Angela Stanton-King is the Founder and President of American King Foundation – whose mission is to reunite American families separated by mass incarceration with a pathway to justice, economic stability, and relational. She also serves as the community outreach coordinator for The Alive Center – a place of help, hope, and healing for hurting people. Angela also serves on the board of advisors for Cando Clemency and Alveda King Ministries. Best known for her critically acclaimed memoir, Life of a Real Housewife (formerly Lies of a Real Housewife) the National Best-Selling Author set's the record straight and places all her past dirty deeds on display for public view. Since her release from Prison in 2005, the celebrated owner of Stanton Publishing House and Reality TV star of the BET Network docu-series “From the Bottom Up” has formed several organizations dedicated to reforming the Criminal Justice System and supporting returning citizens. The accomplished writer, speaker, and advocate uses her life story, a testimony of redemption, to make a profound positive impact in today’s social climate. Her agenda of prison reform and family unification brings hope to those behind bars.
Angela has been featured on BET, BET-Her, The Raw Word (CBS), TMZ, Rolling Out, Inquisitr, Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Radar Online, Eurweb USA Today, the grio, Starcasm, The Atlanta Voice, Washington Examiner, Daily Mail, News Max, Americas Voice, and Fox Business just to name a few. She has spoken at the 2018 Women for Trump Conference, 2019 Buckhead Young Republicans Prison Reform Summit and she has a purpose entwined in a destiny that sets the captives free.
Leon Benjamin is the Senior Pastor and Bishop of New Life Harvest Church in Richmond, VA. Bishop Benjamin, a former Democrat and Gulf War veteran, is an emerging evangelical leader on the national front as a media spokesperson and conservative political activist. He operated as a surrogate for Trump on the presidential campaign trail and worked on the Faith-Based Initiative support team during the President-Elect’s transition to the White House. As a community activist, Bishop Benjamin has worked with public officials, civic and community leaders to make a difference in the areas of education, business development, and economic reform. He is a Senior Fellow for the National Minority Technology Council where he services National Faith-based Liason and Advisor to the Council. Bishop Benjamin is the president and founder of Coalition of Leaders United (CLU) dedicated to advancing conservative values and restoration of moral clarity in America. As a change agent for healing and reconciliation in our nation, the core of Dr. Benjamin’s message is “It’s time to unify, America!”
Darlene "Celeste" McFadgen
Darlene Ruth Celeste McFadgen graduated from Georgia Southern University at the turn of the century with a BA degree in French and Psychology. After college, she used her educational training to travel abroad and teach English as a second language in Europe. Upon returning the U.S., Celeste served as a lecturer and motivational speaker while working as an ESOL professor at Interactive College of Technology.
Celeste decided to continue her education and in 2007, she entered Law School at Liberty University. After graduating and passing Virginia's Bar Exam in 2010, she returned to Atlanta and taught Business Law at Atlanta Metropolitan College.
In 2012, she began working for Charitable Connections Inc, a nonprofit organization whose mission was to help smaller nonprofits by connecting them with appropriate resources to build their capacity. Celeste currently serves as a Small Business Consultant and has the pleasure of organizing, educating and training entrepreneurs to build sustainable businesses. Armed with faith that people working together can always bring us closer to meeting global needs, Celeste is honored to help serve organizations that operate in this same spirit.
Anthony Lee "Andy" Shurden
Andy Shurden is the President and Co-Founder or 1st Legacy Capital LLC, a leader in the mortgage industry who has a passion for serving others. A Christian, Andy is the father of five children and grandfather to three beautiful little girls, Andy understands the importance of family. An active participant with the Salt and Light Prison Ministry in Mississippi and member of Life Church in Columbus, Mississippi.
After his release from prison in 2009, Andy has become one of the very few former inmates of the Mississippi Department of Corrections to be granted clearance to go back inside the walls and share his testimony and encourage those that are incarcerated. Today Andy is well respected in his industry as well as throughout the prison system in Mississippi by correctional staff and inmates alike.
Evangelist Alveda King
Advisory Board Chairman
Alveda C. King is a creative Christian evangelist and civil rights activist and is also known for her creative contributions in film, music, politics, education and journalism. She is also an actress, singer, songwriter, blogger, author (including AMERICA RETURN TO GOD, KING TRUTHS, KING LEGACY COOKBOOK, KING RULES, WHO WE ARE IN CHRIST JESUS, LET FREEDOM RING, TENDER MOMENTS ALONE WITH GOD), FOX NEWS Contributor and a television and radio personality.
As a former GA State Legislator and devoted mother and grandmother, she is also a guardian of the King Family Legacy. Alveda is the daughter of Rev. A. D. King and Mrs. Naomi King, the granddaughter of Rev. Martin Luther King, Sr. and Mrs. Alberta Williams King, and the niece of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
She currently serves as a Pastoral Associate and Director of Civil Rights for the Unborn, the African-American Outreach for Priests for Life and Gospel of Life Ministries. She is also a voice for the Silent No More Awareness Campaign, sharing her testimony of two abortions, God’s forgiveness, and healing.
Isaac Newton Farris Jr.
Isaac Newton Farris Jr. nephew of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., was born in Atlanta, Georgia and attended his uncle's alma mater, Morehouse College where he majored in Political Science. Mr. Farris’s background has given him a unique perspective and real-life experience on some of the most pressing issues of our times. Growing up in one of America's most socially and politically active families have provided him with a front row seat, witnessing how policy is formulated and implemented. Mr. Farris has met and dialogued with countless heads of State, CEOs, religious leaders, academic leaders, and grassroots activists, in addition, he has also participated in debates and commentaries for print, radio and television media outlets ranging from CNN, USA Today to WSB radio. In 1984 Mr. Farris got his first hands-on experience as a political operative when he served as Georgia Field Coordinator for the Walter Mondale Presidential campaign. A year later he served as Deputy Manager for the reelection of Andrew Young as Mayor of Atlanta.
For the past eighteen years, Amy Ralston Povah has been an accomplished filmmaker, writer, speaker, and activist. Her efforts have focused primarily on issues related to executive clemency, criminal justice reform, conspiracy laws, women in prison, and the drug war.
She has spoken at on panels at Yale University, Pepperdine University, Vanderbilt University, Washington State University, New York University, Columbus School of Law, on Capitol Hill; and authored Op Eds for new sources including the New York Times, Fusion, HuffPost, San Francisco Chronicle, The Hill and has been quoted by almost every major source, please visit out media page here.
Amy is a Clinton-era clemency recipient who served 9 years of a 24-year sentence for “conspiracy” in an MDMA case. Post-release, Amy started the non-profit CAN-DO Foundation; Clemency for All Nonviolent Drug Offenders that advocates for “justice through clemency.” CAN-DO educates the public about the collateral damage associated with the conspiracy law, and profiles the cases of clemency applicants.
Program Development Advisor
Derek Barber King, Sr., is the son of Reverend Doctor Alfred Daniel Williams King, Sr. and Mrs. Naomi Ruth Barber King. Derek’s father is the only brother of Reverend D0ctor Martin Luther King, Jr. A son of the south, Derek, attended public schools in Birmingham, Alabama; Louisville, Kentucky and Atlanta, Georgia.
In 1976, Derek earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from Morehouse College in Atlanta, Georgia majoring in Religious Studies. In 1979, he earned a Master of Divinity degree from Colgate Rochester Divinity School/Bexley Hall/Crozer Theological Seminary located in Rochester, New York concentrating in Black Church Studies. Additionally, he has Doctor of Divinity degrees conferred by Virginia College Seminary located in Lynchburg, Virginia; Georgetown College located in Georgetown, Kentucky and the A. P. Clay Seminary located in Kenner, Louisiana.
As a preacher, Dr. King was licensed and ordained as a minister of the Christian gospel at the historic Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta, Georgia. Derek has served as Pastor of the Pleasant Grove Baptist located in Rome, Georgia; organized the New Life Baptist Church of Christ located in Rome, Georgia; pastored the Tabernacle Missionary Baptist Church located in West Palm Beach, Florida and pastored the Eastern Star Baptist Church located in New Orleans, Louisiana.
Mondo De LaVega
Mondo De La Vega, Executive Vice President of Television Production and Co- Host of The Jim Bakker Show. Also known for his creative contributions as a Director, Producer of national syndicated television shows. Mondo married the daughter of Mimi Lennon of the famed Lennon sisters. With his beautiful wife, Elizabeth, and beloved twins, Mila and Mateo, Mondo continues to follow the path that God laid out for his life. His insight on our television programs brings forth a bold voice to the Christian television world and new hope for so many. Keeping hold of his faith, the words he once spoke throughout the world still ring true and he is living proof. “The Choices That You Make Today You Will Become Tomorrow.”
He is passionate about getting “real” with men and women and spreading his message that their life can change in just 24 hours. Opportunity is the door to change. Mondo is fluent in Spanish which opens the door to many opportunities for both English and Latino groups. Mondo is a worldwide motivational speaker sharing his story.
Topeka K. Sam
Justice Advocacy Advisor
Topeka K. Sam is the Founder and Executive Director of The Ladies of Hope Ministries – The LOHM – whose mission is to help disenfranchised and marginalized women and girls transition back into society through resources and access to high-quality education, entrepreneurship, spiritual empowerment, advocacy and housing. She is also the co-founder of HOPE HOUSE NYC – a safe housing space for women and girls. Topeka serves on the board of directors for Grassroots Leadership and is now the first formerly incarcerated person on the board of The Marshall Project.
Christal D. Jordan is the principal behind Enchanted Branding & Public Relations, a premiere entertainment based PR firm based in Atlanta, GA. Her client list has included clients in the entertainment space including, music, acting, art, sports and fashion. Her philosophy of combining creativity with public relations strategy has rendered her a branding expert with a history of assisting clients reach their career goals. Christal has been instrumental in securing numerous radio & television placements along with lucrative endorsement deals.
She has secured her clients placement on such networks as MTV, Fox, Oxygen, BRAVO and many more. Christal believes the key to securing sponsorship and relationships with consumer brands is using creativity and strategy to find synergy between talent and staple brands to create opportunities for impact and influence. She has worked with household brands such as; Coca-Cola, Monster Energy Drink, Red Bull, L'OREAL, SoftSheen Carson, Miss Jessie's, Ford, Peroni and many more. In addition to Enchanted PR, she also serves as Executive Director for Chilli of TLC's non-profit foundation Chilli's Crew.
Dr. Stanley M. Butler
Dr. M. Stanley Butler is an author, teacher, and conference speaker. With more than 25 years of experience as a financial and administrative leader within the private, public, and nonprofit sectors, he has effectively provided counsel and/or guidance to national and international organizations. Dr. Butler models servant leadership in a manner that builds, mentors, and prepares others to live with purpose.
Dr. Butler is known for his consulting work, books and publications, and skillful facilitation of discussions and workgroups purposed to address difficult topics and issues. His ability to assess organizational structure, identify weak areas, and develop cost-effective solutions has resulted in effective development servicing to nonprofit organizations in Sweden, South Africa, United Kingdom, and the United States. Realizing a greater need to prepare the nonprofit community to effectively meet the socio-economic needs of their communities, Dr. Butler founded Striving Toward Excellence In Public Service (STEPS), Inc. Through STEPS, Inc. and STEPS Institute for Management & Learning, Dr. Butler provides educational, leadership, and developmental services to the nonprofit community—advancing an initiative to establish and build upon collaborative relationships between the nonprofit and public sectors. Dr. Butler’s educational accomplishments include a Bachelor of Arts degree in Organizational Management, a Master of Public Administration, a Master of Business Administration, a Doctorate of Divinity, and is currently a doctoral candidate at Walden University—actively completing his dissertation pursuant to a Doctorate of Philosophy in Public Policy & Administration.
Dr. Loretto Madeleine Grier Cudjoe
Dr. Loretto Madeleine Grier Cudjoe was born May 12, 1954 in Macon, Georgia, the fifth child of Mr. Freddie L. Grier, Sr. and Mrs. Jane King Grier, both Bibb County Georgia public school teachers. Like her siblings Loretto received infant Baptism and subsequent Sacraments at St. Peter Claver Catholic Church in Macon and an Elementary Education at St. Peter Claver Catholic School, established by St. Katharine Drexel and operated by the Sisters of the Blessed Sacrament. She went on to attend A.L. Miller High School in 1968 and graduated from Central High in 1971.
Loretto graduated cum laude from Mercer University, Macon Georgia with a B.S. Degree in Biology in 1975 and went on to attend University of Pennsylvania School of Dental Medicine where she earned a Doctorate in Dental Medicine, awarded 1979. Before relocating back to Georgia in 1989, Dr. Grier practiced dentistry in the City of Philadelphia for 10 years, excluding one year which she served as a Commissioned Officer in the National Health Service Corp in Patterson New Jersey. After 20 years of service as an employee of the State of Georgia, Dr. Grier Cudjoe retired as State Dental Director for the Georgia Department of Juvenile Justice in 2014. Dr. Grier Cudjoe is a Life Member of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People and an active member of the Macon, Bibb Branch of the NAACP. She is a founding member of the Georgia Coalition for the People’s Agenda, convened by Dr. Joseph Lowery. She is an active member of St. Peter Claver Catholic Church in Macon Georgia where she is a member of the Council of Catholic Women and an Associate of the Sisters of the Blessed Sacrament wherein she continues her ASBS commitment to “speak for those who cannot speak for themselves, the unborn and the imprisoned.”
Amy Rising has excelled in legislative consulting for the past seven years. Her passion to help fellow veterans heal is what led her to start advocating for veteran's healthcare in 2010. As a legislative consultant, Amy has delivered pro-cannabis votes and helped congressional members and their staff develop legislative strategy around cannabis healthcare for veterans. Prior to becoming an independent legislative consultant, Amy served as the Small Business Liaison Officer at Boeing Rotorcraft, Philadelphia, overseeing all aspects of contracts management; program, administrative, and fiscal. In this position, she recruited and mentored small businesses to increase their contract size.
As an independent legislative consultant, Amy has been a successful advocate for veteran's healthcare. In a conference with the Delaware state senate about VA healthcare, she successfully advocated for PTSD to be added to the state medical cannabis bill that was signed into law in 2011. In 2014, after successfully lobbying and testifying in front of the New York State senate, the New York medical cannabis bill was signed into law. Collectively, Amy has helped provide access to care to over a million veterans in the states of New York and Delaware. In 2015, Amy delivered Dianne Feinstein's first pro-cannabis vote to the senate appropriations committee on veterans' equal access. Amy served in US Air Force from 2001 until 2005. She was stationed at the 15th OWS at TACC headquarters as a meteorologist from 2002 to 2005. She volunteers her time as legislative coordinator at Veterans for Safe Access and Compassionate Care. She holds a BS and a MPA from Park University.
Servicing as an advocate for minorities, youth and the underrepresented Erica Rush acts as a mentor and positive role model for youth/minorities through various community programs and efforts both past and present. Christian Business and Professional Alliance (CBPA)- Board member for 15 years and President or 9 years of an organization that promotes leadership, education and business with a Christian faith based foundation.Grateful Girls- Board member for 4 years of an organization that promotes an outlet service from human trafficking. African American Ladies Empowered to Grow Opportunities- Captain of the Convention Committee of an organization that promotes education, health, mental health, family reunification, economic development and human trafficking. Daniels Foundation – President of a foundation that promotes education, health, program development, financial literacy and youth development. NAACP- Member. EIKE Construction Company- Board member for 7 years. Milwaukee Talented Tenth- Organization which promote education within the African American community. Boys & Girls Club of Milwaukee- Tutor and Mentor (2005/2014). COGIC Social Services- Mentor (2006/Present). Aurgilla Youth Program- Mentor (2006/Present).
Catapult Learning- Workshop facilitator (2005/Present)
Crack Cocaine Disparity
Stet is a first time, nonviolent, offender, who served 25 years of a life sentence for conspiracy to distribute crack cocaine. Stet was released on August 02, 2019 as a result of the First Step Act. Even though he was. A model inmate and exceeded the requirements for clemency under Obama's Clemency Initiative, yet he was still denied clemency in January 2016 and 2017. Moreover, the DOJ referred to him as a female in the letter. There are thousands of prisoners like Stet who are currently serving unfair & unconstitutional sentences in our Federal Prison System. The only redress these inmates now have is to petition Congress and hope that Congress eliminate the now 18:1 crack v. cocaine disparity and replace it with a fair and constitutional 1:1 sentencing guideline and make it retroactive; or await an executive order by President Trump.
Keith Biggins is an advocate for Prison Reform. On January 9, 1995, he was sentenced to three life sentences without the possibility of parole for a crack cocaine conspiracy charge in the northern district of Tallahassee, Florida. At the time of sentencing, he was a first offender and Judge William Stanford justified the State's sentencing guideline when giving Keith his sentence.He was told that Congress had passed a law in 1987, so he had no choice. Keith used his time in prison to educate himself and mentor the incarcerated youth. Because of his good conduct,when congress passed the FIRST STEP ACT in December 2018 and President Trump signed the bill on December 18, 2018, He was released from prison on July 1. 2019, after serving 25 years and 7 months in federal prison. He now has his life back, a job, and he uses his free time to mentor and speak to misguided young men.