Lou Furman, Restorative Justice Program Director
Contact Lou at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Lou is a Trainer Associate for the Victim Offender Mediation Association and a certified practitioner in Strategies for Trauma Awareness and Resilience (developed at Eastern Mennonite University) and Global Facilitators Service Corps. In addition, he is a Registered Drama Therapist and Professor Emeritus at Washington State University. Mr. Furman has established programs in alternative and charter schools, and he works extensively with incarcerated youth and special populations. He leads trainings in Mindful Communication, Restorative Justice, and Restorative Discipline for schools, courts and the general public.
Board of Directors
A native of New Orleans, Sherdren Burnside served as Director of Education K-16 Initiative at the Urban League of Greater New Orleans. Prior to returning to New Orleans, Burnside served on the design and implementation team for the Castlemont Business and Information Technology School in Oakland, CA. As an instructional leader, Burnside mentored teachers in the conversion process from a large comprehensive high school to a small autonomous school, and steered initiatives in technology integration through her work with the Urban Dreams Technology Grant and the New Technology Foundation. Ms. Burnside received her BA in English and Political Science from Loyola University, New Orleans, and her Masters degree in English Instruction from Teachers College, Columbia University.
Betty DiMarco retired as the Human Resource Manager in United States District Court, Eastern District of LA, where she worked for thirty years. She is a founding member of Turning Point Partners Louisiana, the restorative practice entity that merged with Community Mediation Services, and past board member of the Metropolitan Area Committee and the Center for Development and Learning. She is a promoter and practitioner of Restorative philosophy in schools, community and business. Ms. DiMarco is Secretary for CMS.
Albert "Al" Grandoit is a native of the Northeast who has made New Orleans his home. He is an mediator and mitigation specialist and investigator with Brics & Wes L3C, a low profit Civil and Criminal Law Investigation, Mediation, and Legal Assist Office. He has worked as a mitigation specialist with the Louisiana Capital Assistance Center, a non-profit law firm representing indigent defendants in capital cases and previously with at-risk youth and families. Al served on the committee developing the New Orleans Community Mediation/Police Mediation Project and briefly served as Interim Executive Director of Community Mediation Services. Al is a graduate of the University of South Florida with a degree in Political Science and minor in Public Administration, later receiving a Masters in Government at Harvard University. While in Massachusetts, Al received mediation training at Mediation Works, Inc. and trained as a volunteer community court mediator. Al has mediated small-claims, family disputes/CINS (parent and child disputes), summary process, landlord-tenant cases, and has co-conducted family divorce & participated in juvenile co-mediator training. As a CMS board member, Al has assisted in mediations and training activities for CMS.
Judge Calvin Johnson served four years in the United States Air Force receiving an honorable discharge in 1973. He received his Jurisdoctorate from Loyola Law School in 1978. In 1981, he became a faculty member at Loyola Law School. He became a full professor serving as the Director of the Loyola Law Clinic Criminal Clinic in 1985. Judge Johnson was elected to the Orleans Parish Criminal District Court in 1990, the first African American elected to the Criminal District Court bench. In 2004, Judge Johnson became the first African American Chief Judge of that court. Judge Johnson established the first Mental Health Treatment Court in the State of Louisiana In 2002. Recipient of the La. Supreme Court Justice Albert Tate Award for Judicial Excellence, the Louis A. Martinet Award for Judicial Excellence, the ACLU Ben Smith Award for Community Service, and the Loyola Law School Alumni of the Year award, he currently serves as the Executive Director of the Metropolitan Human Service District.
Julianna D. Padgett, Ph.D., LCSW is semi-retired with skills in administration, facilitation, training, writing/editing, program/organizational policy development and program management. A native New Orleanian, Dr. Padgett sustains a strong connection to the community and has had a longtime interest in participatory and conflict resolution methods, such as dialogue, mediation, restorative practice and group facilitation. She currently serves as President of CMS.
Oliver M. Thomas Jr., owner of OTOUTREACH , Motivational Speaker, Public Policy Consultant, Professional Actor, member Screen Actors Guild (appearing in the HBO Series Treme), Actor and Co-Writer Hit Play Reflections, Lead Actor Hit Play Fishers of Men, Member of Peace Keepers, Regional Board Member LACare, Consultant CCRA Black Men and Boys Fellows Initiative, Consultant Supreme Intervention at risk youth Mentoring Program, Host Black Cat Productions Smooth Jazz Concert Series, Graduate College of Santa Fe, completed Harvard Executive Program, and Aspen Institute for Leadership. A New Orleans native, Mr. Thomas has one Daughter, Leah J. Thomas.