Norris Henderson, Founder & Executive Director
Norris Henderson, a former OSI Soros Justice Fellow, is Executive Director of VOTE. Norris has had tremendous success in his work impacting public policy and public discourse about police accountability, public defense for poor and indigent people, and reforming the notorious Orleans Parish Prison (OPP). As someone who was wrongfully incarcerated for 27 years, Norris shares first hand experience of racism and brutality of the criminal justice system with communities of Color across Louisiana.
Norris is a frequent contributor to public discourse, regularly speaking publicly in support of underprivileged communities in New Orleans, and acting as a general liaison to other community organizations in the city.
Since his release in 2003 Norris has applied his 27 years of self-taught legal expertise and community organizing skills to a number of leadership positions, including Co-Director of Safe Streets/Strong Communities and Community Outreach Coordinator of the Louisiana Justice Coalition.
Norris serves on a number of organizations’ Board of Directors including Family & Friends of Louisiana’s Incarcerated Children, and acts as Board President of the Louisana Center for Children’s Rights. Contact him at email@example.com
Bruce Reilly, J.D., Deputy Director
Bruce is a graduate of Tulane Law School, and (along with Norris) is a founding member of the Formerly Incarcerated, Convicted People and Families Movement (FICPFM). He served his community as a self-taught jailhouse lawyer for 12 years before organizing with Direct Action for Rights & Equality (DARE) in Rhode Island, from 2005-2012.
While with DARE, he played a lead role in passing significant criminal justice reforms, such as the restoration of voting rights, eliminating mandatory minimums, statewide Ban the Box, the Good Samaritan Overdose Prevention Act, unshackling pregnant prisoners, and probation violation reform. Bruce co-founded Transcending Through Education Foundation (TTEF) with two other formerly incarcerated friends who also entered prison without a single college credit, and earned law degrees after being released.
Bruce has also worked as an artist, lighting designer, DJ, and theatre director. He has won awards for dramatic writing and occasionally says "yes" to reading his poetry in public spaces. Bruce has written his own blog--Unprison--since 2010 and provides expert analysis on discrimination in employment, housing, and voting rights. He is also the author of "Communities, Evictions, and Criminal Convictions," a foundational report on public housing and criminal convictions.
Bruce is a dynamic speaker known for his capacity to smoothly synthesize history, culture, and the law into a concise analysis of the criminal justice system and predictive trends. His first book, NewJack's Guide to the Big House, is an irreverent self-help book written while still inside; it was adapted to the stage in "Voice of the Voiceless." Bruce is currently working on his second book.
Follow him @Unprison.
Adina Marx-Arpadi, Orleans Parish Prison Reform Coalition Coordinator
Adina was born in raised in New York City. She holds a B.A. in Religious Studies from Middlebury College, where she studied theologies of liberation, lived religion, and women’s meaning making. Adina was a student organizer for JusTalks, a student-led effort to create a space for every student to explore, deconstruct, and reflect on societal and personal identity issues such as race, gender, sexual orientation, class, ability and personal history. She has worked as a birth and postpartum doula and midwife’s assistant since 2011, and has supported families in a variety of settings.
Adina came to New Orleans through AVODAH: The Jewish Service Corps, where she worked as the Intake/Outreach Associate at the ACLU of Louisiana. She has been an active member of OPPRC since 2014.
Dolfinette Martin, Lead Organizer
Bio coming soon!
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