Meet the Team

Director Monique WilliamsMonique Williams, Director

Monique has extensive experience as a public health community-based researcher and practitioner. She has spent the last six years of her career at the University of Louisville School of Public Health and Information Sciences, where she was recruited to assist with growing the community-engaged research arm of the school and to lead its Youth Violence Prevention Research Center (YVPRC). Williams, a 2020 doctoral candidate at U of L’s School of Public Health and Information Sciences, has a Master of Public Health from Texas A&M Health Science Center School of Rural Public Health and a Bachelor of Science from Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health at the University of Arizona. She will continue working with the YVPRC in her new role.

Monique believes YVPRC’s focus on root causes has highlighted some major needs in youth violence prevention work, both locally and nationally. As a result, she will be working with the OSHN team in translating that work into innovative strategies for violence prevention that will ultimately improve communities across the nation. When she is not working, Monique likes to spend time with her family and friends doing just about anything that brings laughter and joy. She is passionate about her family, faith and food!


MA-headshotMaryam Ahmed, MPH, Assistant Director

Maryam’s prior experience comes from the public, academic, and non-profit sectors. She previously served as a benefits coordinator, research interventionist, bilingual instructor, and children’s health policy advocate. Maryam serves as a Bridge Kids International board member and has completed volunteer work with the Muhammad Ali Institute for Peace and Justice both locally and internationally. She earned a Master’s of Public Health from the University of Louisville’s School of Public Health and Information Sciences and a bachelor’s degree in Anthropology with a minor in Pan-African Studies. Maryam is passionate about collective efforts to achieve systematic changes that promote as well as ensure equity, health, quality of life, peace, social justice, and opportunities to lifelong success.



Amber Burns-Jones, THRIVE Fellowship Coordinator

Amber Burns-Jones is a mother, partner, play-cousin and believes in the power of collective work. She is a proud West Louisvillian and can often be found trading stories with her neighbors. Amber is driven by her love for community and the belief that every person is creative, resourceful and whole. 





Dr. Steven KelseySteven M. Kelsey, PsyD, PhD, M.Ed, LPCC, Faith-Based Liaison

Steven is a retired Louisville Metro Police Officer, owner and president of the Fresh Start Educational and Counseling Center Inc., a founding Senior Pastor of Spirit Filled New Life Church Ministries and a licensed clinical mental health provider.

As OSHN’s Faith-Based Liaison, he will develop, refresh and grow a coalition of faith-based organizations interested in promoting peace in alignment with the mission and vision of OSHN. He will also organize responses to shootings and homicides, alongside our community’s faith advocates. Kelsey, a 2020 doctoral candidate at Walden University, is studying Forensic Psychology. His educational background includes a doctoral degree from Friends International Christian University in Florida, a Master of Education in Counseling and Human Development with a specialization in Mental Health Counseling from Lindsey Wilson College in Louisville and associate and bachelor’s degrees in Human Services from the college. He also has a bachelor’s degree in Theology from Simmons Bible College in Louisville.

Steven is passionate about providing counsel and mentorship to those who might have difficulty discovering their gifts and skills, especially among young people.


Lavel White, Community Outreach Specialist

Lavel is not new to community service. Lavel lost a friend to community violence as a teen which led him on this journey. He has worked with the Network Center for Community Change (NC3) as a youth video coordinator for Let The Kids Grow with Master P, and previously served as a member of the West Louisville Violence Prevention WorkGroup. Lavel received a B.A. in Communication and minor in Pan African Studies from the University of Louisville. He went on to start his own business and has produced documentaries for Louisville Metro Housing Authority, including More Than Bricks and Mortar: The Sheppard Square Story and More Than Bricks and Mortar: Smoketown A New Beginning. He also produced "We All We Got," Hood 2 Hood a documentary about violence and incarceration and the effects it has on the inner-city. Lavel was selected as a 2019 BMe Genius Fellow and received a generous grant to contribute towards a community impact project of his choosing as well as an Ignite Louisville Fall 2019 Classmember. 


Louisville Metro Government, OSHN, Office for Safe and Healthy Neighborhoods, Louisville, Joe Newland Joe Newland, Project Specialist

Joe comes to the Office for Safe and Healthy Neighborhoods with several years of experience in Homeless Services.  Joe worked as the Homeless Youth Coordinator at the Coalition for the Homeless as well as a Family Resource Specialist with Home of the Innocents.  He facilitated the Youth Action Board to provide insight on policies related to young adult homelessness in Louisville.  Joe received a bachelor’s degree in Public Health from the University of Louisville, and he believes in the collective power of individuals to make an impact in their communities.  His beliefs are rooted in the desire for a safer, more equitable Louisville. Outside of work, he likes to spend time fixing up his house and spending time in the Portland Neighborhood with his wife, neighbors, church, and friends. 






Do you want to learn more about our team or our work?

Learn about the office and contact us via the Information Request Form and we will reach out to you.



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