Eliane Lakam [Board Coordinator] is an experienced community organizer, policy analyst, and trainer who believes in the power of nonviolence and empathy in peacebuilding and reconciliation processes. She is passionate about co-creating communities that embody positive values such as compassion, empathy, and unity and co-building proactive frameworks for addressing issues related to racial justice, social justice, and the inclusion of women in peace and security. Her training sessions offer ways to cultivate daily habits for living a nonviolent life and are rooted in the characteristic of cura personalis and practices that restore the dignity and humanity of those affected by violence. Using an interactive, context-relevant pedagogy, she has trained individuals and groups of people from all backgrounds, including students, educators, youth and young adults, parents, community leaders, activists, and elected officials. She is a proud Hoya and recently completed graduate studies at Harvard University.
Sal Corbin [Board Member] offers training in Active Bystander Intervention, Restorative Justice, Unarmed Civilian Protection, and conflict mediation. He worked for 15 years in academia as a Psychology Professor before transitioning to nonprofit work. He has done Workforce Development training and program management and is a Training Coordinator for the Maryland Harm Reduction Institute. His vision is to help others build and maintain healthy relationships, with conflict transformation as the primary focus. His extensive background in leadership facilitation supports his efforts to keep showing up and sharing.
Lauren Brownlee [Board Member] supports DC Peace Team’s social media presence and facilitates some training. She works in social justice education, and has helped lead student trips to Appalachia, Northern Ireland, Haiti, South Africa, Tanzania, and Rwanda. Lauren is deeply engaged in Quaker peace and social justice initiatives and is on the Steering Committee of the Quaker Palestine Israel Network. She has presented on such topics as “Pacifism Isn’t Passive” and “Building the Beloved Community through Social Action.” Her published articles include “Recognizing Teacher Activism” and “Our Drop in the Wave of Liberation.”
Angie Whitehurst [Board Member] is a DC community leader involved in many grassroots organizations. She has a keen sense for building sustainable communities and networks. She has deployed with unarmed civilian protection units as part of the DC Peace Team and is a lead recruiter for the organization.
Eli S. McCarthy, Ph.D. [Board Member] (he/him) has led numerous trainings in nonviolent communication, unarmed civilian protection, and bystander intervention. He also helps facilitate the deployments of DCPT’s unarmed civilian protection units. In addition, he teaches at Georgetown University in Justice and Peace Studies. Eli’s most recent book is called A Just Peace Ethic: Building Sustainable Peace and Breaking Cycles of Violence (2020) and has another book called Becoming Nonviolent Peacemakers: A Virtue Ethic for Catholic Social Teaching and U.S. Policy (2012). He has been formed by multiple trips to Haiti working with people living in poverty, working with people who are homeless in Boston and DC, monitoring the Palestinian Elections in 2006 with the Nonviolent Peaceforce, and leading strategic nonviolent resistance campaigns.
Alicia Gellar [Board Member] (she/her) has 6 years of experience in operations, research and budget analysis working for large USG contractors and management consulting firms. She is a skilled trainer with capabilities in designing and delivering training programs. She is passionate about Nonviolent Communication and Restorative Justice. She believes in the service The DC Peace Team provides to the community and gladly supports the organization providing her background. She volunteers for the measurement and evaluation, research and learning (MERL) committee.
Staff: Team Administrator
Aleta Winters is honored to work and support the DC Peace Team. She was introduced to the DCPT through several Nonviolent Communication kinds of training and participating in Restorative Justice Circles. Inspired by the mission of the DCPT, she now co-facilitates Nonviolent Communication training and Restorative Justice Circles. She is a skilled executive for ten plus years, worked in the criminal justice field for six years, and has worked in education for the past seven years. She is passionate about advocating for her community, facilitating, and providing service and resources to the DCPT participants, volunteers, and direct members.
Some Core Group Members
Heather Thompson is a restorative justice trainer and has been a legal assistant with the Public Defender’s office since 2017. Prior to that, she worked with a non-profit organization that focused on bail reform. From 2007-2015, she was a Courtroom Clerk at the Montgomery County Circuit Court. She is a recent graduate of Montgomery College, where she earned two associate degrees. Heather has participated in victim-offender dialogues in the past and is a passionate advocate for criminal and social justice reform.
Laurie Cooper is an international development specialist focusing on democracy, good governance practice and conflict resolution in sub-Saharan Africa. She has trained election workers, civil society activists and election observers in over a dozen countries during the past 30 years, and served as an international election observer during many of the continent’s first multiparty contests under new constitutions. She has also trained local dispute resolution practitioners in post-conflict environments. She resides in Washington, DC and serves on the Measurement, Evaluation, Research, and Learning committee for DC Peace Team.
Tarek Farouk Maassarani is currently focused on Restorative Justice efforts as a member of the Restorative DC team and the DC Alliance for Restorative Practices. His experience in the field of peacebuilding more broadly includes developing and implementing cross-border encounter programs, gang intervention efforts, community mediation and dialogue, and school-based peace education programs, as well as a wide variety of training/facilitation services. Tarek has taught graduate and undergraduate courses in conflict resolution. He holds a Masters in International Affairs from Columbia University’s School for International and Public Affairs and a J.D. from Georgetown University, as well as a B.S. in Environmental Studies and B.A. in Cultural Anthropology from the University of California, Santa Barbara.
LeeAnn King is a geospatial scientist, yoga and meditation teacher, community organizer, and health & wellness guide who offers trainings in communication and compassion while serving on various committees and supporting DC Peace Team, behind the scenes. LeeAnn’s intention is to nurture safe spaces inside ourselves and throughout communities and organizations to allow open and honest communication that fosters connection and bridges individuals to networks and support systems while promoting compassion and belonging. LeeAnn believes in the power of collaboration to go beyond that which is possible alone and understands that complexity in relationships can be complicated ~ her life’s work is to help shed light on the wonderful gifts that each of us bring to share in our growth as individuals and our ability to flourish as a whole system. We are human and share one Earth & We are stronger together.
Katie Santarelli (she/her) is an undergraduate student at George Washington University and she is studying Organizational Sciences with minors in Human Services & Social Justice and Spanish. Katie became involved in DCPT this past summer as a social media intern. Katie also created “Family Engagement in Peace Education”, a workbook that inspires children to engage with peaceful living and nonviolent peacemaking. In DCPT, Katie is most excited to learn more about the implementation of peaceful practices and conflict transformation techniques within local communities.