HOUSTON JUSTICE Staff

  Durrel K. Douglas    Founder, President   Durrel, 30, grew up in Houston's "South Park" neighborhood where he saw firsthand the systemic inequity of our society's infrastructure, education system, and criminal justice system.  After a 5-year stint as a prison guard, he dedicated the remainder of his life toward creating a world where fewer people who came from neighborhoods like his ended up behind bars.  He moved to Austin to work at the State Capitol as a legislative aid during the 2011 Legislative Session on bills aimed at reducing recidivism and increasing opportunities for those behind bars upon release.  In 2012 Douglas moved to Dallas where he led a campaign to end the school to prison pipeline by eliminating practices like suspending students in kindergarten.  In 2015 he led a successful grassroots campaign aimed at making the grand jury system in Texas more diverse and inclusive.  NEWSCLIP HERE   In 2017, he moved back to Houston where he founded the #ProjectOrange initiative registering eligible voters behind bars at the Harris County Jail.  Durrel has previously served as Chair of the Houston NAACP Community Coordination Committee, on the Board of Directors for the League of Women Voters-Houston, was a 2013 LWV Rising Star, received the 2017 Black Love Matters award from SEIU Afram-Washington, 40 under 40 Politicos of Houston in 2015 and the 2017 Community Trailblazer Award at the Teamsters National MLK Day Gala.  He lives in Houston where his hobbies include learning to play the upright bass, eating soul food, laughing with friends, and hosting a bi-weekly podcast.   Contact Durrel: ddouglas@houstonjustice.org, 832.857.5737

Durrel K. Douglas

Founder, President

Durrel, 30, grew up in Houston's "South Park" neighborhood where he saw firsthand the systemic inequity of our society's infrastructure, education system, and criminal justice system.  After a 5-year stint as a prison guard, he dedicated the remainder of his life toward creating a world where fewer people who came from neighborhoods like his ended up behind bars.

He moved to Austin to work at the State Capitol as a legislative aid during the 2011 Legislative Session on bills aimed at reducing recidivism and increasing opportunities for those behind bars upon release.

In 2012 Douglas moved to Dallas where he led a campaign to end the school to prison pipeline by eliminating practices like suspending students in kindergarten.

In 2015 he led a successful grassroots campaign aimed at making the grand jury system in Texas more diverse and inclusive. NEWSCLIP HERE

In 2017, he moved back to Houston where he founded the #ProjectOrange initiative registering eligible voters behind bars at the Harris County Jail.

Durrel has previously served as Chair of the Houston NAACP Community Coordination Committee, on the Board of Directors for the League of Women Voters-Houston, was a 2013 LWV Rising Star, received the 2017 Black Love Matters award from SEIU Afram-Washington, 40 under 40 Politicos of Houston in 2015 and the 2017 Community Trailblazer Award at the Teamsters National MLK Day Gala.

He lives in Houston where his hobbies include learning to play the upright bass, eating soul food, laughing with friends, and hosting a bi-weekly podcast.

Contact Durrel: ddouglas@houstonjustice.org, 832.857.5737

  Elisabeth Johnson    Vice President, and     Director, Political Justice Project   Elisabeth Johnson is a graduate of Southern University and A&M College in Baton Rouge, La where she received her Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from the Nelson Mandela School of Public Policy and Urban Affairs. She received her first internship while in Louisiana working for former Louisiana state senator Walter Boasso when he ran for Governor in 2007.  While in college, she also volunteered with other politicians such as Mayor-President Melvin “Kip”Holden (Baton Rouge-2005), Chris Bell (Texas-2008) and many others.Immediately after graduating in 2009, she was afforded the opportunity to work for former Mayor of Houston, Bill White, when he ran for Governor of Texas against Rick Perry in 2010.  Currently she is obtaining her Masters in Public Administration from Texas Southern University and in the process of self publishing her first book, Wake Up: A Despairing Cry to the Black Community, which will come out Fall 2017. She is a member of HBAD (Houston Black American Democrats), the Faith Events Community Director for the Young Adult committee of the NAACP and continues to volunteer, organize and mentor throughout her community.

Elisabeth Johnson

Vice President, and

Director, Political Justice Project

Elisabeth Johnson is a graduate of Southern University and A&M College in Baton Rouge, La where she received her Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from the Nelson Mandela School of Public Policy and Urban Affairs. She received her first internship while in Louisiana working for former Louisiana state senator Walter Boasso when he ran for Governor in 2007.

While in college, she also volunteered with other politicians such as Mayor-President Melvin “Kip”Holden (Baton Rouge-2005), Chris Bell (Texas-2008) and many others.Immediately after graduating in 2009, she was afforded the opportunity to work for former Mayor of Houston, Bill White, when he ran for Governor of Texas against Rick Perry in 2010.

Currently she is obtaining her Masters in Public Administration from Texas Southern University and in the process of self publishing her first book, Wake Up: A Despairing Cry to the Black Community, which will come out Fall 2017. She is a member of HBAD (Houston Black American Democrats), the Faith Events Community Director for the Young Adult committee of the NAACP and continues to volunteer, organize and mentor throughout her community.

  Terrance Edmond    Director, Economic Justice Project   Terrence Edmond is a native of Houston. He's graduate of Texas A&M University where he earned his BA in Political Science and served in the student senate.  In 2011, he conducted original research under political scientist Paul Hernson and Irwin Morris through the Center for American Politics & Citizenship. He researched the impact of district magnitude and gerrymandering in the Maryland legislature.   Mr. Edmond was an Intern Criminal Defense Investigator in the Orleans Public Defender's office. He worked on the CDC trial team to assist children and adults faced with misdemeanor, felony, and capital murder cases obtain a fair trial. In 2013, he transitioned to business, starting BlueField at the age of 21, and later developing SpaceCiyJobs.com, which connects job seekers with Houston based employers. His experience as a serial entrepreneur and business consultant fueled his passion for business and influenced him to pursue an MBA at Saint Mary's University of MN.  In 2015, he was appointed Vice President of Sales at Ecolo Environmental Inc; a Canadian based company. During his time with Ecolo, he reduced customer churn rate, and developed organic sales growth for the southwest region. In 2017, he was appointed board member of LiftCare; a Houston based assisted living company, providing transitional services for the elderly. In his free time, he lends his business acumen to non-profits fighting for economic justice and future entrepreneurs.

Terrance Edmond

Director, Economic Justice Project

Terrence Edmond is a native of Houston. He's graduate of Texas A&M University where he earned his BA in Political Science and served in the student senate.  In 2011, he conducted original research under political scientist Paul Hernson and Irwin Morris through the Center for American Politics & Citizenship. He researched the impact of district magnitude and gerrymandering in the Maryland legislature. 

Mr. Edmond was an Intern Criminal Defense Investigator in the Orleans Public Defender's office. He worked on the CDC trial team to assist children and adults faced with misdemeanor, felony, and capital murder cases obtain a fair trial. In 2013, he transitioned to business, starting BlueField at the age of 21, and later developing SpaceCiyJobs.com, which connects job seekers with Houston based employers. His experience as a serial entrepreneur and business consultant fueled his passion for business and influenced him to pursue an MBA at Saint Mary's University of MN.

In 2015, he was appointed Vice President of Sales at Ecolo Environmental Inc; a Canadian based company. During his time with Ecolo, he reduced customer churn rate, and developed organic sales growth for the southwest region. In 2017, he was appointed board member of LiftCare; a Houston based assisted living company, providing transitional services for the elderly. In his free time, he lends his business acumen to non-profits fighting for economic justice and future entrepreneurs.

 
  Charnelle Thompson    Director, Voter Engagement   It was in The Greater 5th Ward Community of Houston Texas that Charnelle Thompson learned the value of education, and the importance of community enrichment through the examples made by her family. Upon Graduating in 2014 from The University of Texas at San Antonio with an earned bachelors of Science degree in Mathematics, Charnelle worked for a brief stint at Worthing High School as a Mathematics Fellow before stepping into her careers as an auditor.   With the desire to continue to contribute to the success of the students, Charnelle has begun to develop an SAT prep program for students in low performing High schools to: increase the percentage of students of color who score above criterion along with and the amount of offered excellence based programs to students in underserved areas.   Today she is the Director of Voter engagement for Houston Justice and is devoted to championing for the newest initiative; “Project orange”, which focuses on providing accessibility for voting, and voting registration options to eligible voters in the Harris County Jail.  Charnelle is no stranger to voter registration efforts; during her Presidency of UTSA’s Black Student Union, Charnelle led the schools efforts in voter registration during the fall of 2012. This in turn resulted in the University being ranked 2nd in voter turn–out amongst Colleges and Universities.   It is no surprise that the young girl who watched her beloved Great Grandmother serve as a Precinct Judge in Pct. 160 has become a young woman charging others to get registered and get to those very same polls her great-grandmother was responsible for operating those many years ago. Charnelle currently resides in Houston Texas and continues to look for ways to collaborate and engage others in voting initiatives and educational excellence for students.

Charnelle Thompson

Director, Voter Engagement

It was in The Greater 5th Ward Community of Houston Texas that Charnelle Thompson learned the value of education, and the importance of community enrichment through the examples made by her family. Upon Graduating in 2014 from The University of Texas at San Antonio with an earned bachelors of Science degree in Mathematics, Charnelle worked for a brief stint at Worthing High School as a Mathematics Fellow before stepping into her careers as an auditor.


With the desire to continue to contribute to the success of the students, Charnelle has begun to
develop an SAT prep program for students in low performing High schools to: increase the
percentage of students of color who score above criterion along with and the amount of offered
excellence based programs to students in underserved areas.


Today she is the Director of Voter engagement for Houston Justice and is devoted to
championing for the newest initiative; “Project orange”, which focuses on providing accessibility
for voting, and voting registration options to eligible voters in the Harris County Jail.

Charnelle is no stranger to voter registration efforts; during her Presidency of UTSA’s Black Student Union, Charnelle led the schools efforts in voter registration during the fall of 2012. This in turn resulted in the University being ranked 2nd in voter turn–out amongst Colleges and Universities.


It is no surprise that the young girl who watched her beloved Great Grandmother serve as a
Precinct Judge in Pct. 160 has become a young woman charging others to get registered and get
to those very same polls her great-grandmother was responsible for operating those many years
ago. Charnelle currently resides in Houston Texas and continues to look for ways to collaborate and engage others in voting initiatives and educational excellence for students.

  Darnell Gardner    Chief of Staff   Darnell Gardner is Third Ward Houston native. He is a graduate of Texas State University where he earned his BA in Political Science. In 2014 while in college, he worked with the Wendy Davis campaign in her run for Governor.  After moving back to Houston after graduation, he took an opportunity to work in the office of Congresswoman for Shelia Jackson Lee. It is here where he learned how to use the power of government to help members of the community, especially Third Ward. Currently he serves as Deputy Campaign manager for a Congressional Candidate.            

Darnell Gardner

Chief of Staff

Darnell Gardner is Third Ward Houston native. He is a graduate of Texas State University where he earned his BA in Political Science. In 2014 while in college, he worked with the Wendy Davis campaign in her run for Governor.

After moving back to Houston after graduation, he took an opportunity to work in the office of Congresswoman for Shelia Jackson Lee. It is here where he learned how to use the power of government to help members of the community, especially Third Ward. Currently he serves as Deputy Campaign manager for a Congressional Candidate.

 

 

 

 

  Tina Kingshill    #ProjectOrange Coordinator   Tina grew up in a small Italian neighborhood in New Castle, Pennsylvania as one of four daughters of an Italian immigrant father who came to the U.S. as a 13 year old boy. Her mother’s parents were also first generation Italian immigrants who came to the U.S. seeking a better life where it was rumored ‘the streets were paved with gold’. No such luck they soon discovered as they earned a living doing the backbreaking work to build the nation’s railroad system. Stories of discrimination against the Italians on the jobsite were common. Still they were determined to become “Americans” and legally changed their name from Agostinelli to a more American sounding Augustine.  Moving to Florida in her twenties, Tina worked to become one of the youngest store Managers with Stuart’s Junior Apparel. She went on to become Branch Manager of Accurate Personnel Agency serving the Clearwater/St. Petersburg area.  Marriage in 1979 brought her to Houston where she worked as Office Manager at Entertainment Publications for seven years and currently resides. In January of 2016, Tina retired after a 26 year career with Williams Gas Pipeline (formerly Transco Energy), where she worked her way up the corporate ladder from Contracts Administrator to Sr. Project Controls Analyst in the Engineering/Project Mgmt. Dept.  Now that she’s retired from the corporate grind, Tina is following her passion to support progressive political change in the areas of voting rights, racial/ethnic discrimination, criminal justice and immigration reform. As a registered Harris County VDVR she has organized and facilitated the Houston #Project Orange pilot program and will continue on as Coordinator for our statewide initiative scheduled to launch in June 2018.   

Tina Kingshill

#ProjectOrange Coordinator

Tina grew up in a small Italian neighborhood in New Castle, Pennsylvania as one of four daughters of an Italian immigrant father who came to the U.S. as a 13 year old boy. Her mother’s parents were also first generation Italian immigrants who came to the U.S. seeking a better life where it was rumored ‘the streets were paved with gold’. No such luck they soon discovered as they earned a living doing the backbreaking work to build the nation’s railroad system. Stories of discrimination against the Italians on the jobsite were common. Still they were determined to become “Americans” and legally changed their name from Agostinelli to a more American sounding Augustine.

Moving to Florida in her twenties, Tina worked to become one of the youngest store Managers with Stuart’s Junior Apparel. She went on to become Branch Manager of Accurate Personnel Agency serving the Clearwater/St. Petersburg area.

Marriage in 1979 brought her to Houston where she worked as Office Manager at Entertainment Publications for seven years and currently resides. In January of 2016, Tina retired after a 26 year career with Williams Gas Pipeline (formerly Transco Energy), where she worked her way up the corporate ladder from Contracts Administrator to Sr. Project Controls Analyst in the Engineering/Project Mgmt. Dept.

Now that she’s retired from the corporate grind, Tina is following her passion to support progressive political change in the areas of voting rights, racial/ethnic discrimination, criminal justice and immigration reform. As a registered Harris County VDVR she has organized and facilitated the Houston #Project Orange pilot program and will continue on as Coordinator for our statewide initiative scheduled to launch in June 2018.