This project examines the topic of design and violence in the format of a moderated and invited dialogue. To do justice to the complexity of this topic, and to understand the impact of designed violence from many angles, we are inviting experts from fields as diverse as science, philosophy, literature, music, film, journalism, and politics to contribute their perspective to this conversation by responding to a design project that we select especially for them.

The son of a scientist and a doctor, Jad Abumrad did most of his growing up in Tennessee, before studying creative writing and music composition at Oberlin College in Ohio. Following graduation, Abumrad wrote music for films and reported and produced documentaries for a variety of local and national public radio programs, including On the Media, Studio 360 with Kurt Andersen, Morning Edition, All Things Considered, and WNYC's "24 Hours at the Edge of Ground Zero." MORE

Christina Agapakis is a biologist, writer, and artist interested in microbes, symbiosis, and the future of biotechnology. MORE

Ahmed Ansari teaches courses in design and science and technology studies in Karachi, Pakistan. His academic interests involve exploring the philosophical and political implications of designed artifacts, and what design (always human-centric) can learn from disciplines that deal with the nonhuman. When not teaching he spends most of his time traveling around the country evangelizing design research at workshops and lectures for local organizations and consulting with local startups. He finds it particularly fascinating how child laborers in Karachi's Saddar Market ingeniously operate whetstones to buff scratched phone screens, making them as good as new for less than $2. MORE

Paola Antonelli joined The Museum of Modern Art in 1994 and is a Senior Curator in the Department of Architecture and Design, as well as MoMA’s Director of Research and Development. She has curated many memorable exhibitions at MoMA, including Workspheres (2001), Humble Masterpieces (2004), SAFE: Design Takes On Risk (2005- 2006), Design and the Elastic Mind (2008), and Talk to Me: Design and the Communication between People and Objects (2011). MORE

Ayssar Arida is a practicing "urbatect," writer, educator, and entrepreneur. His award-winning work ranges from digital interface design to large-scale city planning and strategy. He is the advisor to multiple international organizations in culture, education, urbanism, and design. Ayssar wrote the influential book Quantum City, which looks at the city as a field of interaction between physical, emotional, natural, and digital events bridged by individual memories and collective consciousness. MORE

Brian Ashcraft is a senior contributing editor for the video game site Kotaku and a columnist at The Japan Times. His work has also appeared in Popular Science, The Guardian, and Metropolis magazine. Ashcraft was previously a contributing editor at Wired magazine. MORE

Alison Bancroft is a writer and cultural critic, specializing in interdisciplinary approaches to modern culture and media. Her interests include art, design and culture in general, also psychoanalytic thought, sex and gender. She is the author of Fashion and Psychoanalysis--her first book, and a topic that she has published and spoken about widely--which was published in 2012, and is now working on her second book. Bancroft holds a PhD from the University of London. MORE

Geoffrey Batchen teaches art history at Victoria University of Wellington in New Zealand. His most recent book is a co-edited volume titled Picturing Atrocity: Photography in Crisis. MORE

Carolyn Birdsall is Assistant Professor in Media Studies at the University of Amsterdam and is currently a visiting researcher at the Max Planck Institute for the History of Science, Berlin. Her monograph Nazi Soundscapes: Sound, Technology and Urban Space in Germany, 1933–1945 was published by Amsterdam University Press. MORE

Andrew Blauvelt is Senior Curator of Design, Research, and Publishing at the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis, where he organizes exhibitions about architecture and design; cultivates and disseminates research on the Walker’s multidisciplinary programs and collections; and coordinates content strategy across multiple media platforms. MORE

JC Cahill teaches at the University of Alberta, where he heads up the Lab of Experimental Plant Ecology. Research in the lab addresses a diversity of fundamental questions in plant ecology. MORE

Laura Antrim Caskey is an independent photojournalist. Caskey has spent the last decade reporting on the human and environmental costs of mountaintop removal coal mining in Appalachia. MORE

Gabriella Coleman is an author and professor. Trained as an anthropologist, she holds the Wolfe Chair in Scientific and Technological Literacy at McGill University. Her research, teaching, and writing covers the ethics and politics of digital activism and computer hackers. Her first book, Coding Freedom: the Ethics and Aesthetics of Hacking, has been published with Princeton University Press, and she is completing a new book for Verso: Hacker, Hoaxer, Whistleblower, Spy: The Story of Anonymous. MORE

Antonio Damasio is University Professor, David Dornsife Professor of Neuroscience, and Director of the Brain and Creativity Institute at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles. Damasio has made seminal contributions to the understanding of brain processes underlying emotions, feelings, decision making, and consciousness. MORE

Clive Dilnot is professor of design studies in the School of Art and Design History and Theory at Parsons The New School for Design, which he joined in 2002 as Senior Associate Dean in Academic Affairs. Previously, he was professor of design studies and Director of Design Initiatives at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, and taught at Harvard University and at universities and colleges in England, Hong Kong, and Australia. He has been a visiting professor at the University of Technology, Sydney; the University of Illinois, Chicago; and Rhode Island School of Design. He has lectured, given keynote addresses, and acted as visiting critic at universities worldwide. MORE

Gregg Easterbrook is a contributing editor to The Atlantic and the Washington Monthly, a frequent op-ed contributor to The New York Times, and author of nine books, most recently The King of Sports (2013). MORE

Ingrid Fetell is a Senior Design Lead at IDEO and founder of the blog Aesthetics of Joy. Her work draws on insights from neuroscience and psychology to offer a unique perspective on the connection between our environment and our well-being. Drawing on her day-to-day design practice and five years of original research, she shows how people can create happier and healthier lives through design. MORE

Aminatta Forna was born in Scotland, raised in Sierra Leone and Britain, and spent periods of her childhood in Iran, Thailand, and Zambia. She is the award-winning author of the novels The Hired Man, The Memory of Love, and Ancestor Stones, and the memoir The Devil that Danced on the Water. She is Professor of Creative Writing, Bath Spa University, and in 2013 she held the post of Sterling Brown Distinguished Visiting Professor, Williams College, Massachusetts. Aminatta Forna lives in South East London. MORE

William Gibson’s first novel, Neuromancer, won the Hugo Award, the Philip K. Dick Memorial Award, and the Nebula Award in 1984. He is credited with having coined the term “cyberspace,” and having envisioned both the Internet and virtual reality before either existed. MORE

Milton Glaser (b.1929) is among the most celebrated graphic designers in the United States. He has had the distinction of one-man-shows at the Museum of Modern Art and the Georges Pompidou Center. He was selected for the lifetime achievement award of the Cooper Hewitt National Design Museum (2004) and the Fulbright Association (2011), and in 2009 he was the first graphic designer to receive the National Medal of the Arts award. As a Fulbright scholar, Glaser studied with the painter Giorgio Morandi in Bologna, and is an articulate spokesman for the ethical practice of design. He opened Milton Glaser, Inc. in 1974, and continues to produce a prolific amount of work in many fields of design to this day. MORE

Elizabeth Grosz is currently the Jean Fox O'Barr Women's Studies Professor in Trinity College of Arts and Sciences in the Women's Studies Program at Duke University. Her articles and book chapters have appeared in a variety of leading scholarly journals and edited collections. They include Volatile Bodies: Toward a Corporeal Feminism (1994) and Becoming Undone. Darwinian Reflections on Life, Politics and Art (2011). MORE

António Guterres became the 10th UN High Commissioner for Refugees on June 15, 2005. A former Portuguese prime minister, Guterres was elected by the UN General Assembly to a five-year term. In April 2010, the General Assembly re-elected Guterres to a second five-year term. MORE

Marta Gutman is an associate professor of architectural and urban history at the Spitzer School of Architecture, City College of New York; a member of the doctoral faculty in art history at the Graduate Center/CUNY; and an editor of Designing Modern Childhoods (Rutgers, 2008) and Buildings & Landscapes: Journal of the Vernacular Architecture Forum. Her most recent publication is the critically acclaimed book A City for Children: Women, Architecture, and the Charitable Landscapes of Oakland, 1850–1950 (The University of Chicago Press, 2014). Dr. Gutman is also a licensed architect. MORE

John Hockenberry is host of public radio’s live morning news program The Takeaway. An Emmy- and Peabody Award–winning journalist, he is a former correspondent for NBC News, ABC News, and NPR, and has traveled the globe reporting on a wide variety of stories in virtually every medium for more than three decades. MORE

Arianna Huffington is the chair, president, and editor-in-chief of the Huffington Post Media Group, a nationally syndicated columnist, and the author of 13 books. In May 2005 she launched The Huffington Post, a news and blog site that quickly became one of the most widely read, linked to, and frequently cited media brands on the Internet. In 2012 the site won a Pulitzer Prize for national reporting. In 2006, and again in 2011, she was named to the Time 100, Time magazine's list of the world’s 100 most influential people. Originally from Greece, she moved to England when she was 16 and graduated from Cambridge University with an MA in economics. At 21, she became president of the famed debating society the Cambridge Union. MORE

Jamer Hunt is the director of the experimental Transdisciplinary Design Graduate Program at Parsons the New School for Design. He collaboratively designs open and flexible programs that respond to emergent cultural conditions. He is an expert design blogger for Fast Company and he is co-founder of DesignPhiladelphia, now the largest city-based design festival in the US. Along with the Museum of Modern Art and SEED Magazine, he co-hosted and collaborated on the symposium Headspace: On Scent as Design in 2010 and MIND08: The Design and Elastic Mind Symposium. MORE

On May 19, 1975, 59-year-old Harold Franks, a money order salesman in Cleveland, Ohio, and was confronted by two men demanding his briefcase. When Franks resisted, they shot him twice in the chest, and fired a shot through the store’s glass front door. Franks died, and 58-year-old Ann Robinson, co-owner of the store, who was shot once in the neck, survived. Within a week, police obtained a statement from 12-year-old Eddie Vernon, who identified the gunman as 18-year-old Ricky Jackson. Vernon told police that 17-year-old Ronnie Bridgeman and Bridgeman’s 20-year-old brother, Wiley, who drove the getaway car, were with Jackson. Jackson and the Bridgeman brothers—none of whom had a criminal record—were arrested on May 25, 1975. They were charged with aggravated murder, aggravated attempted murder, and aggravated robbery. No physical or forensic evidence linked any of them to the crime. The prosecution’s case rested almost solely on the testimony of Vernon, who had turned 13 by the time he testified. All three denied they were involved in the crime. All presented witnesses who said they were elsewhere at the time it occurred. All three were sentenced to death—just months after their arrest. Those sentences were later commuted to life in prison. In 2013, Vernon recanted his testimony. “I don’t have any knowledge about what happened at the scene of the crime,” he testified. “Everything was a lie. They were all lies.”' Jackson was finally exonerated and released in November 2014. He had served 39 years, three months, and nine days—the longest time in prison of any defendant exonerated in U.S. history. Today, Jackson lives in Cleveland, Ohio. MORE

Carlotta Werner and Johanna Sunder-Plassmann are a German product designer and media artist team. Their common interest focuses on the emotional value everyday objects can have for individuals aiming to draw conclusions about their social environment. Currently, they are working on an exhibition about hacked objects emerging in worldwide political protests. Both born in 1983 in Munich, Carlotta Werner graduated from the Bauhaus-University Weimar in 2010 and Johanna Sunder-Plassmann completed her postgraduate studies at the Academy of Media Arts Cologne in 2013. MORE

Harry Jones is an active duty Army officer who has served in both Iraq and Afghanistan. He is currently assigned to the United States Military Academy at West Point as an instructor of philosophy. MORE

Maira Kalman

Maira Kalman is an author/illustrator/designer. Her work is based on her travels, both in her daily walks and in places farther afield. MORE

Kalpona Akter is the executive director of the Bangladesh Center for Worker Solidarity (BCWS), one of Bangladesh’s most prominent labor rights advocacy organizations, and is herself a former child garment worker. MORE

China Keitetsi was born in Uganda and currently lives in Denmark. At the age of eight she was recruited by the Ugandan Resistance Army NRA (National Resistance Army). There, she was given a new name—she was called “China” by her instructor, who interpreted her visage as Asian—and she was given a gun. In 2004, China founded The African Child Soldiers and War Victims Charity, whose main purpose is to be a center for the reintegration of former child soldiers/orphans. MORE

Nama Khalil is an artist and academic whose thesis exhibition was derived from her personal experience, exploring instances of silenced and suppressed voices in post-9/11 society. She explores the notion of "otherness" in her work while attempting to speak for herself as an Other, or acting as a mediator between her subjects and her viewers. MORE

Angélique Kidjo is a Grammy Award–winning Beninoise singer-songwriter and activist. The BBC has included Kidjo in its list of the African continent's 50 most iconic figures, The Guardian has listed her as one of its Top 100 Most Inspiring Women in the World, and Kidjo is the first woman to be listed among the 40 Most Powerful Celebrities In Africa by Forbes magazine. MORE

Dr. Christopher Kilmartin is a college professor, author, stand-up comedian, actor, playwright, consultant, and professional psychologist. He is Professor of Psychology at the University of Mary Washington in Fredericksburg, VA. He holds a PhD in counseling psychology from Virginia Commonwealth University and is a licensed clinical psychologist who has a great deal of experience consulting with businesses, college students, human-services workers, athletic departments, the military, and counselors. MORE

André Lepecki is Associate Professor, Department of Performance Studies, New York University, and Artistic Professor, Stockholm University of the Arts. He is author of Exhausting Dance: Performance and the Politics of Movement and editor of several anthologies, including Dance for the Whitechapel series Documents of Contemporary Art. MORE

Prior to founding an independent practice in Brooklyn, NY, Ms. Leung trained in the offices of Stan Allen Architect, Diller Scofidio + Renfro, and the Office for Metropolitan Architecture. Recent projects include residential and retail projects in New York City and the design and installation of “Cold Morning” for the Canada Pavilion at the 2009 Venice Biennale. MORE

Mark Mahoney is a tattoo artist and owner of the famed Los Angeles tattoo parlor the Shamrock Social Club. He is considered a founding father of the black-and-gray style, and has been tattooing for over three decades. MORE

Geoff Manaugh is a freelance writer who publishes widely on questions of landscape, architecture, and technology. MORE

Lev Manovich is the author of Software Takes Command (Bloomsbury Academic, 2013), Soft Cinema: Navigating the Database (The MIT Press, 2005), and The Language of New Media (The MIT Press, 2001), which was described as "the most suggestive and broad ranging media history since Marshall McLuhan." Manovich is a professor at The Graduate Center, CUNY, and a director of the Software Studies Initiative, which works on the analysis and visualization of big cultural data. In 2013 he appeared on the List of 25 People Shaping the Future of Design (between Casey Reas, at no. 1, and Jonathan Ive, at no. 3). MORE

Nivedita Menon is Professor in the Centre for Comparative Politics and Political Theory at Jawaharlal Nehru University. She writes with a feminist perspective on political theory and Indian politics and has published widely in both Indian and international academic journals. Menon regularly contributes to current issues in The Economic, Political Weekly,, and newspapers. Her recent books are Seeing Like a Feminist (2012), the edited volume Sexualities (2007), Power and Contestation: India Since 1989 (2007), and Recovering Subversion: Feminist Politics Beyond the Law (2004). Menon has also been involved in a wide range of political and social movements. MORE

Ingrid Newkirk is founder and president of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) and its international affiliates, and author of over a dozen books on the philosophy of animal rights and its practical application, including Making Kind Choices and The Compassionate Cook. She is the subject of an HBO special titled I Am an Animal. MORE

Christoph Niemann is an illustrator, artist, and author. He is a regular contributor to The New Yorker, Wired, and The New York Times. His drawings and prints have been featured in numerous solo and group exhibitions. MORE

Bruce Nussbaum is the author of the book Creative Intelligence: Harnessing the Power to Create, Connect, and Inspire. He blogs, tweets, and writes on innovation, design thinking, and creativity. The former assistant managing editor for Business Week, he is Professor of Innovation and Design at Parsons The New School of Design and founder of both the Innovation & Design online channel and IN: Inside Innovation, a quarterly innovation supplement. MORE

Camille Paglia is the University Professor of Humanities and Media Studies at the University of the Arts in Philadelphia, where she has taught since 1984. She received her BA from the State University of New York at Binghamton in 1968 and her MPhil and PhD degrees from Yale University in 1971 and 1974, respectively. MORE

Christian Parenti is an American investigative journalist and author who has reported from Afghanistan, Iraq, Venezuela, Bolivia, Ivory Coast, and China. He was a visiting fellow at CUNY's Center for Place, Culture and Politics, and a Soros Senior Justice Fellow. Parenti has taught at the New College of California and at St. Mary's College in Moraga, California. He is currently a professor at SIT Graduate Institute. MORE

Steven Pinker is Harvard College Professor and Johnstone Family Professor in the Department of Psychology at Harvard University. Until 2003, he taught in the Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences at MIT. MORE

Hugh Raffles is an anthropologist at The New School whose work explores relationships among people, animals, and things. His writing has appeared in academic and popular venues, including Granta, Public Culture, Natural History, Orion, and The New York Times. MORE

Alice Rawsthorn writes about design for The International New York Times, which syndicates her articles worldwide. She is also a columnist for Frieze magazine and an author, whose latest book, the critically acclaimed Hello World: Where Design Meets Life explores the changing role of design in our lives: past, present, and future. A prominent public speaker on design, she has participated in important international events, including the annual meetings of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. MORE

Albert Saiz is Associate Professor and Director, Center for Real Estate, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). Saiz pursues research in local public finance, real estate economics, and urban economic development, with an emphasis on immigration and immigrant location choices, and the impact of skills on earnings and city growth. MORE

Leslie Savan is a prominent writer, columnist, and media and politics blogger for The Nation. She was nominated as a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize three times for her Village Voice column about advertising. She has written for The New York Times Magazine , The New Yorker, and Huffington Post, among others. Savan is the author of Slam Dunks and No Brainers: Pop Language in Your Life, the Media, and, Like...Whatever and The Sponsored Life: Ads, TV, and American Culture. MORE

Shira A. Scheindlin is a United States District Judge for the Southern District of New York. She was nominated by President Bill Clinton on July 28, 1994. During her tenure, Judge Scheindlin has presided over a number of high profile cases, many of which advanced important new positions in the common law. Judge Scheindlin issued two notable and highly publicized rulings in 2013 in regards to New York City's controversial stop-and-frisk procedures: one found the NYPD’s procedures unconstitutional, and the other ordered the city to implement reforms under the supervision of a court-appointed monitor. MORE

Talan Skeels-Piggins is a winter paralympian and the world's first paraplegic motorcycle racer. MORE

Anne-Marie Slaughter is the president and CEO of the New America Foundation and the Bert G. Kerstetter ’66 University Professor Emerita of Politics and International Affairs at Princeton University. From 2009 to 2011 she served as the director of Policy Planning for the United States Department of State, the first woman to hold that position. MORE

Raphael Sperry, AIA, LEED AP, is president of Architects/Designers/Planners for Social Responsibility (ADPSR), and the first architect to receive a Soros Justice Fellowship from the Open Society Foundations. He researches the intersection of architecture and planning with human rights, with a special focus on prisons and jails, and advocates for design professionals to play a larger role in supporting human rights in the built environment. MORE

Bruce Sterling

Bruce Sterling, author, journalist, editor, and critic, was born in 1954. Best known for his 10 science fiction novels, he also writes short stories, book reviews, design criticism, opinion columns, and introductions for books by authors ranging from Ernst Juenger to Jules Verne. MORE

Superflux is an Anglo-Indian design practice based in London, but with roots and contacts in the Gujarati city of Ahmedabad. MORE

As assistant editor and columnist, Gillian Tett writes two weekly columns for the Financial Times, covering a range of economic, financial, political and social issues throughout the globe. MORE

John Thackara is a writer, philosopher, and event producer. For three decades, he has traveled the world looking for live examples of what a sustainable future can be like. He writes about these stories online and in books; he uses them in talks and workshops for cities, universities, and business; and, as director of Doors Of Perception, he organizes social harvest festivals in which project leaders share experiences with each other. MORE

Torolab is a consortium of artists and designers who explore ways to improve urban environments. Raúl Cárdenas Osuna founded Torolab in Tijuana, Mexico, in 1995. MORE

Judith Torrea Oiz is an award-winning investigative blogger, journalist, and author who has covered the México/USA Border for 16 years. She emphasizes women's rights issues, such as femicide, human trafficking, and immigration. Torrea's work spotlights some of the most dire human rights cases in Ciudad Juárez, and analyzes the impact that the war against drugs has on marginalized and poor communities. Her book Juárez en la sombra (Aguilar) has been released in Latin America and Spain. A pioneer blogger in conflict zones, Torrea writes her own blog, Ciudad Juarez, in the Shadow of Drug Trafficking. Follow her @Judithtorrea MORE

Alex S. Vitale is an associate professor of sociology at Brooklyn College, where he teaches about the sociology of law, criminology, and social movements. He is the author of City of Disorder: How the Quality of Life Campaign Transformed New York Politics. His research focuses on the politics of community policing and the policing of demonstrations. MORE

Rob Walker is a technology and culture columnist for Yahoo News. He is also a contributor to Design Observer and writes The Workologist column in the Sunday Business section of The New York Times. His most recent book, co-edited with Joshua Glenn, is the collection Significant Objects: 100 Extraordinary Stories About Ordinary Things (Fantagraphics, 2012). MORE

Jamin Warren founded video game arts and culture company Kill Screen. Formerly a culture reporter for The Wall Street Journal, he serves as an advisor to MoMA's Architecture and Design Department. Jamin also hosts Game/Show for PBS. MORE

Graham Westgarth joined GasLog Ltd. in January 2013 and is currently serving as Chief Operating Officer, with responsibility for day-to-day operations of all owned and managed vessels as well as the company's extensive new-build program. MORE

Jody Williams received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1997 for her work to ban landmines through the International Campaign to Ban Landmines, which shared the Peace Prize with her that year. At that time, she became the 10th woman—and third American woman—in its almost 100-year history to receive the Prize. Since her protests of the Vietnam War, she has remained a lifelong advocate of freedom, self-determination, and human and civil rights. She holds the Sam and Cele Keeper Endowed Professorship in Peace and Social Justice at the Graduate College of Social Work at the University of Houston, where she has taught since 2003. MORE

Author, performer, and disgraced New York Times fashion critic Cintra Wilson is the author of several books denouncing the hypocrisies of our age, including A Massive Swelling: Celebrity Re-Examined as a Grotesque, Crippling Disease (2000). Her articles can occasionally be found in exceptionally brave magazines. Her fourth book, Fear and Clothing: Unbuckling America's Fashion Destiny, will be published by WW Norton in 2014. MORE

Mabel O. Wilson’s transdisciplinary practice, Studio &, operates between the fields of architecture, art, and cultural history. MORE

Susan Yelavich is an associate professor and director of the MA Design Studies program in the School of Art and Design History and Theory at Parsons The New School for Design. A Fellow of the American Academy in Rome, Yelavich was awarded the Academy’s Rolland Prize in Design in 2003. MORE

Shandra Woworuntu holds a degree in Finance and Bank Management. After losing her job in her native Indonesia, she responded to an opportunity to work in the hotel industry in Chicago. Upon arriving to the U.S., Woworuntu fell victim to sex trafficking in New York. After several attempts, she successfully escaped her captors. Woworuntu now works on bringing those who engage with criminal trafficking to justice. Chris Heuertz is an activist fighting for freedom and justice among some of the world’s poorest people. He has worked alongside organizations in Bolivia, India, Moldova, Romania, and Thailand that establish small businesses and micro-enterprise initiatives as alternative means for women working in prostitution. MORE

Amy Ellenbogen has been the director of the Crown Heights Community Mediation Center since 2002, developing and implementing programs and overseeing day-to-day operations. Amy has run community and school-based programming on topics as diverse as violence prevention, adult and youth leadership development, family and community mediation, truancy prevention, intergroup relationship building, pregnancy prevention, and race and identity. Amy planned and directed the first New York State Cure Violence replication site, Save Our Streets (S.O.S.) Crown Heights, an anti–gun violence program that uses a public health approach. Currently, Amy is part of the planning team developing culturally competent trauma-informed programming for young men of color and Save Our Streets Bed-Stuy. Prior to working at the Center, Amy worked in a home for young women who were previously incarcerated and were mentally ill and chemically addicted. Amy is the founder of ROOTED (Respecting Ourselves and Others Through Education), a Columbia University program designed to facilitate student dialogue around issues of identity as they relate to power and privilege. Amy received both her BA in ethnic studies and her MS in social work from Columbia University. She is a licensed Master Social Worker and a mediator. Derick Scott is an outreach worker with S.O.S. Crown Heights. Affected by violence early in life, Derick started reacting while still at school by fighting and getting into gangs. He was expelled from school and spent four years in a juvenile center before running away. During a period of incarceration, he started focusing on trying to change, eventually becoming head of a religious organization in prison. Within two weeks of his release in 2002, Derick got a job, began reaffirming his relationship with his children, and started volunteering at the Crown Heights Mediation Center and Save Our Streets, where he is continually motivated to fight for positive changes for youth, families, and adults in his neighborhood and community. MORE