Josh Morrison was a corporate lawyer working in Boston (Columbia B.A. 2007, Harvard J.D. 2010) when he donated his kidney to a stranger in 2011. Deeply moved by the experience, he decided to join the transplant field and became General Counsel at the Alliance for Paired Donation, a leading innovator in living donor transplantation. In 2014, with a grant from the Open Philanthropy Project, he founded Waitlist Zero, an organization dedicated to representing live organ donors and supporting living donation. In 2016, Josh co-founded the Rikers Debate Project. Josh is also on the Board of Directors of Transplant Recipients International Organization.
Angela Cai is a member of the Board of Directors and has been teaching on Rikers Island and beyond since early 2017. In addition to teaching at each of the organization’s New York area classes, including co-chairing the George R. Vierno Center classes for over a year, she is also the Director of Development. Angela is committed to bringing debate education and a forum for civic engagement to incarcerated individuals. She is eager to share the lessons she learned from her eight years as a competitive debater, including as president of the Princeton Debate Panel. Angela is an attorney in private practice in New York City. She graduated from Yale Law School.
Ashley Carrington is a member of the Board of Directors and the chair of Sojourn High School, an alternative school serving pre-adjudicated middle and high school aged youth at the Essex County Juvenile Detention Center located in Newark, New Jersey. She works as a Senior Information Technology Developer at KKR & Co. Inc. Ashley received a dual bachelor's degree in Finance and Management Information Systems from Rochester Institute of Technology where she also served as the Student Body President, '14 - '15. Ashley's passion for criminal justice reform led her to join Rikers Debate Project in August 2017.
Mary Crippen is a board member of the Rikers Debate Project and a co-lead of the women’s facility program. She works for a healthcare data nonprofit, which focuses on improving quality of care for Bronx Medicaid patients. With a Master’s degree in Public Health from Columbia that includes a certificate in Social Determinants, she is passionate about tackling the social causes of poor health, one of which is incarceration. Her Master’s thesis investigated the effect of incarceration on prenatal care initiation, and she was an author on a study investigating public opinion in the aftermath of Eric Garner’s death. She received her BA from New York University, where she competed in the American Parliamentary Debate Association and won an intra-university debate scholarship tournament.
Matthew Moll is a member of the Board of Directors. As a volunteer for RDP he has taught classes at EMTC on Rikers Island, the Vernon C. Bain Center, and at the Manhattan Detention Center. He is a former member of RDP's Board of Advisors and part of RDP's advocacy team working to increase access to programming in DOC facilities. Matthew has worked in politics, education reform, graduate school admissions, as a freelance journalist, and he is a 2019-2020 Beyond the Bars Fellow at Columbia University. Matthew is a graduate of Marquette University, Columbia Journalism School, and Columbia Business School where he was a Tamer Center for Social Enterprise Summer Fellow.
Caitlin Halpern co-leads a weekly class at the Eric M. Taylor Center on Rikers Island and runs the Rikers Debate Project reentry program. She is also involved in grassroots organizing with Showing Up for Racial Justice (SURJ) and Just Leadership USA (JLUSA). By day, Caitlin represents low-income clients in criminal appeals as a Staff Attorney at Appellate Advocates. She is passionate about ending mass incarceration and hopes to empower her students to advocate for themselves.
Justin Roberts has taught classes at several facilities on Rikers Island and in New York City. He also assist in the operation of the fellowship program, the monitoring and evaluation of classes, and other administrative needs. Justin's passion and professional work for nonprofits in Chicago and New York to address issues of incarceration and inequity led to his involvement with RDP. Justin hold a B.A. in sociology from DePaul University and an M.A. in International Affairs from The New School"
Ben Solomon is the former co-director for the class at the Eric M. Taylor Center on Rikers Island. He graduated from Columbia University and currently works as a product manager in the technology sector. His volunteering efforts led him to work with previously incarcerated individuals, and hearing their stories prompted him to join the Rikers Debate Project in November of 2016. He is passionate about students expressing their opinions and knowing they are heard.
Pat Andriola, co-founder of the Rikers Debate Project, was a litigator at Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP, where he focuses his matters on civil litigation. He received his JD/MBA from New York University in 2015, specializing in Economics and Law & Business. His legal writings have been published in the Boston College Law Review, the Emory International Law Review, and the N.Y.U. Journal of Legislation & Public Policy, among others. Pat was formerly President of the Tufts Debate Team and Vice President – Finance of the American Parliamentary Debate Association (“APDA”), where he competed and won tournaments at Brandeis and Syracuse. He hopes to give a voice to as many incarcerated individuals as he can.
Julia Bowling is the co-chair of a weekly debate class at the Anna M. Kross Center on Rikers Island. Julia is also a Research Associate at the CUNY Institute for State and Local Governance, where she works on various projects to reform the criminal justice system on a systemic level. She appreciates the opportunity to see a different side of the system through Rikers Debate Project, and enjoys teaching and learning from the debate students. Julia holds a B.A. in economics and environmental studies from Oberlin College and an M.S. in urban policy from The New School, where her graduate work included policy analysis to improve access to reentry programs and services for people leaving Rikers Island.
Adam Drucker is a member of the RDP Board of Advisors. He has been a lead teacher for classes in the Washington, DC area, at the Metropolitan Detention Center in Brooklyn, and at the Manhattan Detention Complex. Adam is currently an MBA candidate at the NYU Stern School of Business, having previously worked as a consultant for six years in DC. He was a coach and president of the GW Parliamentary Debate Society and coached high school congressional debate at the George Mason Institute of Forensics.
Sam Dunkle is a member of the Board of Advisors. He currently teaches at the Rikers Debate Project class in the Washington, DC area; he previously taught at the Eric M. Taylor Center on Rikers Island. He graduated from Columbia University in 2015 with a degree in Economics and Political Science. This fall, Sam begins his first year of law school, and he plans to pursue a legal career advocating on behalf of the marginalized and most vulnerable in society. He most appreciates the opportunity to get to know and spend time with the many talented and engaging students in RDP classes.
Edward Nasser is co-chair for the weekly class at the Manhattan Detention Center, where he helped found the class in January 2019. He is dedicated to providing a space that spurs interesting, challenging conversation and facilitates productive disagreement. Eddie believes that our students can learn valuable, broadly applicable skills through debate—which requires critical thinking, effective communication, and the ability to analyze an issue from all sides—and that these tools can help empower students to better advocate for themselves, both during and after incarceration. Eddie graduated from Harvard Law School, where he provided legal services for people who were incarcerated through the Prison Legal Assistance Project and volunteered teaching G.E.D. classes at a state prison through the Petey Greene Program. He is now in private practice in New York.
Ariela Silberstein is the co-director of the Spanish-language debate class at the Vernon C. Bain Correctional Center in the Bronx, and has been involved with the class since its launch in December 2017. She received her MSc from the London School of Economics and her BA from Bates College, and fostered her love of debate during her time at both schools. Ariela has moved back to her hometown of New York City after several years abroad.
Henry Zhang is co-chair of RDP's public debates class. He was the American Parliamentary Debate Association's Team of the Year, North American Debate Champion, Pan-American Debate Champion, and a World Debate Finalist. Henry was formerly President of the Yale Debate Association and graduated from Yale with a B.A. in Ethics, Politics, Economics.
Rocky Lotito is a founding board member of the Rikers Debate Project. He debated for four years at Boston University, finishing his senior year as a nationally-ranked debater. He went on to coach the Columbia University debate team for four years to a #2 national ranking. His works by day in sales, but his passion for public service extends beyond Rikers, as he also sits on the Champions Council of the Sports & Arts in Schools Foundation. In 2016, he donated his kidney to a stranger and began advocating for legislation to help more potential donors in New York do the same.