Mika Dashman is an attorney and restorative justice practitioner. She is also a New York State-certified mediator and has mediated criminal court cases and facilitated community conferences through the New York Peace Institute. Mika facilitates peacemaking/community-building circles for organizations, student and professional groups. She has been awarded the David Lerman Memorial Fund Fellowship in Restorative Justice by the Project for Integrating Law, Spirituality and Politics in both 2015 and 2017. Prior to beginning her work in alternative dispute resolution, Mika spent more than six years providing direct legal services to indigent individuals at several New York City non-profits, including Housing Works, Inc., where she also worked on all aspects of the agency’s civil rights impact docket. Mika is a graduate of the City University of New York School of Law and Sarah Lawrence College.
Ziedah Diata is a veteran Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) for the New York State Department of State, where she presides over hearings for the over 30 professions and occupations regulated by the Department. Ziedah is also a former regional representative to two New York governors, serving as a liaison to elected officials and community leaders. She also previously served as policy analyst to the Democratic leader of the New York State Senate.
As an ALJ, Ziedah has worked to minimize the collateral consequences of convictions and barriers to reentry through the expansion of the Department’s access to justice initiatives. She coordinated pro bono representation for an ex-offender population that was largely unrepresented prior to her appointment, led an effort to support pro se litigants by making hearing preparation information available on the Department’s web site, and initiated the Department’s collaboration with the New York University Offender Re-Entry Clinic.
Ziedah received a Juris Doctor from Georgetown University Law Center and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism from the University of Maryland, College Park.
Peter has been a mediator since 1986. Since the mid 1990s he has worked exclusively within the transformative frame. He mediates primarily in the family and workplace arenas. He has worked extensively for the United States Postal Service’s REDRESS Program as well as other government agencies with workplace mediation programs, including the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and the New York State’s Division of Human Rights. In addition, Peter has extensive experience in community mediation cases. He often serves as a trainer and has written extensively about mediation practice and theory. Peter is currently a Fellow of the Institute for the Study of Conflict Transformation, a policy board dedicated to the furtherance of transformative practices in mediation and other modalities employed to address conflict.
Kathleen is a social justice communications specialist who focuses her work on narrative strategy and the effective use of data for decision-making. Kathleen sent her first media release in 1988 as part of the buildup to the first National Coming Out Day. Since then, she has taken a broad intersectional approach to communications for justice. She has volunteered, worked and consulted with well over a hundred organizations over the last few decades on issues including racial and economic justice, queer liberation, ending the over-reliance on incarceration to solve our problems and building a community of economic justice for farmworkers.
Kathleen has used a transformative justice approach to reclaim her own life and heart after the murder of her brother in 1985. Kathleen is currently the communications director at North Star Fund, New York’s community foundation that focuses on funding equity, peace and justice in New York City and the Hudson Valley.
William is a long-time advocate of equality in education, sexuality and gender expression, accessibility and quality of mental health services. He has worked in education for over 8 years as a teacher and coach in traditional and charter schools and has worked as a clinical social worker. He holds a Master of Social Work from NYU, a Master of Educational Leadership from Lehigh University and a Bachelor of Science in Marine Biology and Gender Studies from Unity College in Maine. He has utilized these educational pathways to develop and exercise his leadership to help build cohesive multi-level partnerships among individuals and organizations seeking to build infrastructure and capacity to support Restorative Justice and its Practices in NYC. He aspires to reduce the impact of historic traumas and help mold policies that will lead to a better society for children both today and tomorrow.
Ashley Ellis, Good Shepherd Services
Elizabeth Johnson, Brooklyn Prospect Charter School
Elmer Vergara Malibiran, Fordham University
Maria R. Volpe, CUNY Dispute Resolution Center at John Jay College of Criminal Justice