Mike is the founder and Executive Director of RAWtools. A former youth and young adult pastor at Beth-El Mennonite Church, Mike is licensed for specialized ministry for the work of RAWtools by Mountain States Mennonite Conference of Mennonite Church USA. He has a BA in Biblical studies.
Mike learned to blacksmith in order to turn guns into garden tools and is passionate about connecting people to nonviolent skills like restorative justice and conflict mediation. He is trained for restorative justice facilitation, dialogue circles, and encourages everyone to explore how they can connect to similar efforts in their community. Mike believes turning swords into plowshares requires a comprehensive approach to gun violence, one that addresses the triggers in our streets, and the triggers in our hearts.
Rev. Dr. Stephany Rose
Stephany Rose is the Founder of For Our Children’s Children Enterprises. She is also an activist, public commentator, pastor of Ebenezer Baptist Church in Colorado Springs and associate professor of Women’s and Ethnic Studies at the University of Colorado, Colorado Springs. She holds a B.A. in English from Clark Atlanta University, as well as a M.A. in American Literature and a Ph. D. in American Studies both from Purdue University. Rev. Dr. Rose is the author of Recovering From Racism: A Guidebook to Beginning Conversations (2015) and Abolishing White Masculinity from Mark Twain to Hiphop: Crisis in Whiteness (2014). She is an astonishingly creative and vocal being, whose expertise in diversity and inclusion has made her a well sought after leader in the field.
Laurie Works is a therapist in training, community organizer, and transformational healer. She lives in Tuscon, Arizona. You can see more of their work at www.laurieworks.com, or on Instagram at @healingembodied.
Jeresneyka (Jeh-Reh-Snay-Kah) Rose, known as Rizzo, is a self-taught visual artist and community advocate who originates from Brooklyn, New York. The first-generation American was raised in Southeast Colorado Springs, Colorado. The Harrison District Two graduate has always had a natural knack for art, but rarely explored her talents. Throughout her flourishing adulthood, she rediscovered her love for art and began painting in May 2014. Amongst the plethora of inspiration in the world, she primarily draws inspiration from her Panamanian heritage, sexuality, pop-culture, community, and environmental influences. Her mediums of choice are acrylic paint and digital art. She is a painter, illustrator, designer, consultant, art instructor, and overall creative. Her latest passion project is a program she created called Pencils in the Park which is powered in partnership with Generation Wild of the Pikes Peak Region at The Catamount Institute. Pencils in the Park is a series of free kid-friendly art lessons that integrates nature and science while encouraging people to explore the outdoors. She has been featured in and hosted a plethora of events and exhibitions throughout the United States. She thrives off of allowing her creativity to be incorporated within community. Her main objective as an artist is to obtain a position where she can grow as an artist, support the community, and promote multiculturalism, diversity, inclusion, equality, and respect.
Photos and bios coming soon for these additional board members:
Deanna Hollas Natalie Drew Matt Zimbleman
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