Meet the Team

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Monique 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!

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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.

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

Steven Kelsey 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 where he 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. 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.

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Lavel White, Community Outreach Coordinator

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 an Ignite Louisville Fall 2019 Class Graduate.

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Joe Newland, Ambassador Institute Manager

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, daughter, neighbors, ad church.

Kenny Boyd
Kenny Boyd, Community Outreach Supervisor

Kenneth “Kenny” L. Boyd, is a native of Nashville, Tennesse, and has called Louisville home since 1989. After overcoming several personal obstacles, Kenny turned his attention to uplifting the community via youth advocacy and mentorship. He comes to the Office for Safe & Healthy Neighborhoods with a Bachelor of Science in Social Work from Spalding University, and an Associates of Science in Human Services and Distinction from Jefferson Community and Technical College. As OSHN Outreach Manager, he is excited to lead a dynamic team that will build and sustain community relationships and implement innovative violence prevention strategies. Kenny is a dedicated husband, father, grandfather, and loyal friend to many. He considers himself a servant of God and hopes to inspire those who have found themselves on the brink of despair.

Tonika Bacon
Tonika Bacon, Community Outreach Supervisor

Tonika is a Louisville Native who spent her early years growing up in the Beecher Terrace Projects, Park Hill, Sheppard Square and Clarksdale. She has held many positions in life from Management, Self Employed to Business Owner. However, at each stage in her life she has always given back to the Community for which she lived and worked in. She has a degree in Pharmacy Technician, Cosmetology Licensed, CNA Certification and many other certificates. Her passion has always been giving back to the Community. Tonika is an advocate of giving second chances and considers herself a living testament that if given a chance, people can make a better life for themselves and their community.

Michael DeBerry
Michael DeBerry, Community Outreach Coordinator

Michael is a father, basketball coach, and Assistance Director of a non- profit organization called Amateurs to Pros. Michael developed a passion for helping youth through sports when he was an in-school security monitor for JCPS at the Academy of Shawnee. Through years of being there, he gained an understanding that the youth need role models. After being an aviation engineer, he found that his passion is mentoring and helping our youth of today be better prepared for tomorrow.

Isiah Minter
Isiah Minter, Community Outreach Coordinator

While specializing in Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT) Isiah has worked with adult inmates at Marion County Detention Center as well as youth and adolescents through the Youth Advocate Program (YAP). His experience as a treatment counselor has influenced him to give credence to the role of workforce readiness in reentry services. While treatment has proven effective in adult populations, his experience at the YAP has shown him that soft skills, resume writing, and application process training is much more effective in the adolescent years.  Coming from a lower socioeconomic community in Louisville, Isiah experienced firsthand how missing supports would impact him later in life, but he believed education was key to overcoming those barriers.  Isiah earned his associate’s degree in psychology from the Atlanta Metropolitan State University and his bachelor’s degree in sociology, with a minor in criminology, from the University of Kentucky. Currently he is pursuing his master’s degree in Edu- Human Development with a focus in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from Lindsey Wilson University. In doing so, he aspires to help youth who experienced a similar upbringing as him.

Ravon Churchill
Ravon Churchill, Community Outreach Coordinator

Ravon comes to the Office for Safe and healthy Neighborhoods from Metro Parks and Recreation, where he worked with inner city youth. Ravon has lived in multiple neighborhoods throughout Louisville, attended three high schools, and studied at Kentucky State University.  This has helped Ravon build countless relationships across Louisville which he feels uniquely qualifies him for the position of Outreach Specialist. Ravon has organized or helped organize several community events such as the extremely popular Dirt Bowl, the 2020 Black Man March, Black Culture Weekend,  and Adult Field Day. He hopes that his many connections will be able to bring added value to OSHN.

Darynell Mayes
Darynell Mayes, Community Outreach Coordinator

Darynell Mayes is a 1997 graduate of Kentucky State University, with a BA degree in Recreation/Computer Science. While at Kentucky State University he was the first recipient of the Leroy V. Smith Outstanding Recreation Award in and out of the classroom. 

Darynell started his career with Louisville Metro Parks and Recreation in June 1999. During this time Darynell has worked at several community centers in high crime, poverty stricken neighborhoods including Southwick, Park Hill, Beecher Terrace and Iroquois.  While working at the various community centers Darynell has mentored several of the at risk youth and established long term connections.  As a business owner, Darynell was able to offer jobs to some of the same at risk youth/young adults. Darynell also had the privilege of being named the 2012 Metro Parks Employee of the Year.

Outside of work, Darynell is newly married and a girl dad of four.  Some of his hobbies include being a pitmaster and cheering on his favorite teams: the Louisville Cardinals, Los Angles Dodgers, Boston Celtics and Dallas Cowboys!!!!!


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


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