Change built on relationships
The experience, skill, and personality of our team shapes our impact. Driven to redefine the norm and fueled by possibility, we are harnessing the power of human connection to accelerate social change.
DOROTHY J. EDWARDS, PH.D.PresidentBio
Dr. Edwards, the founder and president of Alteristic, specializes in primary prevention and provides training and consultation in power-based personal violence, workplace harassment, capacity building, program implementation, strategic planning, and community mobilization. Her work has been the focus of multiple studies that show statistically significant reductions in interpersonal violence. In a career that has spanned over 25 years, she has held multiple positions in program management, teaching in higher education, and in counseling. She holds a Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology from Texas Woman’s University.Quote
I do this work because I believe with everything in me that current rates of power-based personal violence are not inevitable. I do this work because if I didn’t believe this could change, I would be accepting some truths about humanity that I am just not willing to accept. As a victim myself – even as my soul bleeds for my daughter – I am here in defiant resistance to this violence. I don’t know all the answers. I try each day to do this work with integrity and humility. I may be an imperfect vessel for this movement – but I am a persistent one – and I will keep trying until something works.Fun
The window to my soul can be found through show tunes. Defying Gravity (Wicked) speaks to my refusal to accept the status quo and determination to change the world. She Used to Be Mine (Waitress) gets to my acute awareness of my own vulnerability and imperfection yet my belief that I make a difference despite those things. Light (Next to Normal) reflects my choice to love and feel despite the inevitable pain and loss that accompanies those choices. Then, no life narrative would be complete without a song from Hamilton. Grab every breath of your life, and see what you can make happen: My Shot.
DR. KALKIDAN SMITHSenior Vice President (Consulting)Bio
Dr. Smith is a diversity, equity and inclusion SME and effective organization management executive with 15 years of experience in DEI leadership, program and financial oversight, strategic planning, and evidence-based management. She provides leadership around DEI issues, development of Alteristic’s financial management strategy and the organization’s strategic priorities. She also oversees communications, development, and external relations. She has a Doctorate in Business Management from Drexel University, an MA in Political Science and a BA in Political Science and International Studies from Indiana University.Quote
I am in this work because I feel there is nothing impossible about our ability to create a world without violence – I don’t have all the answers and yet I know I have to wake up every single day and try my hardest to show up, learn, and lead in this movement as only a black, immigrant woman could. I know that in all of my very being I am compelled to move our world faster and still faster to a culture where no one suffers from violence – a world where girls and women, boys and men can reach their full potential because they live lives free from violence.Fun
Here is everything you need to know about me – I love potatoes with every fiber of my being that absolutely, most ardently hates onions. My favorite part of going to the movies is seeing the previews and my biggest fear in life is dying without reading all the books that humanity has produced. I say that fully recognizing that my biggest fear will eventually come to bear. Until then, I will use every moment I can reading books. Now, I want you to understand this has to do with more than mere fears of intellectual inadequacy; I feel it is a moral obligation.
Jaszmine ParksSenior TrainerBio
Jaszmine is a Senior Trainer at Alteristic. She began her career researching gender-based violence in Dakar, Senegal, exploring the relationship between religion and self-advocacy. Wanting to return home, she pivoted to violence prevention and worked as a legal advocate in Saint Louis, assisting survivors of relationship violence with navigating the justice system. Since then, she has worked in legislative advocacy, crisis intervention, curriculum development, and prevention education. Jaszmine received her BA from Washington University in Saint Louis.Quote
I’ve always joked with my colleagues that we never stop working even when we aren’t working. I believe that when you hold violence prevention as a value it finds its way into every aspect of your life. The way you interact with others, the conversations you have at the dinner table, even the way you see the world. It encourages self-reflection, and like bell hooks talks about in All About Love, it teaches us compassionate understanding. We learn to forgive ourselves and those around us for causing harm, understanding that no matter how we’ve stumbled we will always have a place in this work.Fun
I am an introvert through and through; sometimes I look up and realize I’ve spent an entire weekend inside with my dog, just tending to my plants and watching fantasy movies. I’ve learned to lean into the things I love which means you can catch me unabashedly listening to disco as I garden, dancing to 2000s pop music, or watching Twilight for the 100th time. Nothing makes me happier than being on a patio on a sunny day, eating good food (preferable street tacos) and tasting new craft beers with friends. I know that tomorrow isn’t guaranteed, so I strive to make every day worth living.
Jose CarvalSenior TrainerBio
Jose Carval (he/him/el) is a Senior Trainer at Alteristic. Jose has spent the last six years doing violence intervention and prevention work in higher education, including implementing Green Dot at his alma mater, Florida State University. His passion areas include leadership development, masculinity studies, and supporting first-generation/low-income college students. He received his Bachelor’s from FSU. He grew up in Florida but currently lives in New York City with his partner and their fur babies, Abbey and Dooney.Quote
In a world loaded with competing interests, never-ending tasks and challenges, it’s easy to overlook the humanity in others. I believe in a world that values humanity and celebrates the pieces that make us individually authentic. This is what drives my hope that the work we are doing will play an instrumental part in ending power-based personal violence. Because if every day we could all just pause to listen to others, lead with kindness, and create space for all to live their most authentic lives, we can all thrive and be proud of the world we pass down to the generations ahead.Fun
It took me years to realize I had been living a lie by telling myself and others I’m an introvert. I really just have anxiety and small talk hurts my soul. Bad puns and sarcasm are my love language. At one point I thought I would be a doctor but I don’t have the patients… (get it… patients..) My partner and I are those dog parents that do the most for their pets and have no shame about it. I have a deep-rooted love for baseball and the New York Yankees. Self-care to me is going to a baseball game, watching mindless reality tv, dog cuddles, and listening to songs that bring me joy on repeat until my partner begs me to listen to something else.
Alberto LorenzoAssistant Director, Trainer DevelopmentBio
Alberto is an Assistant Director, Trainer Development. Alberto has worked on violence prevention initiatives, alcohol and drug education and outreach as well as crises response on college campuses for many years. Alberto also holds a Master’s degree in English Literature with a concentration in Latino studies and literacy from Georgetown University. He is a proud immigrant from Cuba; he was born on the island and raised in the U.S.Quote
My work is guided, first and foremost, by my heart. Alteristic is the long answer to the very small and personal question: How will I carry this legacy? Having been personally impacted by power-based violence, my call to action is this work; it gets me out of bed each morning. I know that the human cost of violence is too great and it cannot wait. I constantly envision a world that’s safer; a place where people talk about a culture of power-based personal violence as a thing of the past, a trend that will not come back.Fun
I’m the epitome of the Cancer sign: from the caring homebody-ness to the mood swings and the ride-or-die-ness quality of my friendships. Most people don’t know that I love cooking or that I’m actually really good at it. My perfect kind of weekend involves the beach, a book, my family, my dogs, and a good “arroz con pollo” to go with it all. My German Shepherds run my life and their names are Ravenclaw and Godric (as in Gryffindor). Oh yeah, and I’m a huge Harry Potter fan. Mischief managed.
KRISTEN PARKSVice President of Project DevelopmentBio
Kristen co-leads Alteristic’s programs and training efforts and contributes to strategic planning, capacity building, and prevention program development. She provides training and technical assistance in power-based personal violence prevention. Prior to joining Alteristic, Kristen worked for a community based agency in Lexington, Ky., as the Education Coordinator and implemented Green Dot in middle schools, high schools, and colleges across the state. She also provided anti-violence presentations and workshops for the Bluegrass Region of Kentucky and medical and legal advocacy for survivors.Quote
I am here because I believe in a different world. I believe in a world where power-based personal violence is not a common experience. I believe in a world where my kids will think of the current rates of sexual assault, dating violence, stalking, and bullying the way I think of the time before television—a distant, far off, sounds too unreal to have ever actually been true, past reality. This is not just a dream: it is a real possibility, and it is ours to take.Fun
Kristen grew up in a town in Kentucky and moved to a slightly larger city where she met a handsome man. They would get married and have kids (but not in that order, dun dun dun). Over the course of a decade, she would become addicted to coffee, be ‘that parent’ who talks about her kids all the time, and watch as her metabolism slowly turned on her. Hold onto your seat as you watch her live life with passion for her work and family while she tries to maintain her double life as a Netflix enthusiast and a perpetual procrastinator. Suspense, passion, intrigue, potato chips.
Megan BrownProject ManagerBio
Megan is a Project Manager at Alteristic. She has extensive experience in project and program management, primarily in higher education. For 15 years, she worked in public K-12 and higher education in a variety of roles including teacher, research assistant, advisor, student services manager, and project manager. She served as the Title IX subcommittee chair for the annual Utah Sexual Violence Conference during her time at the Utah System of Higher Education. She holds BS degrees from North Carolina State University and a master’s degree from The University of Texas at Austin.Quote
I believe ALL beings, human and other-than-human, are connected. I strive to live my life in a way that my actions are for the highest good of all, and I remain open and humble to how that shows up. I am honored to work for an organization that is actively creating a safer and more equitable world.Fun
I love learning, but it took me awhile to figure that out – a journey that has involved (so far) striving for A’s in school, earning a couple chemistry degrees that evoke curiosity since I’m not a chemist, my life plan blowing up, and a life-altering yoga teacher training program. A list of things that bring me joy in no particular order: dance classes, singing, writing groups, book clubs, games of many sorts, brownies, theater, game shows, rom-coms, travel, astrology, my friends and family.
Nataia JacksonOperations Support CoordinatorBio
Nataia is the Operations Support Coordinator at Alterisitc. She has over six years of administrative experience. Nataia is responsible for a wide variety of tasks to support the efficient functioning of Alterisitic. She uses her organizational skills to ensure smooth operations in a busy work environment. Nataia considers herself to be a highly motivated, success-oriented person.Quote
My goal is to always try to be positive and to find the good in something even when it’s hard. I would definitely consider myself to have the “glass is half full” attitude. I also believe in being kind to everyone because you never know what someone may be going through. You never know what a simple smile, hello, or even a compliment can do for someone.Fun
At first, I’m shy and a bit awkward. But once you get to know me, I’m still awkward but really funny! I’m that good friend that you can always count on to give you great advice and to always be there for you. But, don’t call me past 8pm because I’m probably already asleep. Lastly, if you want to be my best friend, buy me CRAB LEGS!
Khalid BattleSenior TrainerBio
Khalid is a Senior Trainer at Alteristic. He began his career as a family advocate with Neighbor to Family Foster Care Agency in Atlanta. He went on to serve as a Program Manager at The United Methodist Children’s Home where he worked with families experiencing homelessness. Prior to joining Alteristic, Khalid delivered workshops on creating safer, more respectful work, living and learning environments at schools, hospitals, and other service organizations nationally as an Instructor at Crisis Prevention Institute. He has a BA from Hampton University.Quote
Embracing one’s authenticity can be daunting and at times overwhelming, especially if we have accepted false narratives shaped by ignorance, hate or fear. Yet, on the opposing and winning side of those narratives is wisdom, love, and hope. My great passion is to consistently and compassionately shine a light on ways that we can connect with one another to truly be our brothers’ and sisters’ keepers —to know ourselves and others as peaceful, complete, and whole.Fun
I am infinitely intrigued by astronomy. I spend hours reading and watching YouTube clips about stars, moons, other planets and interstellar travel! In my opinion, 24, the original TV series, is the greatest show ever! I typically won’t watch a movie in its entirety more than once, but, I watch my favorite scenes over and over again. Speaking of doing things repeatedly, I’ve read The Alchemist more times than I can count — speaking of books, I buy more books than I read. I plan to read them all one day. I also enjoy sending and receiving hilarious GIFs.
DJ EdwardsDirector of Digital Content (Consulting)Bio
DJ is the Director of Digital Content. She primarily focuses on digital communications and production, as well as the development and oversight of Alteristic’s eLearning products. Previously DJ was the photo editor at Crosscut, a non-profit news organization in Seattle, where she oversaw daily photo department operations and managed visual projects. She began her career as a visual journalist for the USA Today Network in Florida covering international and national news, along with long-form documentary journalism. She grew up mostly in the Southeast, with most of her life spent in Kentucky. She has a BA in photojournalism from Western Kentucky University.Quote
I am here because I still have hope. Despite my years working as a photojournalist sitting with survivor after survivor and listening to their stories of sexual assault and abuse, I still have hope. Despite the countless stories of violence and injustice that I bore witness to, I still have hope. I still have hope that most people are good. I still have hope we can absolutely shift the culture so this kind of violence is a thing of the past.Fun
My happy places are as follows: on a hiking trail in the mountains with my dog, in the kitchen listening to Alanis Morissette while cooking dinner with my wife, in a big empty parking lot on my roller skates, on the couch with my siblings watching a Harry Potter movie marathon, on a loud dance floor in an over-the-top sequin-covered outfit, around a dinner table with my oldest best friends.
MELISSA EMMALDirector of TrainingBio
Melissa Emmal is the Director of Training at Alteristic. She provides training and technical assistance in power-based personal violence prevention and contributes to curriculum development. A native Alaskan with 14+ years of experience working to prevent and intervene against interpersonal violence, she was previously the Deputy Director at Alaska’s largest provider of domestic violence intervention and prevention services, Abused Women’s Aid in Crisis. From 2012 to 2015, Melissa took a leadership role in Alaska’s statewide implementation of the Green Dot initiative.Quote
I believe that most people are fundamentally good and want the people around them to be safe and fulfilled. I believe that people will step into that place if they are met with kindness and non-judgment about their thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. I believe that my most important contribution to making the world a safer place for me and my family is by building positive relationships and connections with people who have different thoughts and beliefs.Fun
I am first and foremost an Alaskan at heart. Alaska is known as “the last frontier,” and I grew up with adventure and exploration at the heart of my family. I was raised to believe I could do anything I put my mind to and that humor is often the best medicine (my laugh can be heard a mile away). I am the youngest of 9 children, many of whom are also working toward making the world a better place as nurses, teachers, lawyers, or social workers. I love to read and, most importantly, love all things Harry Potter.
MARIGAIL SEXTONDirector of Strategic PartnershipsBio
Marigail Sexton is the Director of Strategic Partnerships for Alteristic. She has worked with the organization since its inception as Green Dot, etc. Inc. Marigail holds a Bachelor’s in Communications and a Master’s in Educational Policy Studies and Evaluation from the University of Kentucky. Previous professional experience includes serving as the Executive Director of the KY Association of Sexual Assault Programs and work with the KY Governor’s Office of Child Abuse and Domestic Violence Services, the UK Center for Research on Violence Against Women and the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia.Quote
My mantra is “be kind and do good.” I try hard to live by it every day. I believe that kindness is the way to peace and happiness. I’m dedicated to doing good work. Work that doesn’t just make me feel good about doing it, but work that is effective and creates real change. We have the power to create a world without violence that is as good as it can be for everyone. I’ve seen what happens when people are filled with a vision of a kind world and given the tools to do good work. It’s magical.Fun
I’m goofy and geeky. I love cooking classes, disco dancing and find a great amount of pleasure in the “60 Second Fold of the Week” videos on YouTube (check it out!). I’m the kind of person who will dress up like a zombie and do “Thriller” down Main Street on Halloween. I find anything/anyone out of the mainstream interesting and good for my mind and soul. I live a fair amount of my life in the slow lane, however, I love doing yoga, playing tennis, hiking, hangin’ with my fabo kids and hubby, and having fun with friends (especially if it involves disco dancing!).
DARCIE FOLSOMAssistant Director, Training and Technical AssistanceBio
Darcie discovered her passion for violence prevention as an undergraduate student at the University of Rhode Island, and has been in the field ever since. She worked as the Community Educ. & Involvement Coord. and Advocate at Safe Futures in New London, CT and sat on multiple statewide task forces with the Connecticut Coalition Against Domestic Violence. Most recently, Darcie was the Dir. of Sexual Violence Prevention and Advocacy at Connecticut College, which was one of the first colleges to implement Green Dot. She also coordinated the DOJ Campus Grant there and was an Adjunct Instructor.Quote
I believe that we can absolutely reduce the instances of power-based personal violence. When people are empowered and believe in themselves and their community, amazing things can happen and ending violence is no different. This work isn’t about one person but the collective moments from all of us that will continue to create true culture change.Fun
I’m a firm believer in a positive attitude and not taking life too seriously (although I’m terrible about taking my own advice). I unapologetically call my dogs “my kids” and I overshare pictures of them on social media. Snow skiing, being barefoot, and wine are some of my favorite things and there’s nothing better than driving around with the windows down and the music up on a warm, sunny day. As a native Mainer, I love lobster and I know that the ocean is some of the very best medicine. And my husband and family are pretty awesome too.
GAIL SCHOOLFIELDExecutive AssistantBio
Gail Schoolfield is the Executive Assistant at Alteristic. She provides direct support for the President, including scheduling, travel, communications, and coordination of daily operations of the President’s office. She has a degree in English (writing) from George Mason University. Prior to coming to Alteristic, she worked in the publishing industry for 35 years.Quote
I work with an incredible group of committed professionals who are determined to reduce violence by intervention and prevention in our community. I work to ease the tasks of the President so she can concentrate on what she does best – and not worry about the daily administrative details of the office.Fun
I am NOT a public speaker, and am very happy working behind the scenes. I have been married for 35 years, have two great, adult kids, and we are adjusting to being “empty nesters”. I’m so happy this writing assignment is completed!