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Benjamin Weber, phd

President

Ben Weber is an educator and scholar. He serves as American Council of Learned Societies (ACLS) Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow and Senior Program Associate at the Vera Institute of Justice, and holds a position as Adjunct Professor of History at the University of New Orleans. He received degrees from Harvard, Brown, and Oberlin College. Ben's writing and video work has appeared in the International Review of Social History, Archive Journal, Journal of the Oxford University History Society, Routledge, Academic Exchange Quarterly, the American Federation of Teachers Journal, Prison Photography, Medium.com, and PBS Learning Media. Ben has ten years of experience teaching high school and college. At UNO, he co-directed Louisiana's contribution to the States of Incarceration national public history project and initiated a writing exchange project with men at the Louisiana State Penitentiary. In addition to his role at BAR NONE, Ben volunteers with the Friends of Travis Hill School inside New Orleans' juvenile jail. 

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MARY OKOTH

Co-Founder

Mary is an artist, prison abolition activist, and Master's candidate in Social Work at Tulane University. Mary's community collaboration in New Orleans includes work with Solitary Gardens as an advocate for people enduring the torture of solitary confinement in U.S. prisons; work as a legal assistant with The Hite Law Group, which specializes in the needs of LGBTQ+ community and survivors of intimate partner violence; and work with Grace at the Greenlight as a homeless outreach coordinator. She believes in the transformative power of art and is grateful to the community members and organizations who are sharing in BAR NONE's work.

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McKinley "Mac" Phipps

McKinley "MAC" Phipps is a New Orleans rap artist formerly of the New Orleans hip-hop group Psychoward, and No Limit Records, who is serving time for a crime he didn't commit. A brilliant and successful artist by all accounts, MAC still fights for his freedom while serving as a mentor, "model prisoner" and teaching music classes while incarcerated.