around the psychology of incarcerated men with an emphasis on prisonization, learned helplessness and the mother complex, which is a regressive tendency theorized by analytical psychologist C.G. Jung. Dr. Morelos focuses on how each of these potential issues can inhibit the psychological development of men who have been incarcerated and eventually lead them back post-release. Using this knowledge as a starting point, Dr. Morelos works to activate positive archetypes that are culturally informed to help men learn to help themselves and each other. Dr. Morelos also holds a Master of Social Science degree from the University of Colorado at Denver where his research centered on using transpersonal/integral theory to help develop more socially conscious models of incarceration that focused on character development and community restoration. He also holds a bachelor’s degree in writing and literature from Naropa University in Boulder, CO, where he focused on men’s psychological development as expressed in American transcendental philosophy and the seminal work of African-American innovator Fredrick Douglass.
Ms. Robin Sol Lieberman
Robin Sol Lieberman is an anthropologist and author of The Charisma Code: Communicating in a Language Beyond Words. It was during Robin Sol’s profound experience teaching her book’s confidence, communication and conflict transformation skills in prisons that eventually led her to establish the Jailbird Foundation, which she launched at the United Nations Headquarters in NYC early 2018.
Aside from her own non-profit’s efforts towards teaching mindfulness for successful reentry, Robin volunteers inside and outside of prison with like-minded groups such as the Office of Ex-Offender Re-entry in Montgomery County OH, Reinventing Reentry AZ, Insight Prison Project CA, the Freedom to Choose Project CA, Inside-Out CA, Black Lives Matter of Greater New York, and Centinela Youth Services Restorative Justice Mediators’ Program. She is a trained mediator through the Center for Dispute Resolution.
Robin is part of UCLA’s Semel Institute of Neuroscience Mindfulness Facilitation program where she created the Mindful Passages Series for all those in transition. She is an online contributor to Arianna Huffington’s new start-up, Thrive Global, a regular TV-and-radio-guest expert on Fox, the CW and SiriusXM, leads diplomatic training sessions at the United Nations for IMPACT Leadership 21’s Emerging Global Leaders program and serves as an advisor to Alliance 4 Empowerment, an organization committed to creating social and economic inclusion worldwide.
Dr. Joel Federman
Joel Federman, Ph.D., Chair of the Transformative Social Change Department at Saybrook University, is a writer, teacher, and activist. He has a doctorate in Political Science from the University of Southern California, and currently lives in San Francisco. His teaching and writing focus on the development of global civil society efforts for social justice, democracy, human rights, and peace. He also does research and writing in the related areas of violence prevention, media violence, diversity education, and cross-cultural conflict resolution
Dr. Federman is a former Co-Director of the Center for Communication and Social Policy at the University of California, Santa Barbara. He was project director for the National Television Violence Study, coordinating a team of more than 200 individuals at four major research universities — the Universities of California, North Carolina, Texas and Wisconsin — to produce the most comprehensive study of television violence to date.
Dr. Federman was also project director and co-author of the Choices and Consequences Evaluation, a study of a middle school violence prevention curriculum developed by CourtTV, the National Middle School Association, and Time Warner Cable. He is the author of Empowering Diversity, a curriculum for middle school students commissioned by the Santa Barbara, California Board of Education.
Dr. Genie Z. Laborde, Emeritus
Genie Z. Laborde, Ph.D., is an internationally known trainer and communication authority. She is the author of Influencing with Integrity, and CEO of I.D.E.A. She has authored several books, Influencing with Integrity; Management Skills for Communication and Negotiation, (200,000 sold); the follow-up book, Fine Tune Your Brain: When Everything’s Going Right and What to Do When It Isn’t; and the workbook 90 Days to Communication Excellence. Influencing with Integrity has been translated into French, Spanish, German, and Polish. Her latest is Influencing with Integrity on the Internet, which is an eBook and a book on paper.
Her videos and trainings have been purchased by Fortune 500 Companies and educational institutions. Dr. Laborde holds a Ph.D. in Confluent Education from the University of California at Santa Barbara. Confluent Education, based on Gestalt psychology, which is the study of the affective and cognitive domains in learning; the program was funded by a Ford Foundation Grant for Innovative in Education. She received her master’s degree from Tulane University, and her bachelor’s from Louisiana State University.
Dr. Laborde is listed in Who’s Who in the West Indies; a member of the American Psychological Association; Association of Humanistic Psychology, and the American Society for Training and Development. Dr. Laborde served on the MBA faculty at John F. Kennedy University. Throughout her career, Dr. Laborde has facilitated trainings in Amsterdam, Brussels, Budapest, Chihuahua (Mexico), Johannesburg (South Africa), London, Munich, Novosibirsk (Russia), 0ttawa, Paris, St. Petersburg, Stavanger (Norway), and Toronto. She is a recognized leader in the field of communications theory and its practical applications.
Dr. Suzanne Tuckey
Suzanne Tuckey, Ph.D., is a psychologist and social change scholar who specializes in socio-cultural factors influencing how people see themselves and others, how this changes over time, and how psychological isolation and an unrealistic emphasis on independence leads to various forms of social distress (e.g., inequality, discrimination, violence, substance abuse). Dr. Tuckey advocates for a cultural evolution from hyper-individualism and excessive consumerism to a more partnership-centric culture that recognizes we achieve our greatest potential through shared responsibility and care.
Dr. Tuckey believes strongly in the humanistic principle that every person has worth and deserves both dignity and respect. She believes all people have the capacity to grow, learn, and contribute positively to society. Dr. Tuckey works to encourage this spirit through her writing. She is also a contributing researcher for Human Rights Dallas, an initiative sponsored by Southern Methodist University that is documenting Dallas’ human rights history to raise awareness and prevent future atrocities. Her past experience includes mental health counseling and advocacy in criminal justice and domestic violence counseling settings. She worked within the criminal justice system as a counselor at the Caliente Youth Center in Caliente, Nevada, as well as at the Juvenile Detention Center in Las Vegas, Nevada. She also worked as a domestic violence counselor at Safe Nest in Las Vegas, Nevada, and as an advocate at the Las Vegas domestic violence court.
Dr. Tuckey received her PhD in Psychology with a specialization in Transformative Social Change from Saybrook University in Oakland, California. She was honored with a Dissertation of Distinction award for her research on women who make significant contributions toward a more caring, collaborative, and ultimately thriving world. She received a Master of Arts in Psychology with a specialization in Marriage and Family Therapy from Saybrook University where she gained expertise in areas such as relational therapy, trauma recovery, domestic violence, and suicide prevention. Dr. Tuckey holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Mathematics and Economics from Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas.
Board of DirectorsThe Board of Directors are experienced business owners, and leaders in their respective communities who advocates from social justice on every human level.
Dr. Donna Madison-Bell
Board of Director + Chief Administrative Officer (CAO)
Dr. Madison-Bell, EDD, brings over 20 years’ experience in education within the correctional system and beyond. Dr. Madison-Bell is the founder of DMBell Educational Enrichment Services (DEES), a San Francisco educational consultancy agency. DEES provides educational services to educational institutions, and community-based organizations who serve disadvantage populations.
She has worked within the correctional system since 1996 and served as a volunteer at San Quentin State Prison for 5 years as an “Incarcerated Citizen Advisor”, teaching at Warren County Jail in Bowling Green Kentucky, and served as mentor to Incarcerated women at Broward County Women’s Correctional Facility in Florida.
She holds a Doctoral Degree in Educational Leadership with a specialization in Curriculum and Instructions from the University of Phoenix. Her research focused on the lived experiences of volunteers in California’s correctional system. She also holds a Master of Science Degree in Adult Education from Florida International University, and a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Speech and Communication from San Francisco State University.
Dr. Madison-Bell currently serves as an Associate Professor at University of Maryland University College instructing online quantitative research studies to MBA graduates. In addition, she serves as an educator of incarcerated individuals at Elmwood Correctional Facility Five Keys Charter School through San Francisco Sheriff Department. Her professional affiliations include, The Black Doctoral Network Inc., California Alliance of African American Educators, The National Career Development Association, and Association of American Educators.
Dr. Muhammad A. Al-Rahman
Board of Director
Muhammad A. Al-Rahman, Ph.D., is a Clinical Psychologist and Interim Chairman at Clinical Pastoral Services, NY. He also serves as Director of the Faith and Cultural Wellness Project and Managing Partner of Culture Wellness & Development for Marriages & Family Therapy, P.C., a clinical practice servicing the needs of Muslim families based on the clinical practices of Consciousness, Spirituality and Integrated Health traditions.
Dr. Al-Rahman, holds a Doctorate in Psychology: Clinical Pastoral Psychotherapy, from the Graduate Theological Foundation, Mishawaka, Indiana; He is a New York State licensed Marriage and Family Therapist ; and National Clinical Fellow, of the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy; a Professional Member of the Association of Black Psychologists; a Diplomate of the American Psychotherapy Association; and a Board Certified Professional Counselor, of the American Psychotherapy Association.
He holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Business Administration and Leadership from the University of Phoenix. Presently, he is completing a second doctorate program of psychology at Saybrook University in Human Science.
Ms. Sheryl Thomas-Washburn, M.S.
Board of Director
Sheryl Thomas-Washburn, M.S., has over 20 years of experience aiding others along their transformational journey. She is a thought leader, community empowerment advocate for social justice, and life transformation specialist. Further, she is the co-founder of Washburn, Thomas & Associates, a corporate and community diversity training organization in the Bay Area.
She has provided diversity trainings to San Francisco Housing Development Corporation, Abode Services, Cleveland State University, Case Western Reserve University, Ohio University, Lutheran Metropolitan Ministry, Northeast Ohio Coalition for the Homeless, Catholic Charities, Ohio Board of Community Services, Corporation for National and Community Service, the American Civil Liberties Union, and various community colleges, school districts, and nonprofits.
Ms. Thomas-Washburn is a Certified Diversity Manager and Facilitator of Cultural Humility, Cross-Cultural Communication, Facilitating and Managing Complex Systems Change, and Human Interactions. She received her Bachelor of Arts Degree in Public Relations from Ursuline College in Pepper Pike, Ohio, and a holds a Master of Arts Degree in Psychology from Cleveland State University with specialization in Diversity Management.