Meet the 2020 Podcast Team
(They | Them)
K McClendon and is a fat, Black, Queer survivor from the Midwest. They are a spoken word artist and focus on writing works that protest oppression and encourage self-adoration. They have over 30,000 views on Button Poetry’s Youtube channel. Check out one of their performances here.
(They | Them & She/her)
Teighlor McGee is a disability advocate and performing artist whose work centers around racial justice and health care reform. Teighlor is an writer, facilitator, and content creator organizing around issues regarding disability rights. They are the founder of the Black Disability Collective, an online movement focused on centering the narratives and lives of the Black Disabled community. Teighlor works as the Young Women's Initiative (YWI) Network Director for Women for Political Change (WFPC). Through this position they work alongside WFPC and the Women’s Foundation of Minnesota to organize events for women and girls under 30 throughout the state of Minnesota.
(She/her & They/them)
Samantha “Sam” Koltes (she/her/hers & they/them/theirs) works at Community Mediation and Restorative Services, Inc. as the restorative practices point person. She keeps circles, works in school-to-prison-pipeline disruption and juvenile justice transformation, and mentors youth. She is an LGBTQueer community member. Her academic background is in interpersonal communication and conflict. She was born in St. Cloud and now stays in the St. Paul Midway.
(She | Her)
Sophie finds her home in the Twin Cities Metro, the First City on the Mississippi, and the strangers she hasn't met yet. She’s a creative activist dedicated to providing social change through the arts by creating and uplifting communities, with an emphasis in storytelling. By embracing the arts from a generalist perspective, she’s able to connect with a range of communities and people through a variety of art forms. Sophie’s world is dedicated to asking questions and loving deeply. She studies Music, Social Justice, Nonprofit Management, and Digital Media Arts at Hamline University.
Meet the 2020
Research & Curation Team
(She | Her)
Youth Research Fellow
Alexis Irish, born and raised in Minnesota, is an experienced youth facilitator passionate about holistic health and wellness, specifically for Black youth. She is committed to co-creating youth-led, trauma-informed, and resilience-oriented spaces. Informed by her academic background in psychology, public health, and human values from Davidson College (GO CATS!), she empowers youth to attend to their physical, social, and emotional needs in order to thrive in all aspects of their lives.
(She | Her)
Youth Research Fellow
Madeline(she/her) is new to the restorative justice/transformative justice field. She has an interest, passion, and goal for understanding and acting out the social change both professionally and personally. She was born and raised on the land of the Dakota peoples, known broadly as Minnesota, often jumping around the areas of St.Cloud, Richmond & the Twin Cities. Madeline graduated from American University with a degree in International Studies with a concentration in Human Rights. She will be continuing her formal education this fall at the University of MN, pursuing a Master of Human Rights. In her free time(when she can schedule it), Madeline enjoys being outdoors, reading, spending quality time with friends and family, and engaging in conversations
Dorothy is from Seattle, WA, and building a new home in New York City. They believe in anti-capitalist, anti-racist, queer-centric social justice praxis, and they are always seeking ways to learn from marginalized and invisibilized communities. They specialize in suicide prevention, particularly from intersectional, critical, and abolitionist lenses. They are interested in complicating individual experiences of mental health and illness by drawing connections to systemic forces that promote or prohibit our abilities to survive and thrive. She loves to learn about inherent resilience within communities of color, especially intergenerational resilience, and advocate to make that knowledge and strength more legible and accessible. Dorothy holds a B.A. in Intersectional Mental Health from Brown University and currently trains volunteers for virtual crisis line work.
Lead Research Fellow
With all his family in Wisconsin, Illinois, and Michigan, Conner is deeply connected to the Great Lakes Region. A Restorative Justice Practitioner, and a student of Transformative Justice and Abolition, he is passionate about not only dismantling our punitive and carceral systems, but uplifting the voices and visions of Queer people to build new ways of being rooted in healing, transformation, and collective liberation. They want to live in a world where communities themselves have the tools to understand trauma, address harm, transform violence, and repair relationships. Conner holds a B.A. in Social Justice with highest honors from Hamline University, and is a graduate student at the Center for Justice & Peacebuilding in Virginia studying restorative justice and conflict transformation.
(They | Them & She | Her )
Meet the 2020 Policy Team
D'Andre Gordon (He | Him )
With the majority of D'Andre's family still living in Jamaica, D'Andre is deeply connected to the Jamaican culture whether it is the warm sun, white sand beaches, or the resilience of the people. Coming from Jamaica, he has observed the adverse effects of oppressive foreign policies on his small island country, and experienced navigating life with a hostile government and social institutions that were deeply antagonistic towards LGBTQ+ individuals. His experiences shaped him into a fervent proponent of dismantling capitalism, prison abolitionist, and strong public policy advocate. He firmly believes in uplifting the voices of marginalized communities and centering all our systems on equity, diversity, inclusion, and justice. For him, those terms are not just buzz words, but rather words that have a deep yearning to be actualized everywhere. D'Andre is completing his undergraduate degree in Criminal Justice and Psychology at Metropolitan State University with the hopes of attending law school where he will pursue a Juris Doctor and Master's degree in Policy.
Malaika Eban (She | Her)
Malaika Eban (she/her) is a restorative facilitator and community strategy lead at the Legal Rights Center. With Masters in Public Policy and Social Work from the University of Minnesota, Malaika is focused on advocating for policies and practices that support the capacity of community to care for their young. Malaika is passionate about the wellbeing of Black, Indigenous and Youth of Color involved in the juvenile legal system and building accountable relationships for their wellbeing. Other interests that ignite her spirit include showing up for family and gardening.