Meet the Team Behind the Mission
A team of like-minded individuals who are commited to building a safer space for our youth. Dedicated. Experts. Passion.
As her ongoing studies towards her Ph.D in studying her pre-meds she had a desire to fulfill her passion in creating a home for our young people. Her passion evolved after having lived experience within the Juvenile System. Nykia was given to the state after traumatic lost of both parents within the system and left homeless to survive on her own with the lack of resources in to finding later there were many like her, homeless. Nykia started her overall work as a(n) Youth advocate in the Juvenile Justice field in, 2019. The issues of the lack of resources to re-enter youth back into the community began to arise especially through the child welfare system. Nykia began to join ongoing research, fellowships, publish articles, panel discussion, legislative discussion, implementing new policy, traveling to national conferences and later even took recognition in many articles and magazines with the work she was doing such as Arnold ventures, OJJDP, DebtFree Justice, The Walkout Lab, ACLU Of Kansas, NoKidsInPrison, Wichita Beacon, Essence, Ms Magazine and etc. Her upbringing has moved many and continues to prosper in making change with her team.
Works at the Wichita Beacon as the Community Engagement Bureau Manager. She started her career working at the Center for Combating Human Trafficking and has also worked as a journalism intern, researching youth advocacy and the movement to close youth prisons. Kristen graduated from Wichita State University with a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice and also has experience in advocacy, organizing and social justice.
Philip B. Gatson III
Works his best to empower, inspire, and transition for safe space for youth who are impacted. He has ongoing studies in business management with desire to bring entrepreneurship amongst young people. His career started when got involved into local movements surrounding the indigenous practice and how people of color were being treated disproportionately. Mr. Gatson is committed to rising awareness to the necessities in which young people need with drawing national network of support and youth-coalition.
Dr. Subini Annamma
Prior to her doctoral studies, Subini Ancy Annamma was a special education teacher in both public schools and youth prisons. Currently, she is an Associate Professor in the Graduate School of Education at Stanford University. Her research critically examines the ways students are criminalized and resist that criminalization through the mutually constitutive nature of racism and ableism, how they interlock with other marginalizing oppressions, and how these intersections impact youth education trajectories in urban schools and youth prisons. Further, she positions students as knowledge generators, exploring how their narratives can inform teacher and special education. Dr. Annamma’s book, The Pedagogy of Pathologization (Routledge, 2018) focuses on the education trajectories of incarcerated disabled girls of color and has won the 2019 AESA Critic’s Choice Book Award & 2018 NWSA Alison Piepmeier Book Prize. Dr. Annamma is a past Ford Postdoctoral Fellow, AERA Division G Early Career Awardee, Critical Race Studies in Education Associate Emerging Scholar recipient, Western Social Science Association's Outstanding Emerging Scholar, and AERA Minority Dissertation Awardee. Dr. Annamma’s work has been published in scholarly journals such as Educational Researcher, Teachers College Record, Review of Research in Education, Teaching and Teacher Education, Theory Into Practice, Race Ethnicity and Education, Qualitative Inquiry, among others.
Jazmine is a lifelong Kansan who began her career advocating for transforming Kansas’ youth justice and foster care system to better meet the needs of young people and give them back ownership of their lives. Working with Kansas-based organizations and national organizations committed to bringing young people with lived experience to the forefront of the youth justice movement - like National Crittenton and John Hopkins School of Public Health - helped solidify her commitment to bettering the lives of all young people in Kansas. Raising awareness about the reality of living as a young person in Kansas’ youth justice and foster care system shapes her vision of creating a community where all young people have safe spaces to find true healing and explore their creativity.
Jay Andrew Vehige
A seasoned activist who is committed to fighting for diversity Equity inclusion Justice and accountability in all spaces! Jay has been a fierce advocate throughout the years in calling out racism, the education to prison pipeline, police violence, mass incarceration, corruption, environmental destruction, and many more issues. Activism Work: 2011 Occupy OKC 2014 Cop Block 2016 NoDAPL resistance 2020 Emporia Community Action 2021 Kansas Justice Coalition