css.php

The Team

GET TO KNOW US!

Rochelle Arms Almengor is Assistant Professor in the Sociology Department of John Jay College, specializing in Conflict Resolution practice. She received her PhD from The School for Conflict Analysis and Resolution in George Mason University, focusing on the use of reflective practice as a learning method for conflict resolution practitioners. Prior to this, she served as the Restorative Justice Coordinator of the New York Peace Institute where she managed mediation and restorative justice initiatives with the Brooklyn District Attorney’s Office, Juvenile Justice Courts, schools, and community agencies in Brooklyn and Manhattan. She has trained or coached hundreds of individuals in communication skills, mediation and other facilitative interventions. Since 2000, she has worked in the U.S. and abroad in collaborative processes and restorative justice projects, with a variety of groups, including civil society organizations in India, indigenous peoples in Argentina, immigrants and refugees, and homicide offenders and victim survivors in Kentucky. Rochelle has a B.A. in Religion and Peace Studies from Swarthmore College, and an M.A. in International Relations through a Rotary Peace Fellowship at Universidad del Salvador in Argentina. She is originally from Panama, and lives with her family in Brooklyn, New York. Contact Rochelle at: rarmsalmengor@jjay.cuny.edu

William M. Evans is a Restorative Justice Practitioner who specializes in Strategic Urban Leadership Development (SULD) and Three Levels of Healing to transform systems impacted individuals into people that model changed behaviors and rebuilding community. He is also identified as an 2019 Echoing Green Social Impact Leader for his leadership as President & Founder of Neighborhood Benches. William is skilled in identifying leaders and using practice-based evidence to design programs that transform communities and make leaders socially conscious. During the development of Neighborhood Benches through Public Allies New York, William worked with the United Federation of Teachers, NYC Community Learning Schools Initiative as the Program & Grants Assistant and the Interim Operations Supervisor on Rikers Island for the Fortune Society’s Individualized Corrections Achievement Network (I-CAN) training Discharge Planners. William is a Bronxite studying for his PhD with a concentration on Social Work and a Social Welfare at Yeshiva University to improve his work around restorative practices, community fidelity and program culture. More about his work: www.neighborhoodbenches.info and www.neighborhoodbenches.org.
Contact William at: wevans@neighborhoodbenches.org

Nicole Lavonne Smith is a Restorative Justice Practitioner, Circle Keeper, Coach, and Trainer who specializes in anti-racism, racial justice, and equity and diversity training, and consulting. Nicole is skilled in planning and executing healing and wellness events to raise social consciousness and build community. Prior to her work in restorative justice, Nicole was a dedicated New York City educator for two decades, teaching English, environmental science, and capoeira, and advocating for culturally responsible education. Nicole holds a Masters in Urban Planning and International Development from New York University and a Bachelor in Psychology from Howard University. Contact Nicole at: nicole7rrc@gmail.com

Michele Montecalvo, EdD, MS, MCHES is an urban educator, an adult child of an incarcerated parent, an accidental academic, and a fearless advocate for the LGBTQ community. She recognizes the power in her privilege(s) to educate within the theoretical framework of restorative justice, to deconstruct punitive environmental, binary, social, and racial constructs. “Be the teacher you always wanted to have” has been her mission and personal statement for several decades.Dr. Montecalvo has a bachelor’s degree in Health Education from New Jersey City University (1998); she obtained a master’s degree in Public Health Administration from New Jersey City University (2001); and she became an accidental academic with a doctorate degree in Health Education & Behavior Studies from Teachers College, Columbia University (2013). Her scholarly research includes urban education, restorative justice pedagogy, college student health, reproductive health, tobacco education, and the health effects of the school to prison pipeline.

Eleni Garcia is a Restorative Justice Practitioner who first became introduced to peacebuilding practices while studying culture at Brigham Young University–Hawaii and graduated in 2018 with a B.A. in Intercultural Studies with an emphasis in Peacebuilding and Anthropology. Originally from New York she has most recently lived and worked in Hawaii, Brazil, and Kiribati where she saw the power authentic implementation of restorative practices has on individuals and communities. Her expertise lies in creating spaces to resolve conflict and harm in a culturally responsive way that reflect the values and needs of underrepresented communities. After spending years away from the city, she made the conscious decision to return and currently works as an RJ Coordinator at a public middle and high school while living in Brooklyn.

Rusa Fischer is a Restorative Justice Practitioner, Mediator, and Community Organizer with a focus on social technologies, training, collaborative movement-building, and social justice organizing. She is skilled in identifying, recruiting, and developing community activists, RJ practitioners, and mediators; creating innovative approaches to restorative and conflict resolution processes; and conducting oral histories, participant observation, and field research.  Before coming to Restorative Justice, Rusa had been a long time activist/organizer with time spent in various social justice movements ranging from immigrant rights, LGBT, anti-racism, labor, and anti-globalization. She began her restorative journey through field research on the topics of restorative justice, reconciliation, impacts of neoliberalism, and the politics of memory in Argentina, South Africa, Chiapas, Mexico, Australia, and New Zealand.  She has a B.A. in Psychology with a minor in Communications from Antioch College. Rusa is currently focused on helping to build an accessible and inclusive restorative movement in NYC, integrating RJ principles and practices into social justice organizing and the creation of third places.  In her spare time, she is a cinephile, pool shark, DJ, and professional dog walker. Originally from Cleveland, she currently resides in Brooklyn.

LTomay Douglas, MSW, CASACT, comes to bring Soul Justice to the brokenness in humanity and heal a lingering legacy of trauma. Honoring the power of your voice, hearing the narratives of others, and healing from historical harm is the pathway that takes us from rage to redemption. It is essential to attaining soul justice.LTomay is a Restorative Justice Educator, Trainer, and Implementation Specialist with certification in trauma. She meets people on both sides of pain because recovery is not an exclusive event; it’s inclusive for all willing to do the work, even those who caused harm. LTomay is the founder of Brand Me Beautiful, the co-founder of WORTHshop Inc. and producer of tv show Unbranded: Unscripted & Unapologetic Talk- inviting the elephant in the room into the conversation. She is the proud mom of two college graduates and is an admitted Ph.D. student at the University of San Diego. She is a voice from the bottom of the well-seeking truth, justice, and equality. More about her work at www.worthshopinc.org. Contact LTomay at: info@worthshopinc.org

Skye Roper Moses is a Conflict Coach, Mediator, Restorative Justice Practitioner, and Community Weaver. Skye loves assisting the community at large to understand their conflict situations. She developed a strong interest in conflict as a young person watching people in her family and community debate with differing opinions on race, religion, and inequity.Skye was introduced to mediation as an undergraduate at Florida A&M University and discovered there was a formal way to assist people in conflict.As a graduate, she returned to NYC where she worked in a social service setting in the South Bronx. The families she serviced had internal and family conflict. This led her to pursue a Masters in Conflict Resolution and Negotiation from Columbia University.After completing graduate school, she continued to work directly with families and communities in conflict as a volunteer mediator for Safe Horizon, servicing families in Brooklyn and Manhattan. Through volunteer mediating, specifically with family, community, and court-involved youth, she was introduced to Restorative Practices.Skye has worked as a restorative justice practitioner for 8 years both in a volunteer and coordinator capacity. She worked as a Restorative Justice Coordinator for a south Brooklyn high school for 4 years. That work led to her most recent role as an Adjunct Professor teaching Dispute Resolution and Restorative Practices at John Jay College. Skye worked concurrently as an assistant compassion fatigue facilitator that serves groups of people who experience vicarious trauma. Skye’s focus is to continue working with families and communities who need assistance with conflict. Contact Skye at: skyeropermoses@gmail.com