Mary Ellen Johnson, Executive Director, Pendulum FoundationSpecialties:Juvenile life without parole history, juveniles in adult prison, related legislation, historical fiction and non-fiction writer, creating and implementing educational programs for former juveniles in adult system such as Words Beyond Bars, restorative justice Media Topics:Anything dealing with juveniles serving life without parole, conditions for juveniles inside adult system. Extensive experience with media. Publicity includes Rolling Stone, PBS Frontline When Kids Get Life, two major Denver newspaper series on juvenile life without parole, BBC and international pieces including Austria, Germany, and France, Colorado Public Radio and television, O’Reilly Factor, Montel, and in 2013, documentary When I Die, Please Send Me Home. I also very much enjoy sharing my contacts and experience with media in order to create stories, whether or not Colorado and Pendulum are part of them. You can contact Mary Ellen at :Maryellen@pendulumfoundation.com or call 720-314-1402Click here for more info about her.
Curt Jensen, venture capitalist, founder of The Pendulum Foundation. Media: Featured prominently in local, national and international media. Can speak about legislation, related criminal justice issues and what it’s like to have a child serving life imprison.Click to read more about Curt
Their paths are not easy. Burnout is common, as is despair. But sometimes, just sometimes, they win a victory or see a candle flame flickering far out in the void, and that gives them renewed purpose. So, they, and I, will continue endlessly rolling that boulder up the hill. Because we have no choice.It’s what we were born to do. I have handpicked each of these speakers. I chose them because they are passionate, dedicated human beings enlisted in a cause bigger than themselves. Whether you decide upon Sean Taylor, who spent many years in prison, Sharletta Evans, whose three-year-old lost his life in a drive-by, or Dan Dailey, who daily combats dragons with a blog, a cellphone and a fearless heart, you will hear inspirational stories of individuals who are engaged in the good fight, however they define it. While all have given countless talks and travelled thousands of miles over the course of many years for free, I ask that you at least pay gas money and, if at all possible, negotiate a stipend for their time.
Jeannette HolthamYouth Transformation Center (www.transformationcenter.org)Specialties:in-house training, restorative justice training or facilitation, meeting and event planning, mentoring, teambuilding, skydiving, networking, criminal justice, social justice, Kriya Yoga (read: Autobiography of a Yogi).read more
After the tragic loss of her three year old son, Sharletta Evans became a local community activist and motivational speaker. She first began her grassroots efforts towards gang prevention in her backyard, leading her to form the Re-Creation Center, an anti-gang nonprofit. Because of the attention of her almost immediate public declaration of forgiveness towards her son’s shooters, Sharletta turned the spotlight both personally and politically towards fairness for juvenile offenders. Sharletta’s testimony was shared at the Supreme Court case of Miller vs. Alabama, in which the Supreme Court ruled that it is unconstitutional for juveniles to receive life without parole sentences. She also heavily campaigned for HB 1271, limiting direct file cases Colorado prosecutors can call against juveniles. HB 11-1032, a Colorado bill that expands restorative justice for adults, was also signed into law in 2011, and Sharletta was an instrumental part of getting the bill passed while working with Representative Pete Lee (D-Colorado). Currently, she is a Restorative Justice facilitator and mediator and she has also been a participant; In May of 2012, she met with the man who pulled the trigger that fired the fatal bullet, killing her son, making her one of the few people in the country who has been on both sides of the Restorative Justice process. Sharletta is in the process of writing her life experience and sharing her world changing story of the tragic loss of her 3-year-old son, while she travels and speaks about her very own restorative justice dialogue with the teenage offender. She also shares the process of grief and forgiveness, juvenile justice, bridging the gap through the restorative justice, guilt and denial that the offender and victim may experience due to a crisis.read more
Dan DaileyParricide CasesMajor Media Credentials(Texas and nationwide)Dan Dailey is director of The Redemption Project, a nonprofit youth justice advocacy which specializes in providing customized and unconditional lifelong support to children who commit parricides. "I specialize in parricides because for a variety of reasons including mental illness and awful abuse, these children are rarely culpable," says Dailey. "Even though they commit murder, these kids are not criminals. They're survivors."Since he began this work in 2005, he has been involved in some of the most high profile cases in America. His goal has always been to bring"world-class" legal and other services to bear for the benefit of these vulnerable kids, most of whom are indigent and without effective family support. The Redemption Project hires attorneys and expert witnesses in the trial phase; provides mentors, education materials, and commissary funds while kids are incarcerated; tuition, housing, health care and other basic support during the prison-to-freedom transition. read more about Dan and his work
Many times we all say, “What can I do?” The challenges are too big, the systems too broken, the politics too corrupt for little people to make a difference. So why try? Let me introduce you to an amazing group of people who have ignored the odds, stepped into the abyss when others have told them all the reasons to stay safely on familiar ground -- and who have made a difference in the world of criminal and juvenile justice.
What’s an ordinary, many would say nice, middle-aged, middle class woman doing in prison? What in my past life prepared me for becoming a champion for children serving life without parole? What AM I doing here?These and other questions I’ve asked myself hundreds of times over the 20 years I’ve advocated on behalf of a local fifteen-year-old who killed his parents (you can access all of The Murder of Jacob via Mary Ellen’s Blog) and later as the Executive Director of The Pendulum Foundation. I don’t think there was ever a day when I didn’t feel as if I were in over my head, but somehow The Pendulum Foundation managed to get passed the first legislation ever lowering juvenile life without parole, the nation’s first juvenile clemency board and changes to Colorado’s direct file laws limiting the power of district attorneys to place children in the adult prison system without checks and balances.Throughout those years I learned to look at the people running Department of Corrections, not as monsters put on earth to torment hapless young men, but generally well-meaning men and women generally trying the best they can to do a good job under difficult circumstances. We’ve collaborated with DOC to create Words Beyond Bars, a unique book club at one of the state’s toughest facilities, instituted distance learning education programs via The Teaching Company and have offered an educational program in which computers and a full educational curriculum can be provided for every prison in Colorado. Subjects that audiences seem to be particularly interested in: 1) The life of Jacob Ind, who murdered his abusive parents at age 15, and how that event led me to my activism.2) What life is like for children going into the adult system, including spending years in solitary.3) My personal journey; how I came to let go of outcomes and goals – these young men MUST be freed – and hopefully, learned wisdom, patience and detachment.4) What people don’t know about America’s criminal justice system that should shock, horrify and terrify them. Can it be fixed or is it beyond broken? 5) The challenges and disillusion that are part of activism. What my ex-husband taught me about fighting for a cause. People will forever disappoint and let you down because they ARE human, but the cause never will. You can contact Mary Ellen at :Maryellen@pendulumfoundation.com or call 720-314-1402
Living An American NightmareCurt and Pat Jensen had it all. Hugely successful business. Beautiful home in a wealthy Denver suburb. Two lovely children. The Jensens’ oldest, Erik, was blond, handsome, and in a rock band, Bound for Trouble. And in 1998 trouble did indeed come Erik’s way.Imagine: having your seventeen-year-old on trial for murder after trying to help a friend flee an abusive parent.Imagine: hearing the verdict: life in prison without possibility of parole. Imagine:knowing that your beloved child would spend his entire life behind prison walls.What would YOU do?For a powerful speaker and an unforgettable event, book Curt Jensen today. Copies of Frontline documentary, WHEN KIDS GET LIFE, available upon request.Can be shown followed by Q&A with Curt Jensen and/or other members of The Pendulum Foundation. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org 720-314-1402
Media Topics:Restorative justice movement locally and worldwide. If you're looking for a creative dynamo with boundless energy to make a difference in the world, contact my friend, Jeannette Holtham. From Jeannette’s linked in page (she’s being too modest)“I've been a leader in Colorado on behalf of the worldwide movement of restorative justice, conducted life-transforming training events that have brought fragmented business teams back into harmony to increase productivity, created programs that have inspired youth dealing with multiple high risk factors to reach for their big dreams in life and catapult them to healthier lifestyles. I am the author of "Taking Restorative Justice to Schools: A Doorway to Discipline" now available on amazon.com. Check out the YouthTransformationCenter Website at www.YouthTransformationCenter.org for some inspiring stories from our youth. Every day is a new day and I am open to new challenges, new options, and new opportunities in the fields of restorative justice, training, special events, and collaborations! I'm an open networker, ready to help others in their own explorations and pursuits. BTW my skydiving took me to greater heights than I ever dreamed possible. There's a story there...”email@example.com Blackbird Circle Highlands Ranch, CO 80130 (719) 440-1983
Speaker TopicsMiddle & High Schools Students: Gang prevention education, Gateway drug education, Restorative Justice Concepts.Colleges Student & Professors: Restorative Justice, Victim & offender dialogue conferences, Process and steps of grief, Forgiveness.Churches: Process and steps of grief, Forgiveness. KEYNOTE SPEAKER – 1-2 hours $1,500.00 (In State) $3,500.00-$6,500.00 (Out of State)Inspiring the audiences with a life changing story of forgiveness and restoration and a paradigm shift into extraordinary transformation.Panel - 2 hours $600.00 ( In State) $1,500+Travel ( Out of State) Process of Grief, Guilt, Questions and answers panel of how to live through grief and embrace the process of guilt. Workshops – 8 hours $2,000.00 ( In State) $4,000.00 ( Out of State) Sympathy, Empathy, The speaker offers a bridge of empathy that fills the gap and empowers victims and offenders to live full and productive lives. VOMI Support Group - Every Tuesday and Thursday Evenings at the VOMI office 5:30pm -7:30pm Victim and Offender Circles of Support Offers Each Individual an Opportunity to Rid themselves of Re-victimization, Resentment , Revenge, Malice and Bitterness. Keynote Speaker Topics of Concern:Forgiveness and Restoration: Paradigm Shift and Transformation Restorative Justice: Restorative Justice Dialogue Conference (Personal Story and Experience)The Forgotten Victim: Victim Rights, Healing in its Greatest Form, God Cares About YouYouth Empowerment: Gang, Crime, Intervention, Prevention, Non-Violence Approach
Dailey is based in the Texas frontier near Big Bend National Park, where he is creating "Estrella Vista," a 100+ acre off-the-grid desert mountain spiritual retreat which will serve as a permanent anchor in the lives of the kids he serves--"a place one can always come home to for Christmas," as he says. "When I die, control of this property will pass on to the kids, many of whom will hopefully be adults by then. We want Estrella Vista to always be a welcoming spiritual home for our kids and our kids' spouses and children."The Redemption Project takes on selected parricide cases from all over the US except Texas. "We run into so many corrupt police, prosecutors, judges, family members, and others that this can be dangerous work," said Dailey. "The System is ineffectual in correcting its endemic corruption. Bad cops, prosecutors, and judges act with impunity. If the System is unwilling to do someting about it, we are not so timid. We speak truth to power. We are committed to creating consequences for the bad apples if it will protect our kids. It's not fail-safe, but not taking Texas cases provides a necessary layer of protection for our own safety."Dailey has created a worldwide base of support for The Redemption Project through his daily blog, The Wandervogel Diary, which is named after a pre-WWI back-to-nature youth hiking movement. In his personal and revealing narrative, Dailey preaches a doctrine of personal sovereignty and the eight core values which are foundational to his life and work: Absolute Honesty, Purity, Unselfishness, Love, and Loyalty; and Freedom, Self-Responsibility, and Adventure. Because of his message and example, volunteers have begun relocating to Estrella Vista to assist him in the work of The Redemption Project."I live a monk's life here, surrounded by nature and far from the pace and conveniences of modern life," he said. "While I am reluctant to venture into the outer world, I will do so if my presence will further the cause of juvenile justice reform. The way our society treats its children must be changed or we must fear for our future."website: www.redemptionforkids.comblogsite: http://wandervogeldiary.wordpress.comphone: (432) 371-4257email: firstname.lastname@example.org