BOARD OF DIRECTORS &
Teiahsha Bankhead, PhD., LCSW, President
Teiahsha Bankhead, Ph.D., LCSW, is Executive Director of Restorative Justice for Oakland Youth (RJOY), a national leading organization in racial justice promotion using restorative practices and principles. Dr. Bankhead is a social justice activist, a restorative justice advocate, a licensed psychotherapist and a professor with both MSW and Ph.D. degrees in social welfare from the University of California, Berkeley.
Born to a Black radical mother during the uprising of the Watts Rebellion and coming of age in South Central Los Angeles during the embittered racial relations and social unrest of the civil rights era ignited within Dr. Bankhead a passionate commitment to social justice advocacy and transformative community empowerment. Dr. Bankhead has a commitment to racial justice, racial healing and restorative economics. She has taught racial, gender and sexual orientation diversity, theories of criminal behavior, and US social policy at the undergraduate and graduate levels. She speaks and holds circle on the subjects of School-Based Restorative Justice, Race and Restorative Justice, the Indigenous Roots of Restorative Justice, Social Justice and Restorative Justice, Truth-Telling and Racial Healing, Youth-Led and Movement-Based Restorative Justice, the School-to-Prison Pipeline, Mass Incarceration, and Restorative Cities.
Ted Lewis, Secretary
Ted Lewis is a restorative justice trainer and consultant with the Center for Restorative Justice & Peacemaking, University of Minnesota (Duluth). His primary work is training facilitators in the restorative conference model and creating new resources for trainings and dialogue-based programs.
After being introduced to RJ on Pine Ridge Reservation in the early 1990s, Ted became the program manager for VORP of Central Kansas. Later he merged restorative dialogue with dispute resolution at Community Mediation Services in Eugene, OR. Casework included two hate crimes that reached national-level news. He was also a director for the Barron County Restorative Justice Program in Wisconsin.
Over the past 20 years he has provided restorative workshops and reconciliation services for church communities. In 2016 he founded the Restorative Church website which connects RJ with restorative theology and practices for faith communities.
In 2013 Ted joined Mark Umbreit at the Center for Restorative Justice & Peacemaking where he has deepened his training and facilitation work for restorative conferencing for harming and harmed parties. Writing projects include his co-editorship of the book, Listening to the Movement: Essays on New Growth and New Challenges in RJ. He oversees the Restorative Justice Classics Series for Wipf & Stock Publishers.
Ted has served on the NACRJ advisory council and board since 2014. A top passion of his is to gather and share stories of deep healing and meaningful accountability. He lives in Duluth, MN, and loves the beautiful cold waters of Lake Superior!
Lee Rush, M.Ed., Treasurer
Lee Rush is the Executive Director of justCommunity, Inc. a non-profit organization he founded in 1999. Based in Quakertown, PA, justCommunity provides training and consultation services in the area of civic engagement, community mobilization strategies and restorative practices. Lee is also a consultant with Designed Learning, Inc., (a Peter Block company) and an instructor for the International Institute for Restorative Practices (IIRP).
Lee draws on over forty-five years of business experience in the fields of education, healthcare and non-profit management. During this time, he has served in a range of positions including teaching and counseling at the secondary level, administering a day treatment program in an alternative school setting, supervising staff in a residential youth facility, directing a human resource department for a mid-sized healthcare company, serving as an Executive Director of a 501(c)(3) health foundation.
Lee earned his undergraduate degree in Criminology from Indiana University of Pennsylvania and his Masters Degree in Psychoeducational Processes from Temple University. He specialized his studies in Organizational Development and Adult Learning theory. He was named the National Prevention Advocate in 2013 and has received numerous awards and recognition, including a Mission of Service Award from the International Mankind Project and a Distinguished Service Award from the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy.
Chauna Perry Finch, MSW
Chauna Perry Finch is a K-12 educator and social justice advocate who served as NACRJ’s advisory council co-chair since 2015. Chauna is also the founder of Restorative TCS (Training and Consulting Services), LLC which helps schools and hospitals use a restorative lens with themselves and each other as they strive to meet the needs of every student and patient.
Prior to starting Restorative TCS, LLC, Chauna coordinated the implementation of Restorative Practices for Milwaukee Public Schools. Some of the highlights of her work include the co-creation of the district’s high school elective courses, teacher guide, equity plan, and trauma-sensitive schools professional development modules. As a member of the NACRJ Board, Chauna is excited about working with fellow NACRJ leaders and members to ensure we maintain and provide the resources needed to thrive as an organization and meet the needs of our members.
Kathy Evans, PhD
Katherine Evans is an Associate Professor of Education at Eastern Mennonite University where she teaches courses in educational theory, differentiated instruction, and restorative justice in education (RJE). She is particularly interested in school and classroom climates, school discipline, and the ways in which educators participate in creating more just and equitable educational opportunities for all students, including those with disability labels and those who are marginalized for a variety of reasons, including race, ethnicity, language, economics, sexual orientation, or gender identity. Kathy holds a Ph.D. in Educational Psychology and Research from The University of Tennessee where her dissertation employed phenomenological interviews with middle school students about their experiences with in-school suspension.
While at EMU, Kathy has worked to develop EMU’s graduate program in RJE and has collaborated with teacher education faculty to embed restorative justice throughout the EMU teacher preparation program. She is the co-author of The Little Book of Restorative Justice in Education and has published articles and book chapters related to zero tolerance policies, restorative justice, and school discipline practices.
Thalia González is a Professor of Law at the University of California College of Law where she holds a Harry & Lillian Hastings Research Chair. She is also a Senior Scholar in the Center on Poverty and Inequality at Georgetown University Law Center where she leads national research and policy advocacy on restorative justice. Professor González is the author of more than 40 academic publications and currently an editor of the North American Volume of the International Encyclopedia of Restorative Justice (forthcoming 2023). Her interdisciplinary scholarship appears in top law reviews and peer reviewed journals, book, policy reports, white papers, issue briefs, court opinions, and legislative trend analyses as well as in The Washington Post, The Atlantic, and The New York Times.
In recognition of her research, Professor González has been selected as a 2022 – 2024 Restorative Justice Research Community Research Fellow supported by the U.S. Department of Justice Bureau of Justice Assistance. In the field of restorative justice, she has been awarded research grants from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Grantmakers for Girls of Color, Annie E. Casey Foundation, Atlantic Philanthropies, and Spencer Foundation. Professor González is Co-Chair of the American Bar Association’s Criminal Justice Section Alternative Dispute Resolution & Restorative Justice Committee and serves on the design and research teams for the San Francisco Truth, Justice & Reconciliation Commission.
Williams served 25 years of his life in juvenile and adult prison facilities. While incarcerated, Williams became a certified paralegal, wrote for San Quentin News in the early days, and founded a video and the first award-winning audio production program within a prison called the San Quentin Prison Report (SQPR). Williams co-founded San Quentin’s financial literacy program and F.E.E.L. philosophy (Financial Empowerment Emotional Literacy), served as the executive director of San Quentin's Restorative Justice Interfaith Roundtable, initiated TEDx San Quentin, and spearheaded efforts to build San Quentin’s Media Lab.
After being paroled, Williams went back inside as a free man to participate in TEDx San Quentin, has served on numerous local and national committees and boards, and was awarded a Soros Justice Fellowship where he worked to create a national multimedia platform and community engagement program initially named the Restorative Media Project (RMP). RMP helped formerly incarcerated people document their experiences and engage the public.
Based on his ongoing work in restorative practices and media production, Williams founded Restorative Media Inc., a non-profit social impact organization whose mission is to give voice to the wisdom of lived experience, advance intellectual ownership, and distribute narratives that inspire social transformation. Restorative Media officially launched a Formerly Incarcerated Speaker Series in partnership with Alcatraz Island (i.e. National Parks Service) on November 5th, 2022.
Amy Dallas is an attorney passionate about expanding restorative approaches to addressing conflict and harm instead of traditional overreliance on legal systems. Amy is the Program Manager of the Reshaping Prosecution Collaborative Justice Network at the Vera Institute of Justice, an initiative bridging relationships nationwide to co-create public safety through restorative practices, systems of mutual support, and social ingenuity. Before Vera, Amy was a public defender for ten years in Brooklyn, New York with the Legal Aid Society. Amy also provided legal and organizational development support to formerly incarcerated community leaders in the incorporation of a restorative justice nonprofit organization reimagining reentry and anchoring a network of credible messengers. She currently advises several organizations focused on community care for families of incarcerated loved ones and people returning home from prison.
Jodie Geddes is an international speaker on restorative justice, author, and advocate for racial healing and justice. She has an MA in Conflict Transformation from Eastern Mennonite University’s Center for Justice and Peacebuilding. While there, Jodie explored the intersections of peacebuilding, restorative justice, and systems change. As a Jamaican native who grew up in Brooklyn, NY, she uses her journey as a catalyst for creating new narratives about the Black experience and the possibilities for healing. Jodie currently serves as the Safe Outside the System Program Director at RJOY (Restorative Justice for Oakland Youth), providing support for community members experiencing a crisis with mental wellness and other community resources. In addition, she is the Co-Manager for CTTT (Coming to The Table), providing training and resources for communities and individuals to explore the history and legacy of enslavement.
Jodie is also co-author of the Little Book of Racial Healing: Coming to the Table for Truth-Telling, Liberation, and Transformation. In addition, she co-hosts a podcast called Ma.ternity Leave.
Joel Friesz, MSSL
Joel was introduced to the field of restorative justice in 2005 and for 13 years led a team of restorative justice facilitators and juvenile justice professionals at a statewide non-profit agency in North Dakota. During those years, Joel and his team worked extensively with communities across North Dakota to implement restorative practices into K-12 education, the juvenile justice system, and adult corrections. Joel provides training and coaching on implicit bias, bullying prevention, adverse childhood experiences, LGBTQ+ advocacy, and sexual assault and domestic violence prevention. Joel is a nationally certified Green Dot Bystander Intervention Community Instructor and served for three years as a Facilitator of Sexual Assault Prevention and Advocacy for North Dakota State University. For the past 10 years Joel has been involved with efforts to address disproportionate minority contact (DMC) in North Dakota justice systems and completed the Reducing Racial & Ethnic Disparities in Juvenile Justice Certificate Program at Georgetown University in 2016. Joel serves on several local and state committees including the North Dakota Juvenile Justice State Advisory Group, and became an Associate member of Sisters of the Presentation in 2020. Joel received his bachelor’s degree from North Dakota State University (Fargo, ND) and holds a master’s degree in Strategic Leadership from University of Mary (Bismarck, ND). A lifelong North Dakotan, Joel has resided in Fargo for over 25 years.