30 episodes

This bi-weekly one-hour live conversation series gives the public a chance to hear directly from those impacted by the criminal justice system about the issues that impact our communities. Hosted by Desmond Meade and Neil Volz.

The Our Voice Podcast Desmond Meade & Neil Volz

    • News
    • 5.0 • 5 Ratings

This bi-weekly one-hour live conversation series gives the public a chance to hear directly from those impacted by the criminal justice system about the issues that impact our communities. Hosted by Desmond Meade and Neil Volz.

    Episode 27: Waking a Sleeping Giant: The National Movement to Transform the Criminal Legal System

    Episode 27: Waking a Sleeping Giant: The National Movement to Transform the Criminal Legal System

    The “Our Voice” podcast heads to Atlanta, Georgia, in this episode. Host Neil Volz – Deputy Director of the Florida Rights Restoration Coalition (FRRC), welcomes guest host David Ayala – Executive Director of the Formerly Incarcerated Convicted People and Families Movement (FICPFM). FICPFM is a network of over 50 civil and human rights organizations led by people living with criminal records and their family members.  As the leader of a national movement focused on dismantling the ineffective and destructive aspects of America’s mass incarceration system, Executive Director Ayala shares his vision of a world where prisons – as we currently know them – no longer exist.  Pamela Winn – Founder and President of the non-profit RestoreHER – joins the show as a featured guest, along with Charlotte Garnes – CEO and Founder of the non-profit ReNforce, and Robyn Hasan – Executive Director of the grassroots organization Women on the Rise. Together, these three female leaders describe their new coalition – Informing Marginalized People Power and Cultivating Transformation (IMPPACT). The mission of IMPPACT is to educate and inform formerly incarcerated people of their voting rights and the power of voting.

    • 40 min
    Episode 26: Justice on the Federal Level

    Episode 26: Justice on the Federal Level

    In this episode, the “Our Voice” podcast goes on the road to the nation’s capital, Washington, DC. Special guest host Mrs. Sheena Meade – Executive Director for the Clean Slate Initiative – welcomes Ms. Holly Harris – President and Executive Director for the Justice Action Network. The Justice Action Network is one of the largest organizations in the country to bring together progressive and conservative partners and collaborate with law enforcement, business, civil rights, victims’ rights, and faith-based groups to make our justice system fairer and more effective.



    Listen in as these two influential criminal justice reform leaders address a question fundamental to ending America’s mass incarceration problem. What is justice on the federal level?   

    • 1 hr 4 min
    Episode 25: Biden’s Marijuana Pardons & The Journey from Prison to Harvard

    Episode 25: Biden’s Marijuana Pardons & The Journey from Prison to Harvard

    The “Our Voice” podcast travels to Atlanta, Georgia, in this episode. Hosts Sheena Meade–Executive Director for the Clean Slate Initiative, and Neil Volz–Deputy Director of the Florida Rights Restoration Coalition, welcome Brittany White–formerly incarcerated person, Decarceration Director for Live Free, and Organizing Fellow at The Institute to End Mass Incarceration. In August of 2022, The Institute to End Mass Incarceration at Harvard Law School and the Harvard Radcliffe Institute announced the joint appointment of Brittany as a visiting practitioner in residence for the 2022–2023 academic year. The announcement of this prestigious appointment came just before President Biden announced an executive order pardoning all prior federal offenses of simple marijuana possession.  As a formerly incarcerated person–who served five years in state prison for trafficking marijuana–Brittany shares her thoughts on the Biden pardons. She also talks about how she has overcome “survivor’s guilt” to become an influential criminal justice reform strategist with national influence.

    • 41 min
    Episode 24: The Permission to Dream and the Power to Transform

    Episode 24: The Permission to Dream and the Power to Transform

    In episode 24, the "Our Voice'' podcast welcomes back Marcus Bullock – founder and CEO of the tech start-up Flikshop. Shot in front of a live audience, on location in Orlando, Florida, during FRRC’s 10th Anniversary Convening celebration, hosts Desmond Meade and Neil Volz get Marcus to share his frightening, gut-wrenching, and ultimately transformative journey. Listen as he describes growing from a young teen who was direct-filed and sentenced to a maximum security adult prison to becoming a father and successful entrepreneur in the tech sector.

    The development of the Flikshop mobile app enables families and non-profit organizations to send personalized postcards to any person in any cell in the US, with the mission of using social connections to decrease recidivism. By leveraging technology to keep loved ones connected, Flikshop – the “Instagram for the currently incarcerated” – is a tool that will grant hundreds of thousands of people the permission to dream and the power to transform.

    • 1 hr 2 min
    Episode 22: Words Shape Culture & Culture Informs Policy

    Episode 22: Words Shape Culture & Culture Informs Policy

    In episode 22, the “Our Voice” podcast welcomes Zoë Towns – Vice President for Criminal Justice Reform at FWD.us, a bipartisan political advocacy organization committed to safely and significantly driving down America’s incarceration rate. Zoë and her team collaborate with policymakers and constituencies across the political spectrum to advance sentencing, parole, and pretrial reforms that deliver more freedom, opportunity, and fairness. Hosts Desmond Meade and Neil Volz sit with Zoë to dive deeply into the topic of narrative control – analyzing the role of media in shaping public opinion and public policy. Listen as they discuss why words like “felon” and “convict” dehumanize millions of American citizens, creating more barriers to successful reentry – and what we can do to remedy the problem.

    • 58 min
    Episode 21: Love & Justice Will Save Our Democracy

    Episode 21: Love & Justice Will Save Our Democracy

    In episode 21, the “Our Voice” podcast welcomes Carol Lautier, Ph.D. – Director of Movement Building for Demos, and Kira Romero-Craft – Director of Legal Strategies for Demos. Demos is a dynamic think-and-do tank that powers the movement for a just, inclusive, multiracial democracy. Host Desmond Meade sits with these two influential leaders to talk about the recent returning citizen voter fraud arrests in Alachua county Florida, how both Democrats and Republicans use the levers of democracy to gain an unfair advantage, and the impact of Roe v. Wade on criminal justice reform and democracy.

    • 1 hr 1 min

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