Valerie Slater leads the RISE for Youth Coalition and advocates for the rights of system involved youth. Previously Valerie was a Juvenile Justice Attorney with Legal Aid Justice Center and coordinated RISE efforts while it was housed in the JustChildren Program of LAJC. Valerie has also worked to protect the rights of children with disabilities in community, residential and juvenile justice facilities throughout the Commonwealth at the disAbility Law Center of Virginia. Valerie earned her Juris Doctor from the University of Richmond School of Law and her Bachelor of Arts from Colorado State University. Valerie has dedicated her life’s work to advocacy in its many forms to preserve and protect our most valuable resource, our youth. Valerie brings to the RISE team an unwavering commitment to strengthening youth and communities to lead the efforts to realize their visions for change.
Strategic Engagement Director
James Braxton is the key relationship builder for RISE. James cultivates community awareness and collaborative opportunities to build with key stakeholders. James is the creative lead for initiatives undertaken to implement RISE for Youth’s strategic plans. Previously James was a Juvenile Justice Organizer at LAJC. As a previous Boys & Girls Club Area Director, James developed a youth program for photography and music and secured grant funding to implement the program. James developed a leadership program for youth to teach the skills of professionalism and ethics in the work place. James studied Human Services at University of Phoenix, and is a Restorative Justice Certified Facilitator. James is dedicated to community empowerment and youth development and brings to the RISE team an ability develop and turn youth and community partnerships into action that results in successful advocacy efforts.
As Legislative Strategist, Gary Broderick works to advance RISE’s agenda in the halls of power. He leverages our people power to work with elected officials to enact reforms that will improve the lives of our youth and their families while transforming juvenile and racial justice in Virginia. He has worked as a political advisor and as a labor and community organizer with a diverse range of organizations including UNITE HERE, Durham Association of Educators, Point Breeze Organizing Committee, and MoveOn.org. Gary studied Media Arts at New Jersey City University and Hunter College. Gary believes deeply that movements built from the grassroots level can transform the political landscape with the right political strategies. He is committed to the fight for racial and juvenile justice and constructing political power in a manner that allows everyone to participate in the decisions that affect their lives.
David Lattimore is RISE for Youth’s Faith-based Community Organizer in the Hampton Roads region. David works to connect the faith community in Hampton Roads to RISE efforts. David seeks to develop strategic plans for action and outreach that builds relationships with other religious communities, unions, community organizations, and schools. As a Youth Minister and Choir Superintendent in his own community of faith, David has worked closely with churches throughout the United States, Africa, and the Caribbean Islands. Previously, David was a teacher at Accotink Academy Therapeutic Day School. There he helped developed a music production program that was highly effective in behavior management and a motivational tool for many students. David studied Psychology at Lindenwood University and is also trained in Behavior Modification and Behavior Analytics from Florida Institute of Technology. David is committed to positive community engagement and brings to the RISE team an ability to draw together communities of faith to support RISE advocacy efforts to reinvest in supportive environments for youth.
Imoni is the RISE for Youth Communications Specialist. She is a talented entrepreneur that seeks to see her community thrive in every way possible. Born and raised in Richmond Virginia, Imoni has been a business owner for 3 years. Imoni is very passionate about serving her community and giving back through her business. In her spare time, Imoni travels to group homes, foster homes, or the homes of adopted children to provide hair styling services for the youth free of charge. Imoni is always looking for ways to uplift her community and is glad for the opportunity to do so through her work with RISE for Youth. Imoni is very eager and excited to continue her work with RISE and believes the work is giving her life great meaning and purpose.
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