Founder & Executive Director
Topeka K. Sam is the Founder and Executive Director of The Ladies of Hope Ministries – The LOHM, co-founder of HOPE HOUSE NYC, President of TKS Ventures LLC, and Faces & Voices Inc. She serves on the board of directors for Grassroots Leadership, Coalition for Public Safety, and The Marshall Project.
Since her release from federal prison on May 5th, 2015, Topeka has achieved the following: 2015 Beyond the Bars Fellow and a 2016 Justice-In-Education Scholar both from Columbia University, 2017 Soros Justice Advocacy Fellow, 2018 Unlocked Futures Inaugural Cohort Member, 2018 Opportunity Agenda Communications Institute Fellow, Director of #Dignity Campaign for #cut50where she led the bi-partisan national effort to pass 20 pieces of legislation restoring the Dignity for Incarcerated Women, Senior Advisor of New Yorkers United for Justice, Host of “The Topeka K. Sam Show” on SiriusXM UrbanView Channel 126 Sundays 9 am EDT and is now developing scripted and unscripted series as an Executive Producer for TV & Film, inspired by her fight to change the many problems that plague female incarceration with 44 Blue Productions.
Topeka has been featured in Vogue, Essence, SalonTV, Vice, New York Times, TheCut, Rolling Stone, and Variety Magazine. She has shared her expertise on The Tamron Hall Show, CNN, MSNBC, and The Today Show. Additionally, has been featured in Glamour Magazine and Black Enterprise for being “The Black Woman behind the video that led to the Trump Clemency of Alice Johnson.” She has spoken at the 2018 United States of the Woman Conference, 2018 Women in the World Conference, 2018 White House Prison Reform Summit, is a TedxMidAtlantic Superheros Presenter and has received many awards for her contributions transforming the lives of women and girls impacted by the criminal legal system.
She has worked and continues to work selflessly and relentlessly in her fight for the dignity, decriminalization, and decarceration of women and girls. All Social Media Handles: @TopekaKSam
Marrina Boontheekul, AIA, NCARB
Marrina is a licensed architect with +10 years of experience with a diverse range of projects across the nation with a bachelors in architecture and minor in environmental studies from Oklahoma State University.
Rebecca received her masters of architecture from Parsons, The New School of Design, and holds a business degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She has 5+ years of experience in design and construction across a variety of scales and project typologies.
makeSHIFT is a design studio that thinks about how we practice architecture as much as how we make architecture. We think good design should be accessible to everyone, and that everyone should have a hand in the design process.
We developed makeSHIFT while working pro-bono for a non-profit organization focused on criminal justice reform and reentry housing for formerly incarcerated folx. Through this work, we developed a method for practicing architecture modeled after the participatory action research(PAR) framework.
Our goal is to shift the way architecture is traditionally made: by architects, for the public. Instead, our design process creates opportunities and conditions for the public to participate in making architecture.
The Ladies of Hope Ministries (The LOHM)
We are a registered 501(c)3 non-profit organization founded by formerly incarcerated women that focuses on criminal justice reform and advocacy as well as transitional housing for women and girls.
E.P.I.C. END POVERTY AND INCARCERATION OF WOMEN AND GIRLS
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