Lakayana Drury is the executive director of Word is Bond, a new nonprofit in Portland whose mission is to build positive relationships between young Black men and law enforcement. Lakayana helped found the organization in 2017. Lakayana facilitated nine community listening sessions to an estimated 400 police officers as part of the Portland Police Bureau’s implicit bias training this past May. In addition to running the nonprofit, Lakayana teaches social studies at Rosemary Anderson High School. He is the staff lead for the boys to men group, robotics club and the Historically Black College Tour. Prior to moving to Portland, Lakayana taught in Philadelphia and Beijing, China and did community organizing in New Haven, Connecticut and Washington, D.C. Outside of his community engagement work, Lakayana is passionate about reading, traveling, yoga and mixed martial arts. He received a Bachelor of Science in Applied Social Science concentration in History and Politics, from the University of Wisconsin Stout.
Yolonda works for Portland State University Cultural Resource Centers. She supports students of color many who are first generation college students. She also serves as a confidential advocate on campus. She has Yakama, Warm Springs, and Mexican ancestry and raises two multicultural teenagers. She earned an undergraduate degree in Criminology and Criminal Justice and a master of Social Work degree from Portland State University. She has worked for the National Indian Child Welfare Association, Oregon Health & Science University, Federal Bureau of Prisons and the City of Portland, Bureau of Police. In her free time, she enjoys traveling, CrossFit, volunteering, and being in community.
Britt Masback is a 17 year old high school Junior that believes young people have the responsibility to speak out and take action on the issues that will affect the world today and in the future. Britt is the editor-in-chief of WANT News For Teens, a website and platform that aggregates global High School journalism, and combines it to provide a fresh, teen oriented take on the news. Additionally he has organized three annual summer journalism fellowship events for budding high school journalists (WANT Summer Fellows Program). Britt is also the founder and Executive Director of Youth Educating Police, a nonprofit working towards decreasing tensions between young people and the police. Since 2017, Britt has served on the Multnomah Youth Commission (MYC), a council of 28 civically minded young people from across the city, where he sits on the Youth Against Violence Subcommittee as a Voting member. Britt is motivated by Gandhi’s admonition that, “You may never know what results come of your actions, but if you do nothing there will be no results.
Marcia Perez is a community advocate and change agent whose passion is serving communities impacted by the criminal justice system. Her passion for her work comes from her lived experience and a strong desire for people of all communities to have the opportunity to reach their fullest potential. As a proud Latina and first generation college graduate, Marcia is motivated to inspire younger generations and blaze a path for others to follow. Marcia currently serves as the Youth and Gang Violence Prevention Coordinator for the Multnomah County Department-- Juvenile Services Division. She previously worked as a Juvenile Court Counselor and led a 10-member team that worked to decrease the recurrence of crime for high-risk, gang-impacted youth. Marcia has a strong commitment to community safety through trauma-informed and restorative practices. She strives to serve by building collaborative partnerships with community stakeholders and engaging community members who are most impacted by policy outcomes. Marcia earned her Masters Degree in Criminology and Criminal Justice from Portland State University and is dedicated to transforming the criminal justice system.
Vadim Mozyrsky was born in Kiev, Ukraine. He graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Texas and a juris doctorate degree from the University of Texas School of Law. After law school, he clerked for judges in state, federal, and international courts. He practiced in litigation and mediation before his current employment with the U.S. government. Mr. Mozyrsky is active in the Portland community. He is the director of hospitality for the Portland Film Festival and an advocate for disability rights. In his free time, Mr. Mozyrsky likes to travel and hike the beautiful Pacific Northwest.
Jamari is a senior at Benson Polytechnic High School who is incredibly involved in his community demonstrated by his role as a Word is Bond Community Ambassador. He has been boxing for many years and in addition to pursuing education he hopes to take the boxing world by storm.
Today I work as a Forensic Peer Wellness Specialist for Cascadia FACT team. The work I do involves people who are involved with the criminal justice systems, the mental health systems and the social systems at a very difficult level. I am also a volunteer Chaplain for Multnomah County Detention Center serving women there for over 21 years, providing chapel services and individual support. I have served as a Chair and Vice Chair of dozens of state and local oversight boards, committees and commissions, leading my groups into successful policy changes for many people in Oregon. I have an extensive history serving as a leader in my community and am also a Community Health Worker, Peer Support Specialist and a Systems Navigator. Most of all I am a committed, dedicated and loyal advocate for my community.
Elliott Young is Professor in the History Department at Lewis and Clark College. Professor Young is the author of Aof Alien Nation: Chinese Migration in the Americas from the Coolie Era through WWII, Catarino Garza’s Revolution on the Texas-Mexico Border, and co-editor of Continental Crossroads: Remapping US-Mexico Borderlands History. He is co-founder of the Tepoztlán Institute for Transnational History of the Americas, and is currently finishing a book on the history of immigrant incarceration in the United States. He has also provided expert witness testimony for over 150 asylum cases.
Taji Chesimet is a vivacious, motivated, and self-driven young man, who uses his understanding of self, inside and outside of larger social identities, to navigate his work. Interacting with people of all backgrounds, to address the most complex and uncomfortable issues with a candid, direct approach.Taji served on the Multnomah Youth Commission for about a year and a half on their Youth Against Violence and Youth Education/Voice sub-committees. For the past year or so, Taji has been the youth representative on the City of Portland's 3.96 Code-Change Committee. Engaging with City Council through the outlets of commissions, public testimony, and proclamations has been a tool Taji has used to amplify his voice and the voices of others. He also worked at The CENTER, a youth-focused space and coalition that works with Black United Fund, Latino Network, Urban League of Portland, and more, to allow youth to have space to talk about the issues that matter to them — working with the community to engage in interpersonal problems, such as gentrification, race, and white privilege. Previously, Taji was the Project Manager at the Office of Equity & Human Rights Black Male Achievement for two summer cohorts. He has been a speaker at the ACLU of Oregon's Gala and currently works as an intern with their Policy and Development teams. He has held workshops at Oregon Students of Color Conference, Black Student Success Summit, and a co-organizer for multiple events. He is currently a senior at De La Salle North Catholic High School in Portland, Oregon, and this fall; he will be a Freshman at the University of Chicago studying Global Relations with a concentration on Human Rights in Latin America.
Ann retired from Portland Community College June 28, 2018, with 25 years of service. Prior to PCC she worked for the Salem-Keizer School District for 3 years. Ann began her career with the Oregon City School District where she worked for 5 years. In Ann’s work she developed and managed education classes and programs for communities. She also worked with internal and external partners and agencies regularly. Ann became a leader in her department and field for her ability to create programs that brought people in various departments, businesses, agencies, and other colleges together for a common good. Ann’s experience includes 17 years as a mediator. She volunteered with the City of Beaverton Neighborhood mediation program, Multnomah County Small Claims Court, and the Shared Neutrals Program. Ann also has co facilitated classes on Racism to Portland Community Staff and Faculty; and has been a hospice volunteer since 2015.