Brookhaven names members of Social Justice, Race and Equity Commission

Credit: City of Brookhaven

Credit: City of Brookhaven

After receiving dozens of applications, Brookhaven has settled on 37 people to fill its newly established Social Justice, Race and Equity Commission.

The north DeKalb city founded the commission in September as a way to further the cause of racial equality following months of protests over police brutality and racism. It will review the city’s policies, procedures and public engagement in addition to looking into Brookhaven Police Department’s police on the use of force.

The City Council approved the first 32 members in late October and the final five members last week. The commission will be chaired by John J. Funny, who is also the vice chair of the City Planning Commission and a Brookhaven Police Department board member. Councilwoman Madeleine Simmons, who introduced the resolution, credited Funny with coming up with the idea for commission.

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“In light of recent unrest and demonstrations, we felt it necessary to not only start a conversation, but also enact a framework that will result in real action,” Simmons said in a news release. “We need a forum to have open conversations on race, diversity, social justice and equity.”

Members will sit on the commission for one year, will meet monthly and will provide periodic updates to the council. The seats are unpaid positions. The date for their first meeting has not been released.

Here is the full list of Social Justice, Race and Equity Commission members:

1. David Alexander, spiritual director at Spiritual Living Center of Atlanta

2. Rene Alvarez, director of academic success and advising at Oglethorpe University

3. Shakrukh Arif, Asian Americans Advancing Justice Foundation board member

4. Mohammed Zaki Arifulla, with the Brookhaven Islamic Center

5. German Barreda, general manager for Big Bang Pizza

6. Rudy Beserra, former vice president of Latin American Affairs at Coca Cola Co.

7. Charlene Bowden, a CEO, radio host and minister

8. David Burnett, previous church leader on diverse college ministry and former law enforcement officer

9. Vena Cain, social worker and psychotherapist with experience with refugee families places in Atlanta

10. Karen Cariello, with the justice and peace ministry at Our Lady of the Assumption Catholic Church

11. Loren Collins, attorney and mediator

12. Chris Corces-Zimmerman, doctoral studies student with a focus on race and equity at the University of Arizona

13. Amy Corn, racial equity task force member with the United Way of Greater Atlanta

14. Ruben Cruz, attorney specializing in Hispanic legal issues

15. John J. Funny, committee chairman

16. Jose Hardy, Leukemia & Lymphoma Society executive leadership committee member

17. Josh Hearsheb, rabbi at Congregation Or VeShalom

18. Jeremiah Hinson, social services program manager at the Salvation Army

19. Monique Wright Hudson, EPA attorney specializing in discrimination and desperate treatment

20. Danita Knight, vice president of communications at Agnes Scott College

21. Tywana Minor, senior director of diversity, equity and inclusion at Habitat for Humanity

22. Jim Moses, retired publishing specialist for the IRS

23. Catherine Murihi-wohl, Sagal Radio board of directors member

24. William Naglich, managing attorney

25. Kirk Nelson, former president of the Caribbean Students Association and leader of diversity recruiting at Georgia Pacific

26. Janis Niesse, with the justice and peace ministry at Our Lady of the Assumption Catholic Church

27. Melissa Owen, with the Emory University School of Nursing

28. Matthew Paetzhold, with Delta Air Lines and the U.S. Air Force Reserve

29. Marco Palma, founding president of Los Vecinos and board member for Fundacion Adelante, Guatemala

30. Aixa Pascual, with the Latin American Association

31. Tiffany Russell, director of diversity and inclusion at St. Martins School

32. William Alex Thomas, assistant director of admissions at Georgia State University

33. Conni Todd, a member of the board of trustees for the Sub-Saharan Education Project

34. Anibal Torres, former executive director at the Latin American Association

35. Kathy Wells, retired Montclaire Elementary School Principal and chair of the Lynwood Park Foundation

36. Beth Wendl, senior minister at Brookhaven Christian Church and racial reconciliation commission member

37. Thomas Woodward, Spiritual Living Center Atlanta (SLCA) board of trustees member

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