EXECUTIVE BOARD MEMBERS
Julie Matonich is a trial attorney at Matonich Law. For over a decade, she represented clients accused of criminal offenses, including indigent first-time offenders facing incarceration and separation from their young children. In Minnesota, she has done pro bono work for Advocates for Human Rights, representing clients in asylum cases, and she has served as board member for the Page Education Foundation, the Minnesota Association for Criminal Defense Lawyers, and the University of Minnesota’s Weisman Art Museum.
Theodora Gaïtas is an attorney with the law firm of Matonich Law. Before joining the firm, she was a public defender for seventeen years, focusing primarily on appeals. She has served on the Minnesota Supreme Court’s Advisory Committee for the Rules of Criminal Procedure. Ms. Gaïtas is currently a member of the Minnesota Supreme Court’s Advisory Committee for the Rules of Evidence. She also chairs the Jungle Theater Board of Directors, and serves on the board for CAMP!, a nonprofit children’s theater program.
Peter Thompson is a Minnesota attorney with vast experience in criminal justice and human rights law. He is a former Assistant United States Attorney and Federal Public Defender. Mr. Thompson’s private practice, Thompson, Lundquist, and Sicoli, Ltd., included high profile criminal defense and pro bono work. Mr. Thompson was also active with Minnesota Advocates for Human Rights regarding war crimes and human rights investigations. He currently teaches law school courses, including legal ethics.
Michael Holland is an attorney with the Office of the Hennepin County Public Defender, where he has worked for over 20 years. During that time, he has represented children accused of criminal offenses as well as children and parents whose children were in need of protective services (ChiPS). Many of these parents spent time in correctional facilities or were incarcerated and unable to care for them. He has seen firsthand generations of families affected by incarceration. Throughout his career, he has also represented adults accused of criminal offenses. Many of these clients faced being separated from their children and families. He has served on the board of the Larry Brown Youth Education Corporation and on the board of The Cabrini Partnership.
ADVISORY BOARD MEMBERS
Barbara Frey is the Director of the Human Rights Program in the College of Liberal Arts at the University of Minnesota. She is well known as an international human rights teacher, advocate and scholar. She has served as an alternate member of the U.N. Sub-Commission on the Promotion and Protection of Human Rights, a Special Rapporteur of the Sub-Commission to conduct a study on the issue of preventing human rights abuses committed with small arms and light weapon, and as Executive Director of Minnesota Advocates for Human Rights. She is a co-convener of the Midwest Coalition for Human Rights.
Emma Naughton Ron is a human rights expert and founder of Lucid Collaborative. She is an international development and human rights specialist with more than 20 years of experience in conflict-affected environments in the Middle East and Africa. Prior to consulting, she also worked at the International Development Research Center, Human Rights First, and Oxfam. She has a Master’s degree in Sociology from New York University, and a Master’s in Arab Studies from Georgetown University.
Paul Dosh is an associate professor of political science at Macalester College. Mr. Dosh earned his PhD at UC Berkeley and has also taught at Carleton College and San Quentin Prison. A Fulbright-Hays scholar, he is an expert on Latin American politics, and the cofounder of Building Dignity Paul has been involved in prisoner advocacy in California and Minnesota through political activism, giving legal testimony, and producing artistic and educational events focused on prisoner rights and mass incarceration.
Norah Shapiro After a decade-long career as a Hennepin County public defender, producer/director Norah Shapiro left practicing law to pursue documentary filmmaking. Her films have gained much recognition. Her production company, Flying Pieces Productions also produces freelance documentary-style videos to help nonprofits, artists, and businesses. She also serves on the Board of Directors of Pillsbury United Communities, is the Chair of the Pillsbury House Theatre Advisory Board and volunteers with Reading Partners.
Dulce Foster is a shareholder of the Fredrikson & Byron law firm in Minneapolis, where she chairs the firm’s White Collar & Regulatory Defense group and serves as a member of the Fredrikson Foundation Board of Directors. Her work regularly involves defending individuals who are facing the potential consequences of incarceration. Ms. Foster has volunteered for the Advocates for Human Rights as the Pro Bono Management Team for the Liberia Truth and Reconciliation Commission Diaspora Project. She also chaired an FBA project targeted at providing transportation to children of incarcerated women from Minnesota to the prison in Pekin, Illinois.
Veronica Horowitz was one of the first CIC interns. She started with CIC while working on her PhD in Sociology at the University of Minnesota. Veronica is still working on her doctorate, focusing her research on American criminal punishment with an emphasis on gender. As an intern Veronica focused primarily on collecting and synthesizing extant research on the deleterious consequences of parental incarceration—for communities, caregivers, and their children. As Veronica explains “The research I conducted at CIC has been immensely useful for my teaching. I now make it a point to cover the costs of caregiver incarceration on children – an important topic that I think may be unintentionally overlooked in some criminal justice courses.”
Kamyala Howard, MSW, LICSW, is the Founder and CEO of “WE’RE DIVINE” and has over 22 years of leadership experience working with organizations creating innovative models that assist with organizational cultural change, dismantling barriers, leadership development and building intercultural relations. Ms. Howard received her graduate degree from the University of Minnesota with special emphasis on cultural studies, family systems and direct clinical practice. Ms. Howard is a licensed mental health practitioner certified in a range of professional training modules that aid in her inspirational delivery methods and enhance her professional experience in supporting young children, families and communities facing multiple challenges.
Mary Britts has been an active, passionate and impactful YMCA leader for 35 years. Holding several positions throughout her career, Mary currently serves as the Executive Director of the YMCA of Greater Twin Cities at the Blaisdell Branch, where she is responsible for the program operations serving the South Minneapolis community. Mary holds a Bachelor’s of Science Degree from the University of Wisconsin Stout in Child Development and Family Life with a Concentration in Human Resource Management. She is a single mother of one beautiful young lady, who recently graduated with her MFA in Acting at the University of Essex, East 15 Acting School in London. Mary has made the YMCA a lifelong career and has a strong believe in the 3 pillars of Youth Development, Healthy Living and Social Responsibility.