Van is a TV personality, former Obama White House advisor and bestselling author. A Yale-educated attorney, he has founded four successful nonprofit organizations, including The Dream Corps. An environmentalist and human rights champion, Van has received awards and honors from TIME Magazine, Rolling Stone magazine, Fast Company magazine and the World Economic Forum.
Shaka is a writer, mentor, and motivational speaker whose story of redemption has inspired people around the country. As #cut50’s Director of Strategy and Innovation, Senghor uses his story to inspire societal change and policy change. Senghor transformed his life and discovered his love for writing while serving 19 years in prison, time he spent examining his life and the decisions that led him to spend his youth in a 6′ x 8′ cell.
Breon is the CEO & Founder of The Daniel Initiative. He is a political and strategic communications consultant, ordained minister, and motivational speaker. Breon has worked with local, State, Congressional, and Presidential campaigns, and has assisted non-profit organizations in developing public policy advocacy programs. Previously, Breon served as a Congressional Aide on Capitol Hill, working for Congressman Albert Wynn, Senator Bill Nelson, and the Senate Armed Services Committee. Breon sits on the Robert F. Kennedy Young Leaders DC Advisory Board, numerous National policy coalitions, and serves as the Vice President of Public Policy for Faith Link Inc. He currently resides in Pasadena CA, with his wife Precious Wells.
Jessica is the National Director of #cut50. Jackson experienced first-hand the way the prison system destroys families when she became a single mother to a newborn after her husband went to prison for a nonviolent drug charge, decided to dedicate her life to ending the death penalty and closing prisons as a human rights attorney. Jackson has devoted her career to representing those who have no voice in the community. In addition Jessica is Vice Mayor of Mill Valley, and sits on the Marin County Overcriminalization Task Force.
Matt is the Director of Policy for #cut50. Haney’s commitment to criminal justice began at a young age when Haney lost his best friend to prison which then resulted in suicide for a crime Haney had also committed, but was spared the same fate because he is white and his friend was black. He is the son of the leading expert of the psychological impact of incarceration, Matt has been immersed in criminal justice work since he was a child. He bridges the worlds of criminal justice and education, using his position as Vice-President of the San Francisco Board of Education to effectively attack the “school-to-prison” pipeline. He has a deep background in design thinking, youth organizing, and justice reform.