Learn about our Governing Council

Alex Johnson

Alex Johnson

Alex Johnson is the Executive Director for the Children’s Defense Fund-California (CDF-CA) and leads the organizations statewide advocacy, policy, program and organizing efforts to ensure access to quality affordable health coverage and care for children and low income families, reforming the juvenile justice system, promoting educational equity, and ending child poverty.
Prior to assuming this position, Alex served as Assistant Senior Deputy for Education and Public Safety to Los Angeles County Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas. Alex is a graduate of Morehouse College and is a member of the Los Angeles County Board of Education.

Scott Ward

Scott Ward

Scott Ward is the Executive Director of the Armory Center for the Arts (since 2001). Located in Pasadena, this community-based organization is committed to creating, teaching and presenting the arts for all ages and backgrounds. Programs include exhibition and performance, on-site sequential education, art experiences in the community, school residencies, and professional development for teachers and artists. Previously, Mr. Ward worked as the Executive Director of the Palos Verdes Arts Center (1997-2001), Executive Director of the Downey Museum of Art (1987-1996), and Gallery Director of the University Art Gallery at CSU San Bernardino (1983-1985). He often serves as a grants panelist for organizations including the National Endowment for the Arts, Los Angeles County Arts Commission, California Arts Council, Los Angeles Department for Cultural Affairs, Institute of Museum and Library Services, and the Wallace Foundation. Mr. Ward is also an accomplished curator and educator who has taught at CSU San Bernardino, Chaffey College, and Loyola Marymount University. He is frequently invited to speak and consult on a wide range of issues and topics related to Art and Community. He received an MFA in Photography from the California Institute of the Arts (CalArts) and a BA in Aesthetic Studies from UC Santa Cruz.

Peter Walden

Peter Walden

Executive Director and professional musician Peter David Walden began his work in Probation nine years ago helping to co-found Rhythm Arts Alliance. Today, RAA reaches throughout Los Angeles County, and under Peter’s guidance seeks to fulfill their mission of helping communities live out loud.

Mindy Velasco

Mindy Velasco

Mindy Velasco began working with InsideOuT Writers in 2012 as the writing program coordinator and is currently serving as the writing program director. As program director Mindy aims to uphold IOW’s mission of reducing juvenile recidivism by providing a range of services to currently and formerly incarcerated youth. Through the use of creative writing as a catalyst for personal change IOW empowers youth with the knowledge and skills necessary to successfully re-integrate into their communities and become advocates for their futures.

Malin McKinley

Malin McKinley

Malin McKinley LCSW is the Program Director for C/HOPE, a program of the Coalition for Engaged Education located inside of Camp David Gonzales. Malin supports the C/HOPE team as they provide enhanced educational services along with re-entry preparation and arts programming to the young men incarcerated at Camp G.

Keren Taylor

Keren Taylor

Keren Taylor, Executive Director of WriteGirl, has been a community leader for two decades. In 2001, she founded the nonprofit WriteGirl to pair women writers with underserved girls for creative writing workshops, one-on-one mentoring, and college readiness guidance. The Bold Ink Writers program, a division of WriteGirl, trains men and women writers to be creative writing mentors for boys and co-ed groups.

Janice Pober

Janice Pober

Janice Pober is Senior Vice President of Global Corporate Social Responsibility for Sony Pictures Entertainment (SPE) where she oversees the studio’s strategic philanthropic efforts, cultural participation and community outreach activities. Over the past 30 years Pober has increased the company’s reputation for philanthropy and strengthened its role as a social responsibility leader in the entertainment industry.

Pober is a Trustee of the California State Summer School for the Arts. Additionally, she serves on the Boards of the Craft & Folk Art Museum, Arts for Incarcerated Youth Network and Vision to Learn, the Executive Committee for the Los Angeles County Regional Blueprint for Arts Education; the California Institute of the Arts, Community Arts Partnership Council; as well as the advisory boards for the Culver City High School’s Academy of Visual and Performing Arts and Culver City’s District Community Arts Team. She is also a member of Grantmakers in the Arts and Los Angeles Arts Funders.

Fabian Debora

Fabian Debora

Born in El Paso, Tx. and raised in Boyle Heights, Ca., Fabian Debora has been creating art since his childhood. Beginning his art career in 1995 as a member of the East Los Angeles Streetscapers, Fabian was mentored by many Chicano artists and muralists and was introduced a creative expression in all forms, from graffiti to murals to sketching and fine art painting.

Fabian is currently a Director of substance abuse services and programming/counselor and mentor at Homeboy Industries in Los Angeles and works in collaboration with LPAN (Latino Producers Action Network) as a Director of Arts Department and instructor between community artists in Boyle Heights and students in the classroom.

Chris Henrickson

Chris Henrickson

Chris Henrikson is the founder and executive director of Street Poets Inc. He has over 20 years of experience teaching and mentoring youth and young adults in, around and beyond the Los Angeles County juvenile probation system.

Melissa Denton

Melissa Denton

Melissa Denton has dedicated the past 10 years creating pathways for social and emotional development through theater arts, to LA’s hardest-to-reach youth and families. As Executive Director of The Unusual Suspects Theatre Company, she represents US as a thought leader in various capacities, including the First International Teaching Artist Conference in Oslo, Norway, and has designed and facilitated performance based training workshops for corporate and nonprofit clients, such as the Dramatist Guild of America, Shepard Symposium on Social Justice, and the Satyagraha Institute’s Nonviolent Training Program.

Prior to her role at US, Melissa served as Project Coordinator with New York City’s Roundabout Theatre Company, managing 25 teaching artists at Bronx Theatre High School. She has worked as a teaching artist for various arts organizations in NYC, including the Guggenheim Museum. Melissa holds a Master of Arts in Nonprofit Management from Antioch University, Los Angeles and a Bachelor’s in Theatre-Mass Communications from South Dakota State University.

Diana Attias

Diana Attias

Diana Attias has served on the boards of OPCC, Westside Arts Center (President), and Liberty Hill Foundation’s Community Funding Board. With her husband, Dan, she was co-founder of Liberty Hill’s Social Entrepreneurial Fund. In addition, she co-chaired Liberty Hill Foundation’s Advisory Council, was co-chair of the Santa Monica Synagogue’s Membership Committee, and PTA secretary at Franklin Elementary School.

Currently serving on the board of the Attias Family Foundation and Liberty Hill Foundation’s Stipend Committee, Diana is also a volunteer employee at the Broad Stage in Santa Monica and studying art at the Brentwood Art Center.