Like Any Other Kid | Advisory Board

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A Documentary Film by Victoria Mills


Cris Beam

Cris Beam is an author and professor in New York City. She is the author of Transparent (Harcourt 2007), a nonfiction book that covers seven years in the lives of four transgender teenagers, which won the Lambda Literary Award for best transgender book in 2008, and was a Stonewall Honor book. Her young adult novel, I am J, was released by Little, Brown in March 2011, and was named a Kirkus Best Book and Library Guild Selection of 2011, and is the first book with a transgender character to be placed on the state of California's recommended reading list for public high schools. Her most recent book, To the End of June: The Intimate Life of American Foster Care, was released by Houghton Mifflin-Harcourt in August, 2013 and was named a New York Times Notable Book for 2013. Cris teaches creative writing at Columbia University and New York University and is currently working on a novel.


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Advisory Board

Tonier Cain

Tonier “Neen” Cain lived on the streets for twenty nightmarish years. Incarcerated and pregnant in 2004, someone finally took the time to ask: “what happened to you” instead of “what’s wrong with you.” It was at that moment she began her journey to become a survivor and for the first time in her life began to live with more hope than fear. After 83 arrests, and 66 convictions, she serves as the keynote speaker in front of audiences that include the United Nations, the President of the United States, government agencies, teachers, community and civic organizations, and convicted felons. Ms. Cain was the subject of the award winning documentary, Heeling Neen.

Marc Schindler

Marc Schindler is the Executive Director of the Justice Policy Institute (JPI), a national nonprofit organization whose mission is to reduce the use of incarceration and the justice system and promote policies that improve the well-being of all people and communities. Marc has previously worked on justice system issues from a number of perspectives. From 2005-2010 he served as General Counsel, Chief of Staff, and Interim Director of the DC Department of Youth Rehabilitation Services (DYRS), where he and a team of reformers worked to transform the agency into a nationally-acclaimed department that reduced the use of incarceration in favor of community-based solutions.  DYRS was recognized by Harvard’s Kennedy School for its innovations in government.  From 1997 to 2005, he was a litigator on behalf of adjudicated youth with the Youth Law Center, and co-chaired the National Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Coalition.  From 1993-1997 Marc served as a public defender in Baltimore’s

Francis (“Frankie”) V. Guzman

Francis (“Frankie”) V. Guzman is a juvenile justice attorney at the National Center for Youth Law, Oakland, CA. He is working to reduce the practice of prosecuting and incarcerating children in California’s adult criminal justice system and advocating for alternative sentencing and local treatment for youth charged with serious offenses statewide. Frankie is himself a product of the juvenile justice system. When he was 15, he was convicted of armed robbery and sentenced to 15 years in the California Youth Authority. After serving six years, he was released on parole. He enrolled in Oxnard College and later transferred to UC Berkeley, where he earned a BA in English and a J.D. from UCLA. Frankie is the recipient of a Soros Justice Fellowship, the Paul and Daisy Soros Fellowship for New Americans, and the Outstanding Achievement Award from the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, Division of Juvenile Justice.

juvenile court, where he represented youth in delinquency hearings.  Prior to joining JPI Marc was a Partner with Venture Philanthropy Partners (VPP), a Washington-based philanthropic investment organization.  At VPP he managed a $40 million dollar initiative to improve education, employment and health outcomes for disconnected youth.  Marc is a recognized expert on the justice system, providing commentary in the national media, including on CNN and NPR, and is also the author of numerous articles and book chapters.

David Domenici

David is the Director of the Center for Educational Excellence in Alternative Settings (CEEAS), which he started in the fall of 2011.  The Center’s mission is to help alternative schools—in community settings and in locked facilities—implement transformational, student-focused policies and practices designed to significantly improve the life chances of the students they serve.

David has been working with at-risk and court-involved youth for over 15 years. In 1997, he co-founded the Maya Angelou Public Charter School—designed for court-involved teens. Over the next 10 years David served as the organization’s Executive Director, and principal of the campus. In 2007, they were asked to take over the school at Oak Hill in Washington, DC - one of the worst juvenile prisons in the nation.  David designed the school program and became the founding Principal of the school, where he served until the fall of 2011.

David is an Ashoka and Echoing Green Fellow, and is a graduate of Stanford Law School and the University of Virginia. He lives in Washington, DC, with his partner, Cheryl Mills, and their two children, Lucca and Indigo.