David Gaskin is the Program Manager for Save Our Streets Crown Heights. David arrived at S.O.S after working with diverse groups including people in the criminal justice system, alternatives to incarceration and re-entry programs, and people impacted by H.I.V/AIDS, substance abuse and domestic violence. David is also a former gang member who now promotes healthy masculinity among young black men.
D. Stanley is a former original member of the notorious New York City Blood gang from the Crown Heights section of Brooklyn. He spent his teens and early adult years deeply involved in gang banging, drug dealing and violence, activities that eventually led to his imprisonment. During his time in prison he educated himself and acquired a new outlook on life. His present lifestyle and work are driven by his determination to never be involved in anything that might cause him to leave his children behind and return to prison. He has vowed to use his wit and street knowledge to pacify the streets of his neighborhood and make them safer by reducing and, hopefully, one day stopping the shooting and killing in his community.
Edward McWilliams is the Mediation Center’s Youth Programs Coordinator in Bed-Stuy. Prior to joining the team he was an event coordinator, health educator and program facilitator at Project Reach Youth where he facilitated peer education training for teens focused on reproductive health. Additionally, Edward has also spent his time in New York as a community organizer, arts educator, playwright, poet, DJ, music talent booking agent, bicycle mechanic, graphic designer, event producer and more. Originally from South Central Los Angeles, California, Edward has witnessed first hand, a community immersed in violence both from within the community and from the state and has always had a passion for working to end community violence through addressing its root causes. He graduated from the University of California in Santa Cruz where he studied American Studies and focused on the history of Black radicalism, the prison industrial complex, and the utilization of art as a tool for social change.
Gerina “Ms. G” Davis, was born and raised in Brooklyn, New York. Prior to joining the team she was the Program Director/Coordinator for The Passages Academy SONYC After school Pilot Program at the Belmont School. There she offered programs to youth that are currently detained. Prior to that, Ms. G was the Clinical Case Manager at the Center for Community Alternatives, an Alternative to Incarceration (ATI) Program for youth involved with the juvenile justice system. Ms. G considered these positions pivotal in how she views the world and the work that she wants to do in it to empower youth to access the power and creativity already inside of them.
Ms. G went to what is known as the “FAME” school, Fiorello LaGuardia High School of Performing Arts for theater. There she was able to interact with youth from various backgrounds and witnessed how the arts supported most youth being able to process their emotions. Ms. G’s education reflects her thirst for knowledge as well as her diverse interests. She attended Clark Atlanta University where she received her bachelors in Television and Film Production and after working in the industry, she decided to change her career path. She attended Abilene Christian University where she received her masters in Marriage and Family. Ms. G wants to utilize the knowledge and skills she has acquired, along with her talents to be a catalyst for Working with youth for over seven years, Ms. G has begun envisioning a long term goal of creating an educational program for vulnerable youth that integrates the academic world and the arts. She wants to provide the youth with an alternative way to interact with education.
Ms. G appreciates being able to join a team that has been doing great work in the community and looks forward to building with such a great team.
Hannah Margolin is the Volunteer Coordinator at Legal Hand Crown Heights, where she previously spent a year as an Avodah Service Corps Member. Before coming to the Mediation Center, Hannah worked at AS220, a free youth arts program in Providence, Rhode Island, and at the Lupus Research Alliance in Manhattan. Hannah holds a B.A. in American Studies from Brown University. Through her work at Legal Hand, Hannah strives to increase resource accessibility for the Crown Heights community.
Heather Day is the associate director of youth and community programs at the Mediation Center. Heather oversees Youth Organizing to Save Our Streets (YO S.O.S.) and Justice Community Plus and supports additional programs and outreach initiatives at the Center. Previously, Heather worked for Citizen Schools New York both as a teaching fellow in the classroom and in volunteer recruitment and curriculum development at the regional office. Heather earned a BA in American Studies from Connecticut College and a Master’s of Social Work with a Human Service Leadership concentration from Fordham University. Heather believes that young people have powerful voices and unique insight to share with the world, and loves seeing youth in the spotlight.