Gabriel Solis is the Executive Director of the Texas After Violence Project. Solis has worked as a post-conviction mitigation investigator for the Texas Office of Capital and Forensic Writs, a researcher at the Brennan Center for Justice at New York University School of Law, and a coordinator of the Rule of Law Oral History Project at Columbia University. He has conducted research on policing, mass incarceration, the death penalty, and the effects of violence and trauma on families and communities. He received a B.A. in Philosophy and an M.A. in Mexican American Studies from the University of Texas at Austin.
After spending 25 years of his life incarcerated in Texas, Jorge Antonio Renaud went on to receive his M.A. in Social Work from The University of Texas at Austin and has dedicated his life to restorative community building and healing for those affected by negative public policies. While in prison, Renaud wrote and published Behind the Walls: A Guide for Families and Friends of Texas Prison Inmates and spent 20 years as a freelance writer, reporter, and editor for various publications. He has acted as a policy analyst for the Texas Criminal Justice Coalition, an organizer with the Center for Community Change, and currently works for Texas Advocates for Justice.
Wes Janz, PhD, RA is a former professor of architecture at Ball State University and the founder of onesmallproject, a collection of global and local initiatives that foreground the lives of people that many observers consider to be in need or at risk. In 2008, he received the Curry Stone Design Prize, an international award established to recognize and encourage breakthrough projects that “engage communities at the fulcrum of change, raising awareness, empowering individuals and fostering collective revitalization.” In 2006, Janz received Ball State's Outstanding Teaching Award. He recently retired from his position at Ball State to devote more time to advocacy work surrounding the ethics of designing for confinement.
Engage in a loving-kindness meditation, extending good will, kindness and warmth toward others, as you observe and experience The Last Supper: 700 Plates Illustrating Final Meals of U.S. Death Row Inmates.
Led by Erika K. Nielson. Dr. Nielson is a yoga student of 21 years and a yoga teacher of 16 years. She relied on yoga after a traumatic accident when she was hit by a truck while cycling. She credits yoga and practices of mindfulness and self-compassion for helping her recuperate. As a yoga teacher, she has studied in styles of Hatha and Ashtanga yoga. Additionally, her research focus includes educators and students in pre-kindergarten through higher education engaging in mindfulness, self-compassion, and yoga practices, and their understanding and observations of those practices. She is currently the Common Reading Coordinator at Texas State University, Senior Lecturer in University College, and Faculty in Curriculum & Instruction.
Julie Green is a professor of art at Oregon State University. Green lives in the beautiful Willamette Valley with husband and fellow artist Clay Lohmann and their small cat, Mini. Every Sunday, Green bakes, calls mom, and shaves her head. Half of each year is spent on The Last Supper project. In summer months, Green creates new work, often about food, fashion, and capital punishment.
With over thirty solo exhibitions in the United States and aboard, Julie Green received the prestigious Joan Mitchell Foundation Grant for Painters and Sculptors and was an artist-in-residence at the Joan Mitchell Center, New Orleans. Her art is included in Henry M. Sayre’s A World of Art (Prentice Hall) and has been featured on National Public Radio and PBS, in a Whole Foods mini-documentary, The New York Times, Ceramics Monthly, and Gastronomica. She is represented by Upfor Gallery in Portland, Oregon.
Image: Leah Nash for The New York Times.