The stark differences between communities’ levels of trust in the criminal justice system have long been at the forefront of our national conversation. COVID-19 has now also exposed the historical and present public health harms suffered by communities of color.
On May 20th, 2020, the National Network hosted a virtual panel on ways to understand and acknowledge harm in this new context. Public health and public safety experts from across the country gather to discuss how enduring legacies of racial harm can explain the disparities in loss of life and mistrust of public authorities not just in violence prevention, but also specifically in the present public health crisis. They explored the roots of communities’ mistrust of medical authorities, as well as opportunities for building greater trust and legitimacy—and through that, more equitable outcomes in public health—with our nation’s most impacted people.
Sasha Cotton is currently the Director of the Minneapolis Office of Violence Prevention (Minneapolis OVP) in the Minneapolis Health Department. The Minneapolis OVP is responsible for coordinating violence prevention initiatives across the city enterprise and engaging with communities throughout Minneapolis to better address violence and safety issues using a public health approach. The Minneapolis OVP houses violence prevention programs including; a Group Violence Intervention model as well as a Hospital Based Violence Intervention program. Ms. Cotton’s work experience prior to her current position includes serving as the National Resource Center Coordinator at The Institute on Domestic Violence in the African American Community (IDVAAC), as well as serving as the Prevention Program Manager for the Violence Free Minnesota, the state’s domestic violence coalition. Ms. Cotton’s direct service work includes positions in Juvenile Community Corrections in Ramsey and Hennepin Counties as well as with numerous non-profit organizations focused on youth services and juvenile justice. Ms. Cotton holds a B.A. from Metropolitan State University with a double major in Criminal Justice and Ethnic Studies. She is also a certified Restorative Justice Facilitator completing her training at the University of Wisconsin, Thief River Falls.
Durham Police Chief Cerelyn “CJ” Davis has more than 30 years of dedicated service in the law enforcement profession. She began her career with the Atlanta Police Department where she learned the essential elements of community engagement and relationship building as a young officer. There, she rose through the ranks, ultimately serving in the role of Deputy Chief before retiring in June, 2016 to accept the position of Chief of Police for the City of Durham. Chief Davis is a graduate of the 225th Session of the National FBI Academy, completed senior management training at the Police Executive Research Forum (PERF) in Boston, Massachusetts; she is a graduate of Leadership Atlanta, Leadership Triangle, and completed Mercer University’s Public Safety Leadership Institute.
Chief Davis has experienced training opportunities abroad at the Emergency Preparedness College in York, England in 2005, and as a participant in an executive exchange session with the Israel National Police, in the cities of Jerusalem, Tel Aviv and NeTanya in 2012. As a result of her mission, Davis developed a leadership curriculum designed to groom bright and extremely prepared leaders for 21st Century Policing. She currently serves as the 1st Vice President for the National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives (NOBLE), and was recently appointed to the Board of Directors of the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP), where she serves on the TRUST Initiative Committee. She is a member of the North Carolina Association of Chiefs of Police, recently appointed to Governor Roy Cooper’s Criminal Justice Education and Training Standards Commission, member of the Durham Rotary, Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc., The LINKs Inc., and other professional affiliations.
Davis advocates for the advancement of other women in her field, and has used her experience and leadership acumen to leverage mentoring relationships for women in a variety of career fields. She has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Criminal Justice and a Master’s degree in Public Administration.
Aletha Maybank, MD, MPH recently joined the American Medical Association (AMA) in April 2019 as their inaugural Chief Health Equity Officer and Group Vice President. Her role is to embed health equity in all the work of the AMA and to launch a Health Equity Center.
Prior to this in 2014, Dr. Maybank became an Associate Commissioner, and later a Deputy Commissioner, and launched the Center for the
Health Equity, a new division in the NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene geared towards strengthening and amplifying the Health Department’s work in ending health inequities. Under her leadership and in a short amount of time, the health department made great strides in transforming the culture and public health practice by embedding health equity in the health department’s work. This work has been recognized and adapted by other City agencies and has even captured the attention of the CDC and WHO.
Prior to this role, she was an Assistant Commissioner in the NYC Health Department over the Brooklyn District Public Health Office, a place-based approach, from April 2009 – 2014. Her Bureau set a precedence DOHMH and created a template for community-driven neighborhood planning. Dr. Maybank also successfully launched the Office of Minority Health as its Founding Director in the Suffolk County Department of Health Services in NY from 2006-2009.
She also teaches medical and public health students on topics related to health inequities, public health leadership and management, physician advocacy, and community organizing in health. Currently, Dr. Maybank serves as President of the Empire State Medical Association, the NYS affiliate of the National Medical Association. In 2012, she co-founded “We Are Doc McStuffins,” a movement created by African American female physicians who were inspired by the Disney Junior character Doc McStuffins.
Dr. Maybank holds a BA from Johns Hopkins University, a MD from Temple University School of Medicine, and a MPH from Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health. She is pediatrician board certified in Preventive Medicine/Public Health.
David M. Kennedy is the Director of the National Network for Safe Communities, a project of the Center for Crime Prevention and Control at John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York, NY. He led the Boston Gun Project, whose “Operation Ceasefire” intervention was responsible for a 63 percent reduction in youth homicide victimization and has since been effectively implemented in numerous cities as the Group Violence Intervention (GVI). His work in Boston won the Ford Foundation Innovations in Government award; the Herman Goldstein International Award for Problem-Oriented Policing, and the International Association of Chiefs of Police Webber Seavey Award. He developed the Drug Market Intervention (DMI) which also won an Innovations in Government Award. He helped design and field the Justice Department’s Strategic Approaches to Community Safety Initiative, the Treasury Department’s Youth Crime Gun Interdiction Initiative, and the Bureau of Justice Assistance’s Drug Market Intervention Program.
He co-founded the National Network for Safe Communities, an alliance of more than 50 jurisdictions committed to strategies that combine the best of law enforcement and community-driven approaches to improve public safety, minimize arrests and incarceration, enhance police legitimacy, and rebuild relationships between law enforcement and distressed communities.
Danneile Davis is a Field Advisor for the NNSC’s Intimate Partner Violence Intervention (IPVI) team, where she provides hands-on strategic advising and support for sites’ data management to project managers, law enforcement executives, community-based organizations, and other leadership at NNSC partner cities across the country. Ms. Davis’s specific portfolio focuses on designing and implementing strategies to both reduce gender-based violence and strengthen police-community trust through reconciliation, particularly with survivors of intimate partner and sexual violence, and in communities further marginalized by race, ethnicity, and gender and sexual identity, expression, and orientation.
Prior to joining the National Network, Ms. Davis worked as an Associate Consultant at Bain and Company in Chicago, IL where she crafted an operational improvement strategy and key performance indicators for a $7B industrials client, developed a 10-year growth strategy for a national, education-based nonprofit, and supported data analysis and client relationships on several other projects. At Bain, she also led undergraduate minority consulting recruitment at Penn and advised on Bain minority retention strategy. Outside Bain, she volunteered as a rape crisis advocate for the YWCA in Chicago, where she still volunteers in an offsite capacity.
Ms. Davis holds a BA in History from the University of Pennsylvania, where she graduated magna cum laude.