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Presenter Bios

Prevention Summit 2022- Meet the Presenters

  • Lorien Castelle
    Lorien Castelle

    Lórien Castelle has been an activist and advocate for social justice issues focusing on gender based violence for over two decades. She joined the team at the New York State Coalition Against Domestic Violence (NYSCADV) in 1998 and has had the honor of working closely with communities and state coalitions across the country during her tenure. Ms. Castelle split her time between NYSCADV and the Pennsylvania Coalition Against Domestic Violence from 2011- 2013 in order to launch a statewide prevention initiative in Pennsylvania. Ms. Castelle specializes in community and school-based based prevention strategies, including: teen dating violence prevention, promoting healthy relationship norms, developing youth activism and leadership, engaging men as allies, workplace violence prevention and community organizing. She has a strong background in organizational development and strategic planning which she applies to coalition building, prevention planning and supporting coordinated community response efforts.

    Ms. Castelle works on many of NYSCADV’s special projects including promoting best practices for serving people who have been victimized and organizational capacity building with a particular lens on trauma-informed, survivor-driven approaches. Ms. Castelle serves on numerous national, statewide and regional committees and is a much sought after trainer, meeting facilitator and keynote speaker. As Director of Prevention for NYSCADV she has assisted communities in designing and launching local initiatives in and across school districts, college campuses and in the workplace with activities that promote social norms change and prevent domestic violence from happening in the first place. Ms. Castelle provides a wide range of coaching, support and training to domestic violence programs and allies throughout New York State and to coalitions and communities throughout the country.

  • Michael Fonda, M.A.

    Michael Fonda, M.A.- Is a Prevention Educator for St. Peters Health Partner’s, Crime Victims Assistance program. As a Prevention Educator, Mike covers topics ranging from Personal Safety with elementary students to college forums on dispelling the myths and victim blaming attitudes surrounding domestic violence and sexual assault. He has conducted Mentors in Violence Prevention (MVP) trainings with numerous local colleges, local college sports teams, and high schools. He has also provided MVP trainings for various levels of Major League Baseball to include the Pittsburg Pirates, Atlantes Braves, Philadelphia Phillies and other teams. He has also worked with personnel of the United States Army and Coast Guard.

    He also worked on Game Change, a collaborative effort between the Massachusetts Attorney General’s Office and the New England Patriots to train both teachers and students in Massachusetts high schools on MVP trainings.

    He is a retired Detective Sergeant from the City of Cohoes Police Department, former Town of Stillwater Police Officer, and former Senior Investigator for the NYS Division of Criminal Justice's Board of Examiners for Sex Offenders. While at DCJS he completed investigations on out of state sex offenders moving into New York State for the purpose of Risk Level recommendations prior to going on the NYS Sex Offender Registry.

    He is a graduate of The Sage Colleges and has a Master’s degree from the Community Psychology program with a Certificate in Forensic Psychology.

  • Rus Ervin Funk is a consultant specializing in working with organizations and communities to promote healthy masculinities; equity, diversity and justice; and violence
    prevention. Rus is a long-time activist and community organizer focusing on anti-racism, and gender justice.
    Among his organizing efforts, he is co-founder of DC Men Against Rape (now Men Can Stop Rape, Inc.), Men for Gender Justice, the Baltimore Alliance to End Child Sexual
    Abuse, MensWork: eliminating violence against women, the Own It Initiative (a project of the Center for Women and Families), the Ohio Men’s Action Network, White Folks
    Against Racism, among others.

  • George Kilpatrick is the Men’s Outreach and Project Coordinator and certified educator at Vera House. Vera House is a comprehensive domestic violence and sexual assault agency, providing outreach to men in the prevention of domestic violence, sexual assault, and healthy masculinity. He conducts workshops and trainings nationally, and is a member of the Futures Without Violence Coaching Boys into Men National Advisory Council. Kilpatrick also facilitates the Vera House 12 Men Model where men engage and hold their peers accountable through conversations to redefine masculinity and healthy relationships.

  • David S. Lee, MPH
    David S. Lee, MPH

    David S. Lee, MPH, is the Deputy Director at ValorUS®. David provides leadership in national and California prevention efforts including VALOR's national online resource center, PreventConnect, training and technical assistance for California's sexual and domestic violence prevention efforts, and RALIANCE's Sport + Prevention Center. David has been involved in the movement to end sexual assault and domestic violence since 1982, working with a variety of local sexual assault and domestic violence prevention agencies prior to join VALOR (then the California Coalition Against Sexual Assault) in 2005.
    David has been a Movement Maker for NOVO Foundation's Move to End Violence initiative and was awarded for Excellence in Public Service by the Injury Control and Emergency Health Services Section of the American Public Health Association. He is the author of many articles and publications on prevention, including the 2022 Journal of Interpersonal Violence article, "Prevention of Sexual Violence in sport: A Socioecological Review."

  • Eric McGriff
    Eric McGriff

    Eric McGriff is the Prevention Coordinator at the Crime Victims Treatment Center (CVTC), Inc., where he supports community-level efforts to prevent and respond to violence in New York City, and across the globe.

    McGriff has an extensive background as a domestic and sexual violence trainer and facilitator engaging, among other populations, K-12 schools, college campuses, men and boys, and men who batter. He has facilitated and trained for several national and international entities including, the U.S. Department of Justice Office for Victims of Crime and The National Centers for Victims of Crime. As a former Spokesperson for U.N. Women and a current Global Peace Ambassador, Eric also has a background supporting various United Nations efforts to address issues at the intersections of youth, gender, and violent extremism.

    Inspired by CVTC’s trauma-focused, relational, and affect-centered therapeutic model, McGriff's work to transform communities bridges the gap between evidence-supported interventions and local community context by folding trauma-informed, participatory principles and practices into public health approaches. Through a framework of cultural humility, and with a focus on system collaboration and psychological safety, Eric seeks to tap into community’s existing expertise and evolutionary potential to learn about, build, and discover structures and practices that better meet the needs of its most vulnerable populations.

  • Rowan Reyes, MSW, CYT
    Rowan Reyes, MSW, CYT

    Rowan Reyes, MSW, CYT (they/them) is a queer, non-binary trans activist, educator, visual artist and poet. Rowan’s mission is to (co)create transformative experiences to cultivate healing and fuel collective liberation. These experiential containers include interactive workshops, professional trainings, spiritual circles, and trauma-informed movement/embodiment classes. Whether barefoot on the mat or behind a podium, the unifying aim of Rowan’s work is to sow and nurture the seeds of anti-oppressive social change. For more info:

  • Jessica J. Mencia

    Jessica J. Mencia (she/her/ella) is a PhD student at the University at Buffalo and researches sexual risk-taking and abortion accessibility. In addition to her research, Jessica serves as a peer educator for the Sexual Violence Prevention Unit at the University at Buffalo. Additionally, Jessica is the Regional Leader for the Eastern Region of End Rape on Campus's Student Survivor Caucus and a member of the Policy Working Group at the New York Birth Control Access Project.

  • Jacqueline Miller

    Jacqueline Miller (pronouns: she/her/Queen) is the Director of Racial Equity & Social Change of NRCDV. With over 30 years of work experience within the Violence Against Women Movement, she shares her knowledge and expertise on the overlapping intersections of domestic violence such as women and children’s health, trauma and adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) and the adultification of children with an emphasis on Black girls. Jacqueline has spearheaded the issue of the emerging topic of adultification across the nation at several national conferences, trainings and webinars. With over 20 years of training experience, Jacqueline has expertise in working with systems such as the child welfare system, housing programs for homeless youth, the healthcare system and systems designed to reduce intimate partner homicide. Jacqueline is part of NRCDV’s DVAM and the Women of Color Leadership projects. Jacqueline contributed to several national publications including, most recently, on the intersections of sexual violence and intimate partner violence in addressing health equities. Jacqueline is the author of “What Agencies Should Know When Working with Formerly Incarcerated Survivors” published by NRCDV on VAWnet’s website. Jacqueline was the survivor speaker for events with UNWomen Generation Equality and FVPSA

  • Sarah Podber, MSW
    Sarah Podber, MSW

    Sarah joined the NYSCASA staff in 2016 as the special projects coordinator, later transitioning into the role of director of prevention. In her current position, Sarah serves as the project lead for NYSCASA’S Sexual Assault Demonstration Initiative (SADI) prevention cohort, as well as other prevention projects. Prior to joining NYSCASA, Sarah was an advocate at Disability Rights New York and the program and policy director at The League of Women Voters of New York State. She has a Bachelor of Arts in women’s studies and a Master of Social Work from the State University of New York at Albany.

  • Arlene Vassell

    Arlene Vassell (pronouns: she/her/hers) is the Vice President of Programs, Prevention & Social Change at the National Resource Center on Domestic Violence (NRCDV). She joined NRCDV as staff in 2015. Prior to joining staff, she served for several years as Vice-Chair of NRCDV’s Board of Directors. Arlene provides leadership to NRCDV’s Programs & Prevention Team. She oversees several key initiatives, including the Domestic Violence Awareness Project , PreventIPV and the Transforming the GBV Movement: Increasing BIPOC Representation and Actualizing Accountability Project (formerly the Women of Color Coalition Leadership Project). Arlene has over 25 years of multi-faceted experience within the movement to end domestic and other forms of gender-based violence. Her “formal” advocacy work began in Virginia at the YWCA Women’s Advocacy Program. She later worked at the Virginia Sexual and Domestic Violence Action Alliance and the Florida Coalition Against Domestic Violence. She has a long-standing history of developing and implementing local and state level prevention plans and initiatives established to address the needs of traditionally marginalized communities. Arlene has served on numerous community-based, state and national level committees and workgroups and has received many awards and recognitions for her advocacy work.

    Arlene is a proud immigrant, born in Jamaica, a mother, a mentor, an Auntie, an entrepreneur, a published author, a storyteller, a thought-leader, a joy-seeker and a hope dealer.

  • Quentin Walcott, known as “Q,” is a leading national and international anti-violence activist, educator and writer.

    A hallmark of Quentin’s work over the past 22 years has been engaging men and boys as allies and activists in the movement to prevent intimate and gender-based violence. The foundation of Quentin’s work is a focus on the intersections of violence—race, class and gender—and its impact on marginalized communities.

    As Co-Executive Directors of CONNECT, Quentin and Rev. Dr. Sally MacNichol were jointly named New York New Abolitionists in 2014. Prior to taking the helm of CONNECT in 2013, Quentin developed the CONNECT Training Institute (CTI), the leading anti-violence learning facility in NYC, and was director of CONNECT’s Community Empowerment Program.

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