About Us

About Us image of kids

CDF Nashville Team Staff

Eric Brown

Eric Brown Joined the Children’s Defense Fund’s Nashville Team in January 2013. He is also the Youth Advisor of Jefferson Street Missionary Baptist Church’s Youth Department and Director of Young Ministers for Action in the Nashville City District Association. Brown is a member of A. Philip Randolph Institute, Urban League’s Young Professionals, and Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity Inc. He graduated from American Baptist College in Nashville, and earned master degrees in Theological Studies and Ethics from Vanderbilt University. Brown was raised in Nashville.

Shakya Cherry-Donaldson

Shakya Cherry-Donaldson has served with Children’s Defense Fund’s Nashville Team since January 2013, working to educate and empower communities fractured by decades of crime, loss of economic opportunities and the prison industrial complex. She earned a her Bachelor of Arts in Africana Studies and Economics from Franklin and Marshall College. At college, she spent time on the Black Student Union Executive Board, The Women’s Center Executive Board and The African Dance Troupe. After graduating she taught English in South Korea for two years before moving to Australia where she earned a graduate degree in Political Economy at the University of Sydney. Cherry-Donaldson was born and raised in the Bronx, New York.

Damien Durr

Damien Durr works with the Children’s Defense Fund’s Nashville Team, which focuses on combating zero tolerance school ­discipline policies and ­dismantling the Cradle to Prison Pipeline™. Durr also mentors 70 to 80 predominantly Black young men in the Nashville Public School System every day and is ­developing a new ­curriculum that will focus on literacy, Hip Hop culture, political awareness, critical thinking, spirituality, imagination expansion and conflict. Durr served at the Mt. Haven Baptist Church until he came to Nashville in August of 2004 to attend American Baptist College. His undergraduate and graduate work has received ­recognition through programs and published works including Haynes Middle School Mentoring Program, the Bishop Michael Lee Graves Leadership Academy, and Abington Press. He is co-founder of Connect Media, and co-producer of numerous documentaries addressing the role of the church and the intellectual in the Black community. Durr is a native of Cleveland, Ohio. Durr received a Bachelor of Arts degree from American Baptist College, and a Master of Divinity Vanderbilt University.

Ndume Olatushani

Ndume Olatushani is an artist, organizer, and passionate advocate for justice. He is a consultant with the Children’s Defense Fund’s Nashville Team, working to help challenge the mass incarceration of people of color and zero tolerance school ­discipline policies that criminalize children. Olatushani was wrongly convicted of murder and served almost 28 years in prison, 20 on death row. He was released on June 1, 2012. His case provides a stark example of police ­corruption, prosecutorial misconduct, and structural racism that infects our criminal justice system. Olatushani earned his GED while on death row, a paralegal certificate through a ­correspondence and studied in graduate ­theology classes in prison. Olatushani is married to Anne-Marie Moyes, who worked with him for twenty years to prove his innocence. They live together in Nashville.

Janet Wolf
Director, Haley Farm and Nonviolent Organizing

The Rev. Janet Wolf is the Director of Children’s Defense Fund Haley Farm and Nonviolent Organizing. She previously served as faculty chair and professor at American Baptist College in Nashville, a historically Black college and home to many of the national civil rights leaders. For the United Methodist Church, the Rev. Wolf served as ¬pastor of rural and urban congregations for 12 years. As director of public policy and community outreach with Religious Leaders for a More Just and Compassionate Drug Policy, she worked with a national interfaith coalition on harm reduction, alternatives to incarceration and restorative ¬justice. She is the author of “To See and To Be Seen,” a chapter in I Was in Prison: United Methodist Perspectives on Prison Ministry. For 12 years she also served as a ¬community organizer around poverty rights. Wolf graduated from Vanderbilt Divinity School.