About THRIVE Communities
With input and guidance from members of THRIVE Communities - volunteers, partners, and participants - the Board of Directors adopted the following mission and vision on June 23, 2018.
To empower communities by creating spaces that welcome and support
our neighbors transitioning from incarceration.
When wholeness and justice replace
cycles of incarceration and oppression,
THEORY OF CHANGE
With returning citizens front and center,
THRIVE supports communities and people fractured by harm.
THRIVE Communities bind together to heal and seek wholeness in our communities.
THRIVE Communities seeks through its mission to address the challenges faced by men and women as they return from prison to public society, particularly the challenge of connection to community, including underlying racial and economic stress and disparities, negative stigma and distrust, and the institutionalization of returning citizens.
THRIVE will disrupt cycles of incarceration, isolation, and social harm by organizing and supporting grassroots efforts for restorative reentry, community building, and leadership development among those most impacted by incarceration. This community-based response to the challenges of reentry will help communities learn how to heal themselves and address systemic barriers to reentry.
Meet our Founders, Staff and Board of Directors
Kim Yeasir, MSW
Chief Empowerment Officer
A macro-practice social worker driven by a sincere belief in the possibility of a world in which people thrive together. Inspired after volunteering with the Alternatives to Violence Project, Kim pursues opportunities to support, heal, and bridge the gaps between communities and returning citizens in real and lasting ways.
A social justice advocate, restorative justice circle keeper, and returning citizen, George has experienced the school to prison pipeline first hand. George hopes to focus his life’s work on dismantling the school to prison pipeline and organizing communities around issues of mass incarceration. In addition to all of this, he aspires to reduce recidivism by providing communities with opportunities to repair harm and proactively support returning members by way of restorative justice circles.
Lisa A. Fagerstrom
Lisa brings passion and experience to THRIVE with over twenty years of experience in Organizational Development, she is a Principal Consultant at OPTi—a consulting and training firm specializing in diversity and inclusion and its role in organizational effectiveness. Additionally, Lisa is certified in Spiritual Direction and has over 25 years experience in the field of addiction recovery.
Thula Sibanda, PhD
Juvenile Detention Alternatives Initiative Reform Specialist, Massachusetts Department of Youth Services
Charles Dickinson, MSMgmt
Retired Manager & Consultant
Jessica Rubin-Wills, Esq.
Secretary & Treasurer
Committee for Public Counsel Services, Children and Family Law Division
Meet our Support Team
All of our amazing CoSA Volunteers - You could be one too!
Professor Christopher Allen, PhD - CoSA Evaluation
Pam Andrews - Outreach & Events Planner
Audrey Bryant - Grants Director
Erica Sawyer - Marketing, PR, & Branding Coordinator
William Stockhecker - Technical Support
Mike Thomas - IT Specialist
Coral Trivedi - Special Project: Exploring Systems Efficiency in Reentry Planning
Marc Wennberg - CoSA Consultant
Though they may have moved on, we honor the contributions of our numerous administrative volunteers. They helped build a strong foundation for the THRIVE community.
2018: Frankie Caraballo - Leadership Fellow & Community Organizer (Lawrence); Tara Desmarais - UMASS Lowell Practicum, Community Outreach & Volunteer Coordinator; Yael Rhodes - Brandies COEX Practicum, Research; Rafael Santana - Leadership Fellow & Community Organizer (Lowell)
2017: Franallen Acosta - Community Organizer (Lawrence); Suji Choe - Program & Development;
Connor Stuart - UMASS Independent Study; Evaluation and Community Organizing;
Shianne Sneider - UMASS Lowell Intern; Selin Tekin - Intern & Volunteer Coordinator
2016: Kelly Bradford - Marketing & Public Relations; Carly Denardis - Program Development;
Tugba Metinyurt - Program Development; Tricia Murphy - Program Development;
Joshua Stachowski - Grants Research; Mengmeng Yu - Community Outreach
Ongoing: Generous community members, individuals just like you!
2018: Cummings Foundation, Episcopal City Mission - Urban Burgess Fund, Lenny Zakim Fund, Harvard Epworth United Methodist Church, H-EUMC United Methodist Women, Lexington UMC Social Justice Endowment Fund - United Methodist Foundation of New England, Shared Nation
2017: Cummings Foundation, Episcopal City Mission - Urban Burgess Fund, Lenny Zakim Fund,
First Congregational Church in Billerica, First Parish Unitarian Universalist Chelmsford,
Singing for Change, Harvard Epworth United Methodist Church,
H-EUMC United Methodist Women, Wesley Worcester United Methodist Church
2016: Entrepreneurship for All, Harvard-Epworth United Methodist Church, Lexington United Methodist Church Social Justice Endowment Fund, Sparkplug Foundation