Speakers

Several CIRCLE UP participants are available for speaking engagements or to lead discussion circles exploring the themes of forgiveness, accountability, and justice. Email us for information about fees and availability.

JANET CONNORS is a long-time community and social justice activist in Boston's neighborhoods.  She brings over 45 years’ experience working with youth and families in community-based organizations. Janet is a frequent public speaker and has participated on many panels at various forums locally and nationally.  She was presented a Leadership in Community and Restorative Justice Award by Howard Zehr, the Chomsky Peace and Justice Award by the Justice Studies Association, and the Mothers of Courage award by Mothers for Justice and Equality.  Janet works in schools, local and federal courts, prisons, and community settings as a circle keeper, restorative justice practitioner, and trainer.

JANET CONNORS is a long-time community and social justice activist in Boston's neighborhoods.  She brings over 45 years’ experience working with youth and families in community-based organizations. Janet is a frequent public speaker and has participated on many panels at various forums locally and nationally.  She was presented a Leadership in Community and Restorative Justice Award by Howard Zehr, the Chomsky Peace and Justice Award by the Justice Studies Association, and the Mothers of Courage award by Mothers for Justice and Equality.  Janet works in schools, local and federal courts, prisons, and community settings as a circle keeper, restorative justice practitioner, and trainer.

CLARISSA TURNER has significant experience working with families during important transitions in their lives. She has worked as a doula at Boston Medical Center, a counselor at A Woman’s Concern, a parent educator and counselor at St. Mary’s Home/Shelter, and a family partner at Children Services of Roxbury. The tragic loss of her son to violence in 2011 has given Clarissa a special perspective on youthful offending and the lasting impact of crime on communities. A mother of six, Clarissa founded Legacy Lives On, an organization dedicated to supporting the entire community during times of loss.  Clarissa strives to provide youth and their affected communities a sense of understanding, resilience, compassion, and empowerment to move productively past serious trauma.

CLARISSA TURNER has significant experience working with families during important transitions in their lives. She has worked as a doula at Boston Medical Center, a counselor at A Woman’s Concern, a parent educator and counselor at St. Mary’s Home/Shelter, and a family partner at Children Services of Roxbury. The tragic loss of her son to violence in 2011 has given Clarissa a special perspective on youthful offending and the lasting impact of crime on communities. A mother of six, Clarissa founded Legacy Lives On, an organization dedicated to supporting the entire community during times of loss.  Clarissa strives to provide youth and their affected communities a sense of understanding, resilience, compassion, and empowerment to move productively past serious trauma.

CHARMISE GALLOWAY is a survivor whose son Da-keem was murdered at age 14 over his Celtics hat. She facilitates restorative justice circles at schools and prisons to council young men on the great possibilities they can obtain by thinking positive and doing positive things in their lives.  She also hopes to direct them to the right people who can help them achieve what they need to be successful. Charmise’s motto is “Reach one, teach one, save them all.”

CHARMISE GALLOWAY is a survivor whose son Da-keem was murdered at age 14 over his Celtics hat. She facilitates restorative justice circles at schools and prisons to council young men on the great possibilities they can obtain by thinking positive and doing positive things in their lives.  She also hopes to direct them to the right people who can help them achieve what they need to be successful. Charmise’s motto is “Reach one, teach one, save them all.”

“AJ”  grew up in the Irish-American dominated housing projects of South Boston. After a troubled childhood with an abusive, alcoholic father, AJ became ensnarled in street life and became one of four men responsible for the murder of Joel Turner in 2001. With the help of his victim’s mother Janet Connors, AJ turned his life around.  Having served his 10-year prison term, he is now married with two young boys and works full time.  AJ is happy to share his story if it can help others – in particular young people caught up in the streets who are learning the impact of their decisions. 

“AJ”  grew up in the Irish-American dominated housing projects of South Boston. After a troubled childhood with an abusive, alcoholic father, AJ became ensnarled in street life and became one of four men responsible for the murder of Joel Turner in 2001. With the help of his victim’s mother Janet Connors, AJ turned his life around.  Having served his 10-year prison term, he is now married with two young boys and works full time.  AJ is happy to share his story if it can help others – in particular young people caught up in the streets who are learning the impact of their decisions. 

STRONG OAK LEFEBVRE is the founder, former Board President and first Executive Director of the Visioning B.E.A.R. Circle Intertribal Coalition. She is American Indian of Maliseet and Mi’kmaq descent. Strong Oak is co-author of the “Walking in Balance with All Our Relations” teaching curriculum and gives national presentations on curricula designed to decolonize indigenous peoples and reclaim historical ways of being in the community. Strong Oak has a Master’s in Social Service Administration from Case Western Reserve University School of Social Work. She currently serves on the Advisory Council for the National Sexual Violence Resource Center.

STRONG OAK LEFEBVRE is the founder, former Board President and first Executive Director of the Visioning B.E.A.R. Circle Intertribal Coalition. She is American Indian of Maliseet and Mi’kmaq descent. Strong Oak is co-author of the “Walking in Balance with All Our Relations” teaching curriculum and gives national presentations on curricula designed to decolonize indigenous peoples and reclaim historical ways of being in the community. Strong Oak has a Master’s in Social Service Administration from Case Western Reserve University School of Social Work. She currently serves on the Advisory Council for the National Sexual Violence Resource Center.

JULIE MALLOZZI is a documentary filmmaker, teacher, and community activist.  Her films explore the ways culture is “repurposed” to address contemporary social issues. Julie is passionate about using storytelling to advance social justice, and enjoys presenting and giving workshops at schools, prisons, survivor groups, and other organizations.  She also produces media for community and government organizations. Julie received her BA from Harvard University and her MFA from San Francisco Art Institute and has taught filmmaking at four colleges. 

JULIE MALLOZZI is a documentary filmmaker, teacher, and community activist.  Her films explore the ways culture is “repurposed” to address contemporary social issues. Julie is passionate about using storytelling to advance social justice, and enjoys presenting and giving workshops at schools, prisons, survivor groups, and other organizations.  She also produces media for community and government organizations. Julie received her BA from Harvard University and her MFA from San Francisco Art Institute and has taught filmmaking at four colleges.