Kerra Bolton is a consultant who brings more than 20 years’ experience in media, politics, and public policy to the BANR effort. As an award-winning journalist and political columnist, Kerra unraveled the impact of state government and politics on western North Carolina communities. She also participated on investigative journalism teams that rooted out corruption and abuse in youth prisons. Kerra worked as a political operative in the North Carolina Democratic Party. There, she developed grassroots campaigns to increase voter participation and empowerment among rural and black voters. She founded in 2013 a strategic communications firm, specializing in education and health care policy. Currently, Kerra is a frequent contributor to CNN.com. Visit kerrabolton.com.
Cassidy Friedman, the founding owner of Stories Matter Media LLC, directs and produces character-driven documentaries that call attention to unsung social justice pioneers of our time. He has directed the feature-length critically-acclaimed documentary, Circles (2018), which follows a dedicated high school counselor who struggles to balance the energy he pours into supporting his at-risk students and his relationship with his own son. Cassidy produced the documentary feature, Voices Beyond the Wall (2017), with Executive Producer James Franco, winner of the Interfaith Award for Best Documentary at the St. Louis International Film Festival, a coming-of-age story of girls in Honduras’ only orphanage for girls. Current projects include the feature documentary, Soledad, which follows three men seeking a second chance after prison as the nation explores reforming its prison system.
Brett Hennig is a director and co-founder of the Sortition Foundation whose aim is to promote the ideas within his book The End of Politicians: Time for a Real Democracy and institute the use of random selection of legislators by lottery, called sortition. Before co-founding the Sortition Foundation, Brett wore a variety of hats: as a taxi driver, a software engineer, a social justice activist, a mathematics tutor, and the primary carer of four boys; he finished his Ph.D. in astrophysics just before his first son arrived. After spending several disheartening years trying to influence political decisions, both from within and without the system, he became inspired by Michael Hardt and Antonio Negri’s trilogy on political philosophy and began investigating and researching network forms of democracy. The End of Politicians: Time for a Real Democracy is the result of those years of work.
Mary Shafer serves as a marketing consultant to BANR. She worked previously with Ted Wachtel, helping build the IIRP brand and providing marketing guidance in the launch of the International Institute for Restorative Practices. Mary brings more than 35 years in the marketing field and more than 25 years in the book publishing industry to her work with BANR. She is an award-winning author of nonfiction books in several subject areas, teaches courses in writing and independent publishing, and consults with authors wishing to enter the self-publishing space. She also blogs on the topics of writing, marketing, publishing and metal detecting. Mary’s background includes a brief stint in law enforcement, and she has worked for social justice since 1987.
Ted Wachtel, Founder
Beside being the founder of the Building A New Reality movement, Ted Wachtel is founder of the International Institute for Restorative Practices, an accredited master’s degree-granting graduate school in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, U.S.A. Earlier, along with Susan Wachtel, his wife, he co-founded CSF Buxmont, non-profit organizations that provides education, counseling and residential programs for delinquent and at-risk youth and their families in southeastern Pennsylvania.
Ted has a lifelong history of turning his beliefs into projects, to test their validity and efficacy.
He is author or co-author of these books:
- Toughlove Solutions
- The Electronic Congress
- Real Justice
- Restorative Practices Handbook
- Restorative Circles in Schools: Building Community and Enhancing Learning
- Safer Saner Schools: Restorative Practices in Education
- Family Power: Engaging and Collaborating With Families
- Building Campus Community: Restorative Practices in Residential Life
- Dreaming of a New Reality: How Restorative Practices Reduce Crime and Violence, Improve Relationships and Strengthen Civil Society
- Beyond the Schoolhouse: Learning For A New Reality
Many of these titles can be purchased at the IIRP Bookstore and on Amazon.