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Meet the OurJourney

Board of Directors

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Board President Heidi Coleman earned her BS in Biology from St. Andrews University in Laurinburg, NC, and is currently pursuing her Ph.D. in Education at UNC-Chapel Hill. Heidi has worked in the local, state, federal, non-profit, and for-profit sectors of education, and traces her interest in the field of prisoner rehabilitation and reentry to her mother, who retired after a long career with the Georgia Department of Corrections. She is also currently on the editorial board of the High School Journal, a peer-reviewed educational research journal housed at the university. 

Heidi is a volunteer with several organizations that work with currently incarcerated people and "believes deeply in fighting for social justice and that everyone deserves to live their best life." She has extensive experience in program evaluation, grant writing, and policy analysis.

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Brent Bailey is the Program Coordinator for the Buncombe County Reentry Council, which provides assistance to anyone returning from prison, giving them the resources they need to overcome the challenges they face, such as housing, transportation, education and employment.

 

Brent has been working in reentry for over 14 years. His experience as a formerly incarcerated man who served over 5 years offers him a unique perspective when it comes to navigating reentry. His greatest joy comes from helping the returning citizens of Buncombe County down the path to self-sufficiency.

Brent is also the Regional Coordinator for the NC Second Chance Alliance, an advocacy group that seeks to address the causes of criminal records and the barriers they create to successful reentry.

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LaNarda N. Williamson has more than a decade of experience building

partnerships for programs that serve vulnerable communities. She believes all people should have an opportunity to thrive and she has dedicated her life work to this belief.

 

LaNarda was the Reentry Coordinator for the Wake LocalReentry Council until the summer of 2023. Under her guidance, the Council was awarded the Arise Collective Angel of Hope award.

Currently, she is the Site Manager for the Eckerd Connects Pathways Home II reentry program.

LaNarda is a member of the Johnston County Nursing Home Community Advisory Committee, the Second Vice President of the Democratic Women of Johnston County. She has a Master of Science in Business from Strayer University.

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Ben Finholt is the Director of the Just Sentencing Project at the Wilson Center for Science and Justice at Duke Law.

 

Ben founded the JSP as a staff attorney at North Carolina Prisoner Legal Services, where he spent nine years litigating civil conditions of confinement and criminal post-conviction cases. The project seeks to increase awareness of extreme sentencing, reduce long-term incarceration, and promote fair outcomes through data analysis, collaboration with stakeholders, and strategic litigation.

Ben earned his B.A. from Williams College and his J.D. from the University of Iowa. In a prior life, he was a high school math teacher.

 

He enjoys disc golf, basketball, and ribeyes.

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Board Treasurer Josh Gibson served over 26 years in prison, entering at the young age of 15. He was released in 2019. Today Josh works with his uncle installing wallpaper by day, but at night and on the weekends, he is usually either crisscrossing the state of North Carolina helping guys when they're released from prison, or building his own company, 2nd Horseman Logistics. 

 

Josh is also actively involved in mentoring young people, sharing the lessons he's learned in life in hopes that they can avoid the struggles he faced. He is the recipient of the 2022 Greater Life GO US Missions Influence Award.

Josh lives in Charlotte, NC. He has one son and one granddaughter. He enjoys Tar Heel basketball, Kansas City Chiefs football and playing golf. His favorite food is a rack of ribs, dripped in BBQ sauce, and tacos.

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Bianca Harris found her passion for helping the incarcerated and formerly incarcerated while working for more than 25 years in the North Carolina prison system. She served as the Warden of the NC Correctional Institution for Women and then as the district manager of the Division of Alcohol and Chemical Dependency unit of the state Department of Public Safety.
 

After her retirement from state service, Bianca transitioned to the position of Program Director for the MA in Criminal Justice Program at Meredith College, bringing the same passion for a people-centered graduate program. She also serves on the board for NC-CURE (Citizens United for Restorative Effectiveness). 

Bianca lives in Raleigh. 

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Michele Houmis is a high school theology teacher at St. Joseph Catholic School in Greenville, SC. She has a BA in Theology from the Franciscan University of Steubenville, OH, and a Masters in Religious Studies from Providence College. Michele volunteers for several campus ministries and frequently speaks about the call to religious life both here in the States and abroad.

Michele first became interested in helping former prisoners after meeting one and realizing that much of what she thought she knew about their humanity and struggles was inaccurate and incomplete. She sees the urgent need to help make the transition from prison to freedom "less harrowing" for men like her friend.

Michele lives in Mauldin, SC. She enjoys reading, gardening and dinner with friends, and if she has her way, the meal will include some type of pasta.

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Antione Lyles, better known as Lee, served over 15 years in prison for drug trafficking and possession. He was released in 2018. Today Lee is the Program Manager for OIC Wilson in Wilson County, NC.

 

OIC operates in 22 states and 19 countries, helping economically disadvantaged persons, regardless of race, creed, gender or criminal record, to complete or resume their education and obtain employment. He oversees the SOAR 4 and SOAR 6 reentry programs, which are designed specifically to reduce recidivism. 

 

Lee is an accomplished singer and musician and serves as the Minister of Music at Greater Harvest Ministry in Tarboro, NC. He and his wife of 27 years, Danisha, live in Wilson, where Lee was born and raised. In his free time, Lee enjoys spending time with family and fishing. 

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Josh Stancil, following an 18-year prison sentence, enrolled at Arizona State University, graduating with a BA in English. He is the founder of Deep River Media, which provides video production, ghostwriting services, and social media management for small businesses.

 

Josh also serves on the Board of Directors of Dismas Ministry, a national Catholic prison ministry based in Milwaukee, and was recently named Editor of Convivium, a quarterly literary journal. In addition, he is the founder of Living With Convictions, one of OurJourney's Outreach Partners, a residency program in North Carolina for men returning from prison.

Josh lives in Asheboro, NC. He is a self-described "film nut" and a fountain of useless information about movie directors. He loves snacking on sesame sticks.

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Jake Sussman is the interim Chief Counsel, Justice System Reform, for the Southern Coalition for Social Justice. Jake leads a cross-disciplinary team engaged in legal and policy advocacy to support campaigns and communities fighting to end mass incarceration and its latent effects, including the overcriminalization of Black and Brown youth.

After graduating from NYU School of Law, where he was a Root-Tilden-Kern Public Interest Scholar, Jake completed a federal clerkship and moved to North Carolina.

 

Jake has spent over 20 years working on civil rights and criminal justice issues, handling everything from indigent defense in federal court, juvenile proceedings in family court, complex criminal cases under the glare of intense public scrutiny, and death penalty cases.

Jake has also prosecuted scores of civil rights cases ranging from excessive force by police, unlawful conditions of confinement, First Amendment violations, and race discrimination. 

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