Alexis is serving as our President for this upcoming school year. She is a 4th-year Political Science and International Studies Major at UCI. Alexis is a student-teacher for Global Connect which helps her passion and future career goal of becoming a teacher. Home for her is sunny San Diego, CA. (Pronouns: she/hers)
Johana is serving as our Vice President for the 2020-21 school year. She is a 3rd-year Criminology, Law, and Society Major at UCI. In her free time, she loves to listen to Harry Styles, read books, and reminisce on the good days when Game of Thrones still aired. To her, PEP is a chance for real change and provides opportunities to give people in prison the treatment they deserve. Due to her experience, Johana is now pursing a career as a lawyer to fight for the innocent. (Pronouns: she/hers)
Jennifer is serving as our Social Media Webmaster for the 2020-21 school year. She is a 4th-year Film and Media Studies Major with a minor in Political Science at UCI. In her free time, she loves writing, making Spotify playlists, and singing chill acoustic songs. She is excited to be producing her first large-scale documentary on the criminal justice system this Fall and hopes to one day combine her passions for education, human rights, and media after graduating from UCI. To Jennifer, PEP aligns with her passion for prison reform because they advocate for human compassion, the importance of education, and the empowerment of system-impacted individuals. (Pronouns: she/hers)
Jillian Pearl is our Finance and Fundraising Chair for the 2020-2021 academic year. Jillian is a 5th year double majoring in Political Science and Sociology with a minor in Gender & Sexuality Studies at UCI. She is First-Generation Filipinx-American raised in the Inland Empire and grew into a life committed to intersectional social justice, human rights advocacy, and community wellness. When she is not working or tending to her educational responsibilities, she sincerely enjoys spending quality time with her loved ones and dogs. Jillian is extremely thrilled and grateful to be serving on this year’s PEP Board alongside passionate leaders who are inspired to make a meaningful impact on addressing the ramifications of the prison industrial complex.
Lorraine is serving as our Communications Liaison for the 2020-21 school year. She is a 3rd-year Political Science Major with a minor in African American Studies. She is currently a Research Assistant for the President-Elect of the National Conference of Black Political Scientists and RA editor of the journal of Black politics. She is also a student-athlete on campus. To Lorraine, PEP is a resource to help educate and facilitate discussions around the carceral & criminal justice system. As a member of the board, she hopes that PEP will take a more upfront approach to producing avenues of reform and abolition within these institutions. (Pronouns: she/hers)
DAVIN L. PHOENIX
Professor Phoenix specializes and teaches courses in African American politics, political participation, public opinion, and local politics. Davin earned his Ph.D. in political science and public policy from the University of Michigan in 2015. His research broadly focuses on how race interacts with various spheres of U.S. politics to shape the attitudes, emotions and behavior of both everyday people and elites. He has authored and co-authored papers and manuscripts examining issues such as: how race influences individuals’ emotional responses to cues of policy threat and opportunity; how minority mayors build coalition strategies, and their impact on minority participation; and the intersection of race and religious views on individuals’ social welfare policy preferences.
Alesha Monteiro is an advocate and abolitionist who works with incarcerated people and their families to make sure that their rights of incarcerated people are being upheld while simultaneously pushing for abolition of the current U.S. carceral system. Alesha knows that the prison system looks very different on the inside than it does on the outside and that there is deliberate, egregious abuse inside those walls daily. Alesha is fully aware that black and brown boys are disproportionately policed, convicted and incarcerated and for much longer than their white counterparts and aims to stop this attack on already marginalized lives.
Alesha has spent countless hours advocating but she has also created a space for those that want to help but don’t really know how to get involved, which allows for them to become active in the movement. After spending years working in this movement, Alesha has gotten close to both families and people incarcerated, she is very passionate and creative when it comes to campaigns and does so while always keeping her goals of changing minds through education and changing laws through legislation.
Founder of the Parole Board Project partnered with the Prison Education Project at UCI.