staff

 
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Mitchell McDowell - Founder

Mitchell McDowell is the founder of  Unite the People. His vision for the organization is to focus on the community service sector and promote social justice in the United States. Mitchell has 25 years of experience as the owner of bail bonds offices, community service including coaching and mentoring children in film projects, and the United States military reserves. He and UTP are currently involved in moving forward a California sentence reform initiative - “The People’s Fair Sentencing & Public Safety Act” - as well as promoting social justice via communications, blogs and the organization’s website. Mitchell can be contacted at (888)245-9393 or via email at mitch_mcdowell@unitethepeople.org

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Thomas Loversky - President

Thomas Loversky is the President of Unite the People. He is a prominent and active member of the organization. Thomas has been a criminal defense attorney for almost 30 years. He started as a Public Defender in Los Angeles County and, since 1993, has had his own private practice. He is a longtime advocate of social justice, and has devoted countless staff hours and pro bono defense work for the disadvantaged communities represented by Unite the People. Thomas can be contacted at (888)245-9393 or via email at  tom.loversky@gmail.com

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Judson Parker - Campaign Consultant & Director of Civic Engagement

Judson Parker joined UTP as a campaign consultant in 2018 and currently serves as Director of Civic Engagement for the organization.  Professionally, Judson is a political strategist and campaign consultant with more than 16 years of experience managing campaigns for progressive nonprofits and political organizations. He is also a partner at Democracy Resources, where he has been in charge of winning dozens of citizens initiatives, including raising the minimum wage in six states, passing the Equal Rights Amendment in Oregon, legalizing medical and recreational cannabis in seven states, and stopping multinational corporations from drilling for oil and gas within our national parks or mining for uranium in the Grand Canyon. Over the last decade, Judson has also fundraised more than $25 million for organizations like the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR), Sierra Club, Environment America, and the Human Rights Campaign. His email is judson_parker@unitethepeople.org

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Dawn Cuevas - Public Relations Director

Dawn Cuevas is UTP's Public Relations Director. She has also worked in the legal industry for almost a decade. From Lodi, California, she moved to Orange County as a teenager and returned in 1999. Dawn has been heavily involved with The Relay for Life as a committee member, as well as Team Captain for several years. Most recently she has offered support to Initiate Justice for the Prop 57 and Life Support Alliance. Dawn is extremely passionate about UTP and its causes and ensuring that non-violent three strikers are reunited with their families. She can be contacted at dawn_cuevas@unitethepeople.org

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Mia Jin - Immigration Attorney

Mia Jin graduated from University of Southern California, Gould School of Law in 2011. She is admitted to practice law in the State of New York, California, and P.R. China. Mia has been an immigration attorney since 2012, and is specialized in Family-Based Immigration, Citizenship, Asylum, VAWA, Removal Defense, etc.  Since 2017, Mia has devoted herself in public interest law serving the disadvantaged community. She volunteered at the Los Angeles County Bar Association, Immigration Project; Neighborhood Legal Services - Shriver Housing Project; and Loyola Immigrant Justice Clinic. She represents immigration detainees in their bond hearings, and immigrants in removal proceedings to seek immigration relief. She can be contacted at mia@unitethepeople.org

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Amitabho "Amy" Chattopadhyay - Case Management Director

Drawing on her experience in civil litigation and immigration law, Amitabho "Amy" Chattopadhyay joined Unite the People as Case Management Director in 2018. An immigrant herself and current student at the Harvard University Division of Continuing Education, she manages both criminal and immigration services. She is committed to ending mass incarceration in the United States. Amy can be reached via email at amy@unitethepeople.org

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Andrea DeBerry - Grants Program Director

Andrea DeBerry, a marketing professional in Grant Writing, received her Bachelors of Science in Speech Communications from the University of Illinois Champaign-Urbana, Integrated Marketing & Communications professional certificate from DePaul University, and her Masters of Science in Communications from Northwestern University. She currently is a Program Specialist at one of the Nation’s largest private non-profit Community Action Agencies. Andrea can be reached via email at andrea_deberry@unitethepeople.org

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Dalyce Kelley - Marketing Manager

Drawing on more than a decade of experience in the area of marketing and public relations, Dalyce Kelley provides a wealth of knowledge and insights in business strategy with particular expertise in social media, digital marketing and advertising, promotions and brand management. After serving as a popular radio host in Dallas, Texas, Dalyce graduated with a degree in Business Marketing and founded her own marketing and public relations consulting firm, Carrcomm Enterprises, LLC. She has played an influential role in the career development of many public figures and in the marketing and corporate strategy of a plethora of organizations from real estate firms, physician practices, non-profit organizations and entertainment companies. As the organizations marketing and public relations officer, Dalyce joined UTP because of her passion for ending mass incarceration and promoting social justice. Dalyce can be reached via email at dalyce_kelley@unitethepeople.org

 
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Eleanore Feldman - Ambassador

Eleanore Feldman, M.S.W., is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker who has worked in the mental health field for 30 years in hospital, community, and private settings. Her experience providing mental health services in the California prison system made her aware of the psychosocial implications and unnecessary expense of long term incarceration for non-violent offenders. She sees the need for criminal justice that focuses on rehabilitation and reintegration into the community as a societal benefit and a practical money-saving measure for California.

 
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Elizabeth Stewart - Ambassador

Elizabeth Stewart is an Ambassador of  UTP. She has a personal connection to criminal justice reform through her son, Jeremy, who was arrested for property theft and given a 70 years to life sentence under the California Three Strikes law in 2010. She began her activism by serving as Chapter Leader for Families to Amend California Three Strikes (FACT) from 2010-2015, and is currently continuing her work with All of Us or None, A New Path, and Moms United out of San Diego and the Fair Chance Program in Los Angeles. Elizabeth has shared her son’s story through speaking engagements and the creation of the “Three-Striker” documentary which exposes how the Three Strikes law sends nonviolent criminals away for life. She can be reached at shaypeanut@hotmail.com

 
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Rev. Dennis Malone - Ambassador

Rev. Dennis Malone has more than 25 years experience advocating for criminal justice reform. He earned a Bachelors of Social Science degree and is certified through SDSU in Community Economic Development (CED). Honors include the San Diego Foundation for Change Danzig Award for outstanding community grassroots organizing. Documentaries:  “America’s Longest War” A film about drug prohibition. Rev. Malone’s lead organizing efforts include; United Afro American Ministerial Action Council (UAAMAC), where he recruited faith and community based agencies into joint collaborations leading towards effective policy changes. Families to Amend CA’s Three Strikes Law – San Diego Chapter, (FACTS). Rev. Malone currently directs “All of Us or None, San Diego”, a grassroots movement of former prisoners and felons, organizing to combat the many forms of discrimination faced as the result of felony convictions. He is in the 15th year of service on the Board of Directors of Parents for Addiction Treatment and Healing “A New PATH”. These accomplishments come after serving nearly a decade (1982-1991) in federal and state penal institutions. Since 1991 Rev. Malone has been an example of “A second chance made good.”

 
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Kevin Bilal Chatman - Ambassador

Kevin Bilal became an ambassador of UTP because of his dedication to ending mass incarceration. He was born in Los Angeles and later moved to San Jose as a child with his single mother (a nurse) and three brothers. In the 1980s when the economy crashed, Bilal lost his job. At this time the crack epidemic hit, he was swept up in drug addiction and dealing. Ultimately, he received a 150 years-to-life sentence under California’s “Three Strikes” law for selling $200 worth of drugs to an undercover police officer. He was then incarcerated at Soledad, then Solano, Jamestown, and ultimately San Quentin State Prison. At San Quentin, known for its unusual commitment to programming, Bilal took classes in Sociology, Anger Management, Conflict resolution, A.A. Peer Mentoring, Drug Treatment, Parenting, Humanities, and Yoga, which went well with Religious Studies. Bilal also was a very active member in (M.A.C.) Men’s Advisory Counsel. A go between of the inmates and officers. Bilal was also member of the prison’s Baseball, Football, teams, as well as coached and refereed Basketball. In 2012, Californians overwhelmingly voted to amend the “Three Strikes” law and Bilal became eligible for release. After nearly 11 years, he returned to San Jose, a district with relatively high support for those reentering, and has since thrived. He is currently the Operations Manager for a major Logistics Company in Newark California. Responsible for 9 Supervisors, with over 150 employees. Bilal is also a Supervisor at world know Football team in Santa Clara. In 2015 Bilal was named Employee of the year. As a member of “The Return Project,” as well as featured in the Emmy Nominated Documentary, “The Return”, he was also featured on “Last Week Tonight with John Oliver” has been invited to the White House, and has been a panelist at a Capitol Hill Screening with Congressman Elijah Cummings of Baltimore. Bilal has also been on panels in Philadelphia, Virginia, Washington D.C, Chicago New York, Atlanta, New Orleans, Los Angeles, Portland, Seattle, san Jose, Berkeley, San Francisco, Oakland. He has traveled to Prisons in New York, Ohio, Oregon, Washington, California. Bilal also Is a member of the “Ride Home Program” a Program that picks up released Obama Clemency recipients, take them shopping, get them their first meal, share my story of experience, strength , and hope, and their first 24 hours released. He continues to travel the country speaking about the effects of mass incarceration, drug and alcohol abuse on communities and individuals across America. He is currently in the process of writing a book about his experiences.

 
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Thalia Higgins

Coming from the formerly incarcerated community, Thalia Higgins has been exposed to the injustices endured by other incarcerated women and men who have encountered the criminal justice system. While incarcerated and away from her children, she focused on being a beacon of hope and encouragement for others. Her love for spoken word and poetry was reignited while in prison, where she led talent shows on the yard and participated in facility-hosted events. Upon her release from prison, the stories she heard replayed in her mind, birthing a passion to advocate for those unable to advocate for themselves. This passion led to an internship with the Legal Aid Society (helping in the Clean Slate Clinic), volunteering with OCREP (Orange County Reentry Partnership), attaining a paralegal certificate from CSU San Marcos, and ultimately returning back to school full-time to obtain her Bachelor's degree in Criminology, Law, and Society. Upon completion of her undergrad, she has plans to attend law school. Unite the People’s vision aligns with her desire to see various injustices remedied. She hopes to be a pivotal part of the bigger puzzle in the fight for social/criminal justice reform. She can be reached at thalia_higgins@unitethepeople.org