Our Team

David Ayala

David Ayala is celebrated as a leader in the restoration of voting rights and champion for the people. He worked tirelessly on the Florida Second Chances Campaign which resulted in the restoration of voting rights for over 1.4 million citizens in Florida. David served as the first President of Florida Rights Restoration Coalition’s Central Florida Chapter, created the first chapter of its kind, and set the standard for communication and education for all 20 chapters that followed.

 

Although he currently has a successful and flourishing career, David is no stranger to adversity and overcoming obstacles. He went from being a young child making bad choices in his hometown of Brooklyn, New York to a strong advocate and champion for others. He has credited his success to his personal understanding of the challenges that plague poor, black, and brown communities. 

 

David holds an Associates of Arts degree in Business Administration from Valencia Community College, a Bachelor of Science in Non-profit Management from the University of Central Florida and is en route to a Master of Science in Non-profit Management, also from the University of Central Florida.  In his current capacity he serves as the National Organizer for the Formerly Incarcerated Convicted People and Families Movement/FICPFM, where he focuses on mobilizing directly impacted communities across the country in support of civic engagement and advocacy campaigns to end mass incarceration policies. Prior to his national work with FICPM he worked as a State Organizer with Latino Justice building coalitions across the state of Florida. 

 

David has been happily married to his wife Aramis Ayala for over a decade, and he is a proud father to their daughters Aliyah and Alanah. While he is passionate about criminal justice reform, in his free time he enjoys running, watching movies, and simple quality time with his wife, their daughters, and his son. David is an active member of his church, Rejoice in the Lord Ministries.

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Kate Chatfield

Kate Chatfield is a senior lawyer at The Appeal and the former Policy Director at Re:store Justice. There she was the lead drafter and organizer for California’s Senate Bill 1437, which amended California’s felony murder rule and other common law doctrines related to accomplice liability for homicides. Kate wrote the Guidebook for Petitioners and continues to train attorneys and jurists in implementing this reform.  Prior to this, Kate directed the Criminal and Juvenile Justice Law Clinic at the University of San Francisco School of Law, where she trained students to represent indigent clients in the trial court and in parole hearings. Kate was a criminal defense attorney, representing clients in trial and appellate courts, both in private practice and at the Office of the State Public Defender. Kate attended law school at night, starting when her daughters were 3 and 6 years old.  She graduated from the University of San Francisco School of Law in 2006.

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Gabriel Diaz

Gabriel Diaz is Counsel at Relman Colfax. Gabe joined the firm in 2020. His civil rights litigation practice includes cases involving discrimination in policing, housing, and employment. Gabe’s work focuses on issues of racial and economic justice, with a particular interest in the intersection of criminal justice and civil rights litigation. 

 

Prior to joining the firm, Gabe spent 9 years as an attorney in the trial and appellate divisions at the Public Defender Service for the District of Columbia, where he represented hundreds of indigent clients at trial, on appeal, and in post-conviction proceedings; supervised and trained new lawyers and law students; and was a member of the organization’s nationally-recognized Forensic Practice Group. Gabe also worked as Senior Legal Counsel for The Justice Collaborative, where he led criminal justice reform efforts across the country that included working with progressive prosecutors to design and implement policies to reduce incarceration rates; drafting model legislation and related background materials for implementation in jurisdictions across the country; and developing strategies for issue-based media advocacy work. In 2017, Gabe served as an International Fellow at the International Legal Foundation’s office in Tunisia, where he supervised and trained the office’s public defenders and worked with the attorneys and local government officials to improve protection of defendants’ rights within the legal system.  

 

Gabe was a Root-Tilden-Kern Scholar at New York University School of Law, where he also received the Black, Latino, Asian Pacific American Law Alumni Association Public Service Graduation Prize

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Jullian Harris-Calvin

Jullian Harris-Calvin is director of the Greater Justice New York program (GJNY) at the Vera Institute of Justice, where she focuses on criminal justice reform across the Empire State. GJNY uses research, policy, and advocacy to expose injustice—from bail to sentencing, parole, fines and fees, and more—and to drive change by piloting innovative solutions, analyzing data, publishing evidence, partnering with movement leaders, and providing technical assistance. Prior to joining Vera, she served as senior legal counsel at The Justice Collaborative, a non-profit that supplied legal, policy, communications, and networking support to criminal justice reform leaders and organizations. She began her career as director of administration for a Los Angeles councilman before becoming a public defender at the Federal Defenders of New York and the Public Defender Service for the District of Columbia. She graduated from the University of Southern California and UCLA School of Law, with Critical Race Studies and Public Interest Law and Policy specializations

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Tiffany Williams Roberts

Tiffany Williams Roberts is the Community Engagement & Movement Building Counsel at the Southern Center for Human Rights. Tiffany Roberts is a civil rights and criminal defense attorney in Atlanta. She has practiced criminal defense since 2008, first as a public defender with the Atlanta Judicial Circuit Public Defender and later as a solo practitioner beginning in 2011. A significant portion of Tiffany’s practice is dedicated to pro bono representation of activists and organizers. She has been recognized by the Atlanta NAACP, DeKalb Lawyers Association and Southern Center for Human rights for movement lawyering and social justice activism.

A community organizer, she co-founded police accountability organization Building Locally to Organize for Community Safety (BLOCS) in 2008 to promote a holistic approach to public safety. BLOCS successfully advocated for legislative improvements to the Atlanta Citizen Review Board along with other critical local policy changes. In 2015, Tiffany co‐founded Lawyers United for a New Atlanta (LUNA) in response to calls for criminal justice reforms in Atlanta courtrooms. She is also a founding member of the Atlanta chapter of the global Black Lives Matter network, which first convened in 2015. Tiffany was featured as a critic’s choice for one of four Best Citizen Activists by Creative Loafing Atlanta that same year.

Tiffany is Deputy Director of the National Institute for Teaching Ethics and Professionalism (NIFTEP) and Adjunct Professor of Law at the Georgia State University College of Law.

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