We fight for the rights and opportunities of every Oklahoman.
We fight for the rights and opportunities of every Oklahoman.
These citizens of Oklahoma and beyond are ready to roll their sleeves up and get to work. We have attorneys, policy experts, directly impacted advocates, leaders in their fields, Appleseed veterans, and dedicated civic leaders coming together to create success.
Dr. LaFortune is an attorney and forensic psychologist working for the Tulsa County Juvenile Bureau. She has relentless energy and compassion to serve women and her community. Dr. LaFortune coordinates psychological services in delinquency and deprived cases for children and juveniles. She graduated from Duke University (BS) and the University of Tulsa with her JD and PhD. She has been an adjunct assistant professor at OSU health sciences center in the Masters program for forensic science and at the University of Tulsa College of law and the department of clinical psychology there. She also taught for five years as an adjunct instructor at New York Law School’s mental disability law program. She is presently on the Courtwatch Committee for the American Psychological Association and serves as a judicial notebook author for the American Psychological Association Monitor. She received the outstanding volunteer award from Volunteers of America and the Distinguished Professional Services Citation from the Oklahoma Psychological Association and was Chair of the Oklahoma Bar Association criminal law section. She is a member of the Oklahoma Juvenile Competency work group for the Oklahoma Commission on Children and Youth. Kathy is one of Tulsa’s former first ladies and is married to former Tulsa Mayor and District Judge Bill LaFortune.
R. Tom Hillis has practiced law in Oklahoma for over 30 years. He practices in the areas of commercial law and litigation and employment law. Tom has tried cases in each Federal District in Oklahoma and in numerous counties throughout Oklahoma.
Tom regularly represents business clients in all aspects of commercial and employment law. This includes negotiating and drafting contracts, and maintaining appropriate corporate books and records. He regularly advises clients on regulatory and administrative issues with state and federal agencies. Tom also has extensive experience in mergers and acquisitions of businesses.
Tom maintains an active employment practice. He regularly defends employers in jury trials, and before numerous administrative agencies. He regularly speaks on employment related topics at continuing legal education seminars. Tom serves as an Adjunct Settlement Judge in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Oklahoma and routinely mediates employment related cases. Tom is a member of the American Board of Trial Advocates.
Tom is also a part-time Assistant District Attorney for Osage and Pawnee Counties in Oklahoma. In this role, he handles civil matters for these counties, and provides advice to county officers.
jasmine Sankofa (she/her) is a Policy and Research Manager for Criminal Justice Reform at FWD.us. In this role, she manages de-carceration campaigns in Oklahoma.
Before joining FWD.us, jasmine was the Aryeh Neier Fellow at Human Rights Watch and the ACLU, where she authored a 121-page report documenting the experiences of mothers separated from their children while detained pretrial in Oklahoma county jails.
Prior to this, she clerked for the Honorable Ronald L. Ellis of the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York and was a Women’s Law and Public Policy Fellow through Georgetown Law Center.
jasmine graduated from UCLA School of Law with specializations in Critical Race Studies and Public Interest Law and Policy, and UC San Diego with dual degrees in Sociology and Critical Gender Studies (with honors) and a minor in African-American Studies. Her legal scholarship has been published in the UCLA Law Review and Howard Law Journal.
Google the term "Renaissance man" and you may well find a site dedicated to Vincent LoVoi. With wide-ranging interests and expertise in multiple areas — including law, legislation, intellectual property, mergers and acquisitions, international commerce, biomedical science and aerospace — LoVoi is perhaps best described as a Tulsa-focused entrepreneur and investor. Among his many pursuits, LoVoi served as publisher for This Land Press, which he describes as Oklahoma’s first new media company. LoVoi, a native Tulsan, and lifelong friend Joel Kantor grew up together and are now managing partners of Mimosa Tree Capital Partners, a private firm that invests in ventures seeking early-stage or turnaround financing. LoVoi was the founding board chair of Oklahoma Policy Institute.
Steven Schulman, the Pro Bono Partner at Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld, has been affiliated with Appleseed for nearly 15 years. Steven’s first project with Appleseed was to help research and draft Assembly Line Injustice, a report on immigration court reform. Since then he has co-authored a number of immigration-related reports with Appleseed. He also served on the Appleseed Network Board for many years, including as Co-Chair from 2017-19. Steven’s pro bono practice focuses on asylum and human rights litigation. After residing and practicing in Washington, DC for 27 years, Steven relocated to Dallas, Texas in 2021 with his partner Anna.
Chrissi Ross Nimmo, Cherokee Nation citizen, is the Deputy Attorney General for Cherokee Nation
where she has practiced for 14 years. Chrissi is the managing attorney for a staff of 15 attorneys, which
includes all civil and in-house work and criminal prosecution for the Nation. She regularly presents
continuing legal education on Indian law across the country. Chrissi was lead counsel for the Nation in
Adoptive Couple v. Baby Girl (“Baby Veronica”) before the United States Supreme Court and the South
Carolina Supreme Court.
Chrissi also serves as the President of the Board of Education for Tahlequah Public Schools and is the
Chair of the Board of Trustees for the Northeastern State University Foundation. She is the mother of
seven year old twins Mattie and James, and four year old Emmy, and has been married to Jim, a Captain
with the Tulsa Fire Department, for 20 years.
Chrissi is admitted to practice before the Supreme Court of Oklahoma, Supreme Court of Cherokee
Nation, U.S. District Courts for the Eastern, Western and Northern Districts of Oklahoma, U.S. Court of
Appeals for the Tenth Circuit and United States Supreme Court.
Zeke is living Life after being sentenced to LIFE.
He was sentenced to LIFE in prison for a conspiracy to distribute CDS (marijuana) charge. He was granted a commutation (time served) and was released from prison. Zeke never looked back as he has never let his past define him.
His reentry to society was not easy. He went from a lifestyle prior to conviction of making hundreds of thousands of dollars to being released and volunteering at a youth center to delivering tortillas.
Since his release a little over two years ago he has accomplished numerous goals. He received his Bachelor's degree and is now working on his MBA in business. He is currently an aircraft technician (learned skills as an jet engine troop in the US Air-force) and is working towards obtaining his airframe and power-plant certification. As well, he is also an intern with Oklahomans for Justice Reform.
He believes his current path to be his calling-- a perspective an encounter in prison helped him gain. That calling is to serve the younger generation. He considers his greatest accomplishment to be opening a nonprofit fitness center appropriately named Celda 151 (Cell 151) with the slogan “Where inner strength is key.” Apart from mentoring, they offer fitness, conditioning, agility, and boxing free of charge to youth. Their coaching and training staff include the formerly incarcerated and military personnel.
Soon to outgrow their current location, Zeke believes there are greater things coming for Celda 151 in the future.
He thanks God for all his blessings and bringing such beautiful souls into his life.
Kimberly Joyce is Chief Financial & Administrative Officer at R.L. Hudson & Co with responsibility for Financial Planning and Analysis, Mergers and Acquisitions, Accounting, Information Technology, Human Resources, Risk Management, and Administration. Kimberly is a licensed Certified Public Accountant, Certified Management Accountant, Certified Financial Manager, and Chartered Global Management Accountant. She has a MS Finance and Accounting from NSU and a BS Accounting, from Oklahoma State. Kimberly has served on the Board of Directors of Resonance Center for Women, Tulsa Girls Art School, Family & Children's Services, YWCA, Parent Child Center, Institute of Management Accountants, Ronald McDonald House, and the Oklahoma Society of CPAs.
Joshua P. Galper is co-founder and partner of the law firm Davis Goldberg & Galper PLLC and the public relations firm Trident DMG. Josh has more than 20 years of experience working at the intersection of law, public policy, communications, and business, including at premier global law firms and as general counsel for a high-profile tech company.
Throughout Josh’s career in private practice, in-house and politics, Josh has played the role of strategist and counselor to numerous corporate leaders, entrepreneurs, investors, corporate directors, and national political figures.
Previously, Josh served from 2011 until 2016 as the Chief Policy Officer, General Counsel, SVP-Business Development, Head of Communications, and Corporate Secretary of the venture-backed tech start-up Personal.com, which in 2017 merged with Digi.me and spun out TeamData.com.
Josh’s extensive political background informs his approach to the interplay of law, public policy and communications. He worked for former U.S. Senator David Boren in Washington, former U.S. Senator Bill Bradley on his presidential campaign, Rahm Emanuel on his first congressional primary race, former Oklahoma Governor Brad Henry, and former U.S. Labor Secretary Robert Reich on his Massachusetts governor’s race, among others. He also served on the speechwriting teams of the Democratic National Conventions that nominated John Kerry (2004) and Barack Obama (2008) as a writer, editor and presentation coach for podium speakers.
Admitted to practice law in Illinois and the District of Columbia, Josh is a graduate of Yale College and Yale Law School.
Aimee Majoue is an associate in the Oklahoma City office of Crowe & Dunlevy. She supports clients with commercial litigation and complex litigation matters, including class action lawsuits, in the following practice areas: Administrative & Regulatory; Criminal Defense, Compliance & Investigations; and Litigation & Trial.
A summa cum laude graduate of the Oklahoma City University School of Law, Aimee was inducted into the Order of the Barrister and was a Hatton W. Sumners Scholar. In addition to being named the OCU Law Outstanding Graduate of 2018 and the Oklahoma Bar Association Outstanding Senior Law Student in 2017, Aimee received the prestigious CALI Award for top academic performance in 10 different subjects. She was also awarded the Liberty Bell Award by the Oklahoma Bar Association for her work in legal advocacy for the homeless population in Oklahoma City.
As an active member in a number of professional groups during law school, Aimee was named the Ruth Bader Ginsburg American Inn of Court Law Student of the Year in 2018 and the Phi Delta Phi International Legal Honor Society Member of the Year in 2017. She also garnered valuable professional experience and recognition as the Regional Champion of the 2017 American Bar Association Appellate Advocacy Competition.
Aimee completed her undergraduate studies at Saint Mary’s College of California with a degree in theology and formerly served as a teacher and campus minister at Bishop McGuinness Catholic High School.
Multi-Disciplinary Artist, Full Stack Programmer, Youth Pastor, and Life-Giving Artsmith, Angel Little is a man of many disciplines. At 14, his passion for growing the community started with various programs and organizations in Lawton, OK, including Might CDRC, Art in the Park with Bruse Scott and Lawton Public Schools Youth Outreach. Since then, he went on to create and/or support numerous programs across Oklahoma. A few key endeavors of his:
Angel plans to continue activating the community through organizations, programs and events all over the world.
Michael Scoggins is a Shareholder at GableGotwals where he focuses on commercial law, energy law, mergers and acquisitions, corporate, and real estate transactions. Prior to joining the Firm, Michael served as Senior Counsel for an oil and gas exploration and production company which provided him with first-hand insight into the operational, management, and legal issues facing energy companies. He has applied that knowledge to represent his clients who conduct business in various industries, including but not limited to oil and gas, commercial real estate, and health and wellness.
Michael currently serves as a de facto general counsel for multiple clients, advising them on all issues related to their business and truly relishes his role as business and legal advisor to the companies and individuals he represents.
Michael is a Board Member of the YWCA Tulsa and the Oklahoma Appleseed Center for Law and Justice. In addition, he is an ultra-distance endurance athlete, training for and competing in 100-mile running races and Ironman-distance triathlons.
Annette LoVoi has been a member of Consumer Reports
Board of Directors since 2010.
Ms. LoVoi has worked on behalf of consumers, particularly low-income and immigrant consumers, throughout her career. She was appointed by Governor Ann Richards of Texas as
the State’s first Ombudsman to execute projects leading to policy and management change in
Ms. LoVoi has been elected twice as a public official, serving as an at-large trustee for the 85,000 student Austin Independent School District. Following her work for elected officials in Texas state and federal government.
Annette was selected in 1997 as the first Executive Director of Texas Appleseed. Under her leadership, Texas Appleseed spearheaded the passage of indigent defense reform, hailed as the most important reform of its kind in 25 years, as well as the design of the immigrant access to financial institutions project that has evolved into one of National Appleseed’s signature projects. This Texas state law served as a catalyst for more far-reaching federal legislation in the Dodd-Frank Act. Ms. LoVoi holds a Master of Public Affairs from the University of Texas at Austin.
Mark Berman has approximately 30 years of varied corporate, securities and mergers and acquisitions experience, both as inside counsel and in private practice. At Conner & Winters, Mr. Berman represents a wide variety of public and private companies operating primarily in the energy and construction sectors. He has served as issuer’s counsel in numerous public offerings and PIPEs transactions underwritten by national investment banking firms and involving the sale of common equity, senior notes, mortgage bonds and convertible notes. Mr. Berman has extensive experience reviewing periodic reports and advising public company clients and their boards of directors on corporate governance, executive compensation and securities compliance matters. He also advises small and mid-size companies with respect to general corporate matters.
Nikhil Kawlra is a Partner of School Design Services at Transcend Education, which supports communities to create and spread extraordinary, equitable learning environments. Over the past two years, he has supported communities to design and implement stronger personalized learning and social emotional learning programs, to create disciplinary-based alternative environments that are restorative and empowering, to create learning environments that are more equitable, and to create systems to ensure that schools are affirming for students and families.
Prior to joining Transcend, Nikhil was the founder and head of school at Collegiate Hall in Tulsa, Oklahoma, which serves students pre-kindergarten through eighth grade in the 61st and Peoria neighborhood of Tulsa.
Nikhil holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Neuroscience from the University of Michigan, a Master’s Degree in Urban Education from the University of Pennsylvania, a Master’s Degree in Education Leadership from Teachers College, Columbia University, and a Master’s Degree in Physiology from Georgetown University. He was a 2019 Leverage Leadership Institute Fellow at RELAY Graduate School of Education and a 2018 Civic Innovation Fellow in Tulsa’s Office of Innovation.
Oklahoma's prison population dropped 15% since the COVID-19 pandemic began. However, this is largely due to slowed down court processes, rather than any increase in releases. Prison Policy Institute found that most states released 10% fewer people during the pandemic than in 2019. This data indicates that we will see the state prison population rebound to pre-pandemic levels once courts fully return to normal.
Foster children with four or more placements are 85% likely to go to prison as young adults.
Estimated percentage of county jail inmates who are exhibiting symptoms of a mental illness or who are being treated for mental illnesses.