Deja Cheatem has been working with Alternatives for almost 3 years. Deja first learned about restorative justice through circle trainings Alternatives facilitated at Ignite, where Deja was staying while experiencing homelessness.
Adonnis Platt is an RJ Specialist working in the Washington Park community of Chicago to build communities, address harms and provide brave space for growth. Adonnis has been working at Alternatives for nearly 3 years and in that journey has grown so much.
Jaden Pickens has been a Peace Ambassador with Alternatives for the last year. Jaden's first connection with Alternatives and restorative justice was in my high school when he attended a peace circle. Jaden has been living in Chicago for about 15 years and experienced homelessness early in life.
Joseph McCray joined Alternatives' Peace Ambassador team at the beginning of the year but first got involved with the agency as a summer camper in 2013. As a Peace Ambassador, Joseph has helped facilitate circles and other activities at homeless shelters and during our Summer RJ Institute, in addition to supporting the PAR project. Joseph has experienced homelessness multiple times.
Shanika Travis has been a Peace Ambassador at Alternatives for about 2 years now. Prior to that, Shanika lived at a homeless youth service provider where she participated in circle training. After successfully completing training, Shanika became a Peace Ambassador and has facilitated trainings for young adults at other homeless service providers.
Raheem Young is a Youth Interventionist with Oak Park Township. Raheem has been with the Township for 9 months but has been working with Oak Park youth for several years through Strive for Success, YEMBA, and Friday Night Place. A few years ago, Raheem co-founded a non-profit called Welcome to Fatherhood where he works with dads to help them cope with some of the pressures and stresses of being fathers. This is Raheem’s first year participating in the Restorative Justice Conference.
Dominique Hickman is the Supervisor for the Girls on the Rise Program. Dominique works with black and brown middle and high school girls embracing and empowering girls to own and celebrate their brilliance, beauty, resilience, and power. Before becoming the Supervisor of Girls on the Rise, Dominique worked as a Youth Interventionist with Oak Park and River Forest Township servicing youth and families in the community. Dominique prides herself on the art of building effective relationships with youth and families she serves. Dominique has over a decade of experience in the social services sector ranging from corrections, residential, group homes, mental health, and housing. This is Dominique’s first year participating in the Restorative Justice Conference.
Madeline Block is a junior at Oak Park & River Forest High School in Oak Park Illinois. She has been volunteering with the disabled community in Oak Park since she was 11. She is currently a student helper in an Adaptive Acting class. She is also part of the Leading Edge Teen Advisory board at the Oak Park Public Library, and the Women In Leadership club at her school. She participates in the theater program at OPRF and has been involved in several shows. In her free time, Madeline enjoys reading, baking, playing with her turtle Mango, and of course, watching Netflix.