Anthony Collins is an Educator, Artist and producer who holds a BA in English, and a MFA in Creative Writing. Anthony currently works as the Education and Career Specialist at the Crown Heights Mediation Center where he utilizes his diverse skill set to impact youth and young adults. Anthony was a classroom teacher in English for 10 years and has taught and written workshops for various in school and afterschool programs. His works in education, poetry, and research have carried him across the nation and overseas, where he was a part of the production “Miles and Coltrane Blue (.)” During the Fringe Festival. The production ran for a month, where Anthony also taught performance, writing, and poetry workshops. In his spare time, Anthony is an avid reader, produces music, and writes poetry. With 10 years of educational experience teaching grades 6-12 in the public-school system, over 20 years writing and performing spoken word and rap music, he brings a diverse mix of talents to our team.
Carlos M. Torres is the Program Coordinator for the Make It Happen program at the Crown Heights Community Mediation Center. Carlos has over 17 years experience in the Criminal Justice System having worked in Narcotics, Felony and Family Court in the Bronx and Westchester County. Previously Carlos worked as a Senior Court Office Assistant at White Plains Family Court. He also worked at the Bronx District Attorney’s Office as a Community Assistant and College Aide. Carlos was born and raised in the Bronx where he attended and graduated from Cardinal Hayes High School. He also earned a BS and MS in Criminal Justice as well as a Certification in Cybercrime and Security from Iona College. His goals are not only gain the respect and trust from the participants at Make It Happen, but also to inspire, motivate, and lead young men to help them achieve their dreams and goals.
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.
David Grant, an expert in the Cure Violence Movement, is the Bed-Stuy Community Engagement Liaison for the Save Our Streets program in Brooklyn, New York. He started as an Outreach Worker in Crown Heights in 2013, and was a founding member of the Bed-Stuy Save Our Streets in 2014. He has been tirelessly involved within all five programs at the Crown Heights Community Mediation Center, which is true to his passion and commitment to help everyone in the community. He has been involved with countless street mediations, facilitates youth groups & workshops, leads anti-gun violence rallies & marches, and is involved with community meetings. He has helped high risk individuals change their mindset, behavior and lifestyle to promote positive communities and economic growth.
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.