Who We Are

BAR NONE by DeSign is a grassroots-minded, nonprofit organization offering Black people who are currently and formerly incarcerated, and their families, eight elements of service: *therapeutic healing, *education, *entrepreneurship, *arts, *homes, *agriculture, *community-driven justice, and *partnership to eliminate recidivism and dismantle the prison industrial complex.


We Do


 Artists In Residency (A.I.R)

Aligning with our mission, our AIR program speaks to an array of art. Our goal is to assist the artists with honing in on their gift/s, and developing as entrepreneurs through various standard, required business mediums. Graduation is a full out production of what they’ve learned and contributed during their residency.




A partner effort with nationally licensed counseling agency, True Love Movement, More Than a DOC# speaks to the need of counseling for those returning home from prison for a multitude of reasons; 1) the inferiority the feel returning back to society, 2) removing the stigma of being the property of the department of correction 3) reminding society that they are human being as well and we should treat them as such.




Our Education element has many levels to it as it serves to prevent children from entering the prison system, it intervenes in the juvenile injustice system, works to make the school to prison pipeline obsolete, fights to ensure that a quality, equitable, education is mandatory for all youth and adults who want it. 

Between board members and staff, including our Executive Director, we have over 100 years of education and actual classroom teaching and administrative experience collectively. Because of this, we will soon offer HiSet/GED programming and tutorial.

We believe in literacy and know that it is impossible to do anything if you cannot read or write. In order to be an effective and successful entrepreneurial leader, being literate is vital.




From Artist to Entrepreneur is the goal of BN for those we serve! Learning the ins and outs of the what it takes to run a business, including branding, marketing, promoting, networking, planning, etc. on both the state and federal levels is what is learned and received in our program.




We honor and hold dear our partnerships with other organizations and agencies whose missions and visions align with ours. They are critical to our work in this movement and appreciate that we are able to support one another.



Community-driven Justice:

Community involvement is imperative to any movement. Understanding that when the whole of the community is equipped with the necessary to effectively organize in numerous forms is the win!
* Political Education (P.E.)
* The Policy Process (interpretation, understanding, writing, advocacy, lobbying, passing, voting)
* Conversationals
* Exonerations
* Free All Political Prisoners Initiative
* petitions
* Education on the Prison Industrial Complex and why we move to abolish it
* and much more!

Literal About Literacy Book Club

Like the drum, literacy is the cornerstone of communication.” Tuere Burns; Executive Director, BAR NONE by DeSign Our partnerships with celebrated journalist and New York bestselling author, Ta-Nehisi Coates and 3R- AYA Book Giveaway as allowed us to put literacy back in the forefront. With a country that is 24th in the world in reading and writing comprehension, we more than understand that this is beyond serious—this is an epidemic, we are in crisis! Our literacy program serves as a step in the right direction to counter that. Especially among Black people who are incarcerated in those that have been impacted by the Prison Industrial Complex. Since its conception, we have donated more than 500+ books and are taking a more organized approach to our book club. If you would like to donate, please email us at

“With Intent to Prevent” Keeping Youth Youth Measure 

Keeping youth, youth is imperative for BAR NONE by DeSign. There are so much conversation and energy that goes into an intervention that society doesn’t focus on how much of it can actually be prevented. And although there are times when intervention is absolutely necessary, and there is no other alternative but to intervene, so much of what young people get themselves into can be just as easily prevented. As parents, educators, activists, community members, we recognize, remember, and understand the importance of the tribe, We know that without us there is no them. A simple hello goes a long way with a child so imagine how far a conversation can go or showing interest in what they’re interested in, even if you disagree. A healthy debate makes for an inquisitive mind and someone who is self-determined to learn more and teach even more. Servant Leaders. We have been able to do this in spaces as small as one on one and as large as 25 to 1. There is no such thing as too little or too many when referring to young people in general and Black children specifically because they are the ones whose lives are at stake. 

The state of Louisiana locks up children as young as ten years old. In New Orleans, most of those children are Black males and most of those arrested are school-based. As a liaison, we assist schools, parents, and more importantly, the child, who is the one that is supposed to be met with compassion first and counseling as an alternative, not prison. 

What we do matters because children matter most to us. Those same little people will be responsible for our way of life sooner than we think. Right now we have the opportunity to be on the side of humanity and guide them because we love them.

Homes Initiative

BAR NONE by DeSign’s Homes Program is critical to eliminating recidivism and socializing our people back into the world, put the “neighbor back in the neighborhood” and going from sustainability to thriving.
Our layered program will allow people who are formerly incarcerated to live in their own home, rent, and utilities free, for at least a year.


Come Home Initiative
Socializing back into the world is extremely difficult for people who are formerly incarcerated. They are freed with what they cane in with and accumulated while there if they choose to keep it. Although some may have family to reside with, it is still not theirs so they can never truly get comfortable. 
Then there’s the matter of getting their footing. As of late, many have been released on parole or “paper” as we say, which is a whole other form of imprisonment (that we are addressing) which include unreasonable fees that have to be paid for one thing or another. Some of those fees include classes that they took while behind the wall and received participation certificates or certifications for. However, before they can do any of that, they need qualifying identification like a state ID or driver’s license. In order to obtain that, they need a social security card which is free, yet time consuming, and a birth certificate which cost. And how are they expected to pay for these things (Rhetorical)?

Homes Initiative
seeks to provide individual homes (whether apartments or houses) to people who are formerly incarcerated and/or their families at no cost to them; while they socialize back into the world with our full support and attention.

Righting/Writing Our Wrongs Commission
A task force made up of predominantly Black college students who are interested in Human Rights efforts to take on cases of where we, BAR NONE by DeSign, along with the people, designed the definition and controls the narrative for “Wrongfully Convicted.” 
Why Black students? Because it has been long said that Black students don’t volunteer or they don’t volunteer enough. The fact is that they can’t afford to. Most are working their way through school and some even helping at home. Your donations to this project will allow us to provide them with a stipend so they can serve with us learning how to do what they love.
Black Philanthropy is the New Social Justice #BNbD  believes that “everybody knows somebody that knows somebody that incarcerated.” 
120 years of incarceration in that picture; (l-r): Michael Miller, BNBd Tribe Member, total of 15; Desmond Lewis, BNbD Youth Program Coordinator, total of 27; Reggie Johnson, BNbD Outreach Coordinator, total of 28/8 flat for a crime he didn’t commit; and finally, imagine doing 50 years flat during Jim and Jane Crow South for a crime you didn’t commit? Imagine being a child at the time and coming home an elder? His name is August “Gerttown Williams. Please sign his and Reggie Johnson’s petitions on our site asking DA Jason Williams to reopen their cases and Governor John Bel Edwards to exonerate them. Our #heartwork is your #heartwork and us, together, makes this a doable, just reality.




LEGACY: In the Fight for Our Freedom Fighters

Photo By Gus Bennett

Political Prisoners are people who are incarcerated for their political beliefs and/or actions. People like members of the Black Panther Party have been incarcerated for years because they exercised their rights under the law to ensure that Black people were recognized and treated like human beings. Some have been incarcerated for as long as 60 years in the most horrible of conditions, sick and far away from family and other loved ones. They are all our elders! It is now our responsibility to fight for their freedom the way they lawfully fought for us to enjoy some of the freedoms we do today! 

View Incarcerated Political Prisoners



“I heard about BAR NONE through a childhood friend. They invited me to attend an event and I did. I think this program is amazing! Art is one of the best forms of expression. It is very therapeutic, especially for those who are incarcerated. I was moved by what I witnessed and accepted the invitation to become a board member.”

                           Danielle Metz, Formerly Incarcerated; only woman to be Granted Clemency By President Barack Obama

“My experience with BAR NONE has been helpful because it gave me a chance to build as an artist and work with other kids who were in situations similar to those I had been in previously. While working with BAR NONE, I began preparing for my next project, “Audible”, the inspiration from which came from New Orleans/Summertime energy. I’m also working on an EP to released once the proper groundwork has been laid for my musical career.” 

    Gerald “G-Dot” Davis, Formerly Incarcerated; #BNbD First Music Artist in Residency


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Our Tribe


Tuere Burns ME.d


Executive Director

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Miriam Madison 



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Sunni Patterson 


Visionary Ambassador

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Desmond Lewis 


Youth Coordinator

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August “Gerttown” Willams 





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Reggie Johnson 


Outreach Coordinator

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board  members 

Board of Directors:

   Danielle Metz
   Michael Pellet        
   Dr. Mithra Butler 
   Eric Blayloc
   Renita Blazio
   Stafford Agee
   Brandon Akil Mitchell