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/President

Michael Towler

Co-Director

michael@anewwayoflife.org

Pamela Marshall

Co-Director

pamela@anewwayoflife.org

Pavithra Menon

Staff Attorney

pmenon@anewwayoflife.org

Stephanie Lin

Staff Attorney

slin@anewwayoflife.org

Brian Barajas

Family Reunification Advocate (D.O.O.R.S)

brian@anewwayoflife.org

Andi Mazingo

Orrick Racial Justice Fellow

amazingo@anewwayoflife.org

Ingrid Archie

Civic Engagement & Prop 47 Specialist

ingrid@anewwayoflife.org

Manuel Galindo

All of Us or None Organizer

mgalindo@anewwayoflife.org

Stephanie Jeffcoat

All of Us or None Organizer Fellow

sjeffcoat@anewwayoflife.org

Margaret Dooley-Sammuli

Chief Strategist

margaret@anewwayoflife.org

Claire Arcé

Development Director

claire@anewwayoflife.org

Robert Mejia

Communications Manager

rmejia@anewwayoflife.org

Bonnie Amos

Communications Associate

bamos@anewwayoflife.org

Liam Moody

Bookkeeper

lmoody@anewwayoflife.org

Clarence Datsomor

Accountant

clarence@anewwayoflife.org

Shulora Gonzales

Reentry Legal Clinic Coordinator / Office Manager

sgonzales@anewwayoflife.org

Maria Ramirez

Community Health Worker

mramirez@anewwayoflife.org

Myesha Johnson

Office Associate

mjohnson@anewwayoflife.org

Vanessa Ojeda

Office Associate

v.ojeda@anewwayoflife.org

Lawanna Jake

Housing Program Manager

ljake@anewwayoflife.org

April Adkins

Housing Coordinator (LA)

aadkins@anewwayoflife.org

Berenice Delgado

Housing Coordinator

berenice@anewwayoflife.org

Linda Washington

Housing Coordinator (LA)

mslinda@anewwayoflife.org

Renee Horton

Housing Coordinator (Long Beach)

jarenee@anewwayoflife.org

Cheryl Ward

Housing/Benefits Coordinator

cward@anewwayoflife.org

Roberta Brooks

Housing Coordinator

rbrooks@anewwayoflife.org

Maria Ramirez

Community Health Worker

mramirez@anewwayoflife.org

Mandie Dixon

Case Manager

mdixon@anewwayoflife.org

Bernard Wilson

Director of Workforce Development & Education

bwilson@anewwayoflife.org

Adrienne Diggs

Family Reunification Social Worker

adiggs@anewwayoflife.org

Brittani Gibson

Executive Assistant

bgibson@anewwayoflife.org

Rodney Hampton

Maintenance Technician

rodney@anewwayoflife.org

board

Whitney Davis-Houston

President

Lynn Nguyen

Vice President

Michael Woltz

Treasurer

Barbara Osborn

Secretary

Leah Daniels-Butler

Leon Kaplan

Marta C. Lopez-Garza

Gregory Burks

Regina Jones

Tami Warren

Tam Watkins

Kevin Holland

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