Jihad Abdulmumit is a member of the Abolitionist Law Center (ALC)’s Board of Directors. He is the Chairperson of the National Jericho Movement, which supports political prisoners in the United States and works to win their freedom through amnesty. He is a community activist, playwright, and health care provider. He works as a Community Case Manager at a free health clinic and gives HIV/STI workshops in schools and prisons, does HIV testing in jails/prisons, and case manages HIV + inmates upon their release. He and his wife own their own community theater company – For Our Children Productions – which produces several original social/political theme orientated performances a year. He has a MBA, with a concentration in Health Services from Strayer University.
Jihad was a domestic political prisoner and prisoner of war, and served 23 years of his life in prison for his involvement in the Black Liberation Movement. He joined the Black Panther Party at sixteen and eventually went underground in the ranks of the Black Liberation Army. Most of his time was served in Lewisburg and Leavenworth Federal penitentiaries. In the mid-seventies prior to his incarceration, Jihad was also the Coordinator of the Rochester Federation of Youth in Rochester, New York – a youth organization that sponsored community economic development projects, weekly political education and black history classes, and worked with troubled teens.
Anita Colon is the treasurer for the Board of Directors. She grew up in the SpringGarden section of Philadelphia and attended J.R. Masterman High School. She went on to attend Villanova University where she majored in Criminal Justice and obtained a Master’s Degree in Human Services from Lincoln University. Anita is a human rights and juvenile justice advocate currently serving on the Executive Committee of the Pennsylvania Prison Society Board of Directors. She is also the Pennsylvania State Coordinator for the Campaign for Fair Sentencing of Youth and serves on the steering committee of the PA Coalition for Fair Sentencing of Youth as well as the Board of Directors of Reconstruction, Inc.
In these roles, Anita advocates for juvenile justice reform in Pennsylvania and throughout the United States, specifically the elimination of juvenile life without the possibility of parole. Anita ‘s advocacy work came about as a result of her brother’s life sentence for a crime he was convicted of participating in on his 16th birthday 27 years ago. Anita has testified before the US House of Representatives and the PA Senate and House Judiciary Committees concerning the elimination of Juvenile Life Without Parole Sentencing. She also recently served on the Pennsylvania Joint State Government Commission Juvenile Act Advisory Committee which provided a report recommending changes to the existing laws as they relate to juvenile offenders and currently serves on the PA Lt. Governor’s Board of Pardons Advisory Council (LGBOPAC).
Shandre Delaney is the Secretary for the Board of Directors. She was an organizer with the Justice for the Dallas 6 Support Campaign. Her son Carrington Keys is one of the Dallas 6, a group of prisoner-whistleblowers who spent six years facing retaliatory criminal charges of “riot” for a peaceful protest against guard abuse of prisoners at SCI Dallas. She has been an activist since 2008 with the Human Rights Coalition (HRC), a prisoner’s rights group founded by Pennsylvania prisoners and their supporters, and is currently heading up the Prisoner Justice and Whistleblower Support Campaign to protect other prisoners facing retaliatory abuse.
Lisa Freeland is a member of ALC’s Board of Directors. Ms. Freeland is the Federal Public Defender for the Western District of Pennsylvania. She received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Philosophy from Tufts University in 1984 and a J.D. from Columbia Law School in 1994. She also holds a Master of Science degree in Journalism from Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism. After receiving her journalism degree, Ms. Freeland worked for American Lawyer Media, LP, where she served as Associate Editor of The American Lawyer magazine and as a reporter for San Francisco’s daily legal newspaper, The Recorder. After graduation from law school, Ms. Freeland served as a law clerk to the Honorable Timothy K. Lewis, then a member of the Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit. She was a Visiting Professor at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law and staff attorney at the Office of the Appellate Defender in New York City before joining the Federal Public Defender’s office as a Research and Writing Specialist in 1999. Ms. Freeland is a frequent faculty member at local and national CLE programs, speaking regularly on sentencing issues, appellate advocacy, procedural issues in habeas corpus cases, and ethics, among others. She is a native of Pittsburgh and is active in her local community, having served on a number of boards, including the Urban League of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh Branch NAACP, and the ACLU of Greater Pittsburgh. She is also a founding member of the Board of Governors of the Bar Association of the Third Federal Circuit and a past board president. Her practice focuses primarily on criminal appeals and habeas corpus cases.
JASMINE GONZALES ROSE
Jasmine Gonzales Rose is a member of ALC’s Board of Directors. A Professor at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law, Jasmine Gonzales Rose is a graduate of Harvard Law School, where she served as Editor-In-Chief of the Harvard Latino Law Review and a member of the Harvard Legal Aid Bureau. After law school, she clerked for Judge Damon J. Keith of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit and Judge Hector M. Laffitte of the U.S. District Court for the District of Puerto Rico. She has also worked for a variety of non-profit and governmental organizations on issues of civil and human rights. Currently she serves on the Boards of Directors of the American Civil Liberties Union of Greater Pittsburgh and the Abolitionist Law Center.
Professor Gonzales Rose is a critical proceduralist and is particularly interested in the intersections of race, language, citizenship, and lay participation in the legal system. She teaches courses in Evidence, Civil Procedure (including Complex Litigation with an emphasis on social change), and Race and the Law. In 2014, she received Pitt Law’s Distinguished Public Interest Professor Award and was selected as an inaugural Derrick A. Bell Fund for Excellence Scholar. Professor Gonzales Rose was awarded the Robert T. Harper Award for Excellence in Teaching in 2015
Jamelia Morgan is the President of the Board of Directors. She formerly served as a Staff Attorney with the Abolitionist Law Center where she litigates prison conditions cases and cases to end solitary confinement. Jamelia is the former Arthur Liman Fellow at the ACLU National Prison Project (NPP). At NPP, Jamelia worked on the ACLU’s Stop Solitary campaign seeking to end the practice of solitary confinement in our nation’s prisons, jails, and juvenile detention centers through public policy reform, legislation, litigation, and public education. Jamelia is the author of a 2017 ACLU report titled Caged In: Solitary Confinement’s Devastating Harms on Prisoners with Physical Disabilities. She is a 2013 graduate of Yale Law School, where she was an active member of the Criminal Defense Project and the Detention and Human Rights Clinic. Jamelia is a 2006 graduate of Stanford University where she received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science and Master of Arts degree in Sociology.
Jules Lobel is the Vice-President of the Board of Directors for Abolitionist Law Center. Professor Jules Lobel is the Bessie McKee Walthour Endowed Chair at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law. He is also the President of the Center for Constitutional Rights, a national human and constitutional rights organization headquartered in New York City. He has litigated numerous cases involving Constitutional and Human Rights issues in the United States Courts and has represented members of Congress challenging various Presidents – both Democrat and Republican – assertions of Executive power to unilaterally initiate warfare. Lobel has been involved in various cases challenging aspects of US policy toward suspected terrorists, including Rasul v. Bush, arguing for habeas corpus rights for Guantanamo detainees, Arar v. Ashcroft, seeking damages for a Canadian citizen who alleged that he was wrongfully rendered to Syria to be tortured by high U.S. officials, and Holder v. HLP, a Supreme Court case challenging aspects of the material aid to terrorism statute as violative of the First Amendment.
Lobel has authored several books, including Success Without Victory: Lost Legal Battles and the Long Road to Justice in America, as well as numerous articles on international and constitutional law in publications including Yale Law Journal, Harvard International Law Journal, Cornell Law Review, University of Pennsylvania Law Review and Virginia Law Review. In 2007, Lobel co-authored the award winning book, Less Safe, Less Free: Why America is Losing the War on Terror with Professor David Cole, which won the first Roy C. Palmer Civil Liberties Prize for exemplary scholarship exploring the tension between civil liberties and national security. Lobel’s article, entitled, Preventive Paradigm and the Perils of Ad Hoc Balancing was selected by Oxford University Press as one of the Top Ten Global Justice Law Review Articles in 2007.
CARL REDWOOD, JR.
Carl Redwood, Jr. has served as chairperson of the Hill District Consensus Group and was Chairperson of the One Hill Community Benefits Agreement Coalition. Carl is a social worker and has participated in various community organizing efforts on the local, national, and international levels. He has been part time faculty at the University of Pittsburgh, School of Social work for many years.
etta cetera is a community educated bridge builder who is deeply committed to relationship building as well as, transformative & racial justice. Beginning in the year 2000 etta has participated in movements challenging mass incarceration and white supremacy. etta co-founded the following organizations: Book ‘Em, Pittsburgh’s Books to Prisoner program, HRC – FedUp!, WHAT’S UP (Working and Healing to Abolish Total Supremacy, Undermining Privilege), the Prison Poster Project, Let’s Get Free: The Women and Trans Prisoner Defense Committee, and Walk the Talk PGH, an anti-oppression training group.
KEMPIS GHANI SONGSTER
Kempis Ghani Songster is an advocate working for healing justice, a yoga practitioner and a community educator based in Philadelphia. He is a member of Right to Redemption and the founder of Ubuntu Philadelphia. Ghani was released from prison in December of 2017 after serving 30 years of juvenile life/death by incarceration sentence.