Who We Are

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Our Founder, Susan Burton

After returning home from her sixth term in prison, Susan Burton was done, exhausted by the revolving door of incarceration and disappointed in the way her life had turned out. A friend steered her toward a substance abuse treatment center in Santa Monica, California. It was there, in that affluent oceanside city, that Susan found the resources and help she’d never had access to while growing up in South LA. After a childhood filled with abuse, Susan’s world had finally fallen apart when her five-year-old son was run over and killed. Not knowing where to turn or how to manage her grief, Susan self-medicated and spiraled into addiction.

 

 

On October 4, 1997, when she entered treatment, Susan began the process of turning her life around. But she wasn’t content with just helping herself; she knew that there were thousands of women just like her who needed a safe, sober place to live after leaving prison. Susan saved up money from her job as a carer, and in 1998, she opened a three-bedroom safe home in the South LA neighborhood of Watts. She began meeting women at the Los Angeles Bus Station as they returned from prison and welcomed them into her home, urging them to stay as long as necessary to put their lives back together. A New Way of Life Reentry Project was born.

 

 

Susan quickly recognized that her individual efforts were not enough. She saw that women coming home from prison faced tremendous institutional obstacles: laws, policies and attitudes that precluded access to employment, student loans, permanent housing, public assistance and many other services. Challenging these obstacles by herself would be futile. Susan came to understand that real change could happen only through a powerful grassroots community organizing effort, one that could amass enough political power to bring an end to discriminatory practices, and shift public attitudes in a way that would break the cycle of mass incarceration.

staff

Susan Burton

Founder

Michael Towler

Co-Director

michael@anewwayoflife.org

CT Turney-Lewis

Supervising Staff Attorney

ctturney@anewwayoflife.org

Joshua Kim

Staff Attorney - Litigation

joshua@anewwayoflife.org

Pavithra Menon

Staff Attorney

pmenon@anewwayoflife.org

Stephanie Lin

Staff Attorney

slin@anewwayoflife.org

Manuel Galindo

Policy Advocate

mgalindo@anewwayoflife.org

Ingrid Archie

Civic Engagement & Prop 47 Specialist

ingrid@anewwayoflife.org

Angelique Evans

Policy Fellow

angelique@anewwayoflife.org

Yolanda Caldwell

Civic Engagement Team Lead

ycaldwell@anewwayoflife.org

Claire Arcé

Development Director

claire@anewwayoflife.org

Christin Runkle

Communications Manager

christin@anewwayoflife.org

Pamela Marshall

Admin Manager

pamela@anewwayoflife.org

Liam Moody

Bookkeeper

lmoody@anewwayoflife.org

Shulora Gonzales

Reentry Clinic Coordinator/Office Associate

sgonzales@anewwayoflife.org

Maria Ramirez

Office Associate

mramirez@anewwayoflife.org

Myesha Johnson

Office Associate

mjohnson@anewwayoflife.org

Mary Starks

Housing Manager

mary@anewwayoflife.org

April Adkins

Housing Coordinator (LA)

aadkins@anewwayoflife.org

Linda Washington

Housing Coordinator (LA)

mslinda@anewwayoflife.org

Renee Horton

Housing Coordinator (Long Beach)

jarenee@anewwayoflife.org

Carolyn Essex

Housing Coordinator (Long Beach)

carolyn@anewwayoflife.org

Gabbie Hernandez

Reentry Case Manager

gabbie@anewwayoflife.org

Sydney Reece

Employment/Social Enterprise Associate

sydney@anewwayoflife.org

April Amey

Family Reunification Case Manager/Visitation Monitor

aamey@anewwayoflife.org

Adrienne Diggs

Family Reunification Social Worker

adiggs@anewwayoflife.org

Rodney Hampton

Maintenance Technician

rodney@anewwayoflife.org

board

Gregory Burks

President

Whitney Davis-Houston

Vice President

Mark Burman

Treasurer

Barbara Osborn

Secretary

Judith Sydner-Gordon

Leah Daniels-Butler

Leon Kaplan

Marta C. Lopez-Garza

Michael Woltz

Regina Jones

Tami Warren

Tam Watkins

Jackie Andrews

Kevin Holland

Lynn Nguyen

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