REV. MICHAEL MCBRIDE
Director of Urban Strategies & LIVE FREE Campaign
Pastor Michael McBride (known as “Pastor Mike”) is a native of San Francisco and has been active in ministry for over 20 years. Pastor McBride's commitment to holistic ministry can be seen through his leadership roles in both the church and community organizations. A graduate of Duke University’s Divinity School, with a Master of Divinity with an emphasis in Ethics and Public Policy, Pastor McBride founded The Way Christian Center in West Berkeley, where he presently serves as the Lead Pastor.
In March 2012, he became the Director for the Lifelines to Healing/LIVE FREE Campaign with the PICO National Network, a campaign led by hundreds of faith congregations throughout the United States committed to addressing gun violence and mass incarceration of young people of color.
He has supported the implementation of Gun violence reduction strategies is over a dozen cities which have achieved 30-40% reductions in gun related shootings and Homicides. He is a co-founder of Community Justice Reform Coalition and the National Black Brown Gun Violence Prevention Consortium which work to center black and brown Gun Violence practitioners and scale up life-saving interventions related to Urban and communal violence.
Regarded as a national faith leader, active in the Ferguson uprisings and many subsequent uprisings, he helps bridge, train and support millennials and religious institutions working on racial justice and black liberation.
Pastor McBride has served on a number of local and national task forces with the White House and Department of Justice regarding gun violence prevention, boys and men of color and police-community relationships. In 2016 he was appointed as an Advisor on President Obama’s Faith Based Advisory Council for Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships. He provides commentary on MSNBC, CNN and Al-Jazeera programs for issues related to faith and racial justice.
He is married to Cherise McBride and they have two beautiful daughters, Sarai and Nylah.
DR. ANTONIO CEDIEL
Urban Strategies Campaign Manager
Dr. Cediel serves as the Urban Strategies Campaign Manager at the PICO National Network where he helps to promote strategies to reduce gun violence and mass incarceration in cities and counties across the country.
Before coming to PICO, Dr. Cediel spent over 20 years in public education, serving as a teacher, principal, and deputy superintendent in urban schools, and currently provides leadership coaching and professional development for educational leaders and corporate executives throughout the country. During his tenure as a deputy superintendent in Boston, the district was repeatedly identified as one of the top five urban districts in the country based on its progress in eliminating achievement gaps and improving overall performance. As an outgrowth of his work in education, Dr. Cediel has spent a number of years focused on issues related to gun violence, incarceration, and criminal justice reform--all issues that directly affect the communities he has served during the course of his career. Having taught middle schoolers in Oakland, graduate students at Harvard, and aspiring school leaders at the University of Chicago, his best students were the men at San Quentin State Prison. He holds a B.A. in religious studies from Brown University, an M.A. in Latin American history from California State University-East Bay, and M.Ed. and Ed.D. degrees from the Harvard Graduate School of Education.
LIVE FREE Campaign Manager
Shaunda Johnson joined the PICO National Network as Campaign Manager of LIVE FREE. As the largest faith-based network in the country, PICO’s LIVE FREE Campaign is working to end the scourges of gun violence, mass incarceration, and the criminalization of Black and Brown bodies that tears at the soul of our society. Most recently Johnson served as Executive Director of WayUp Sacramento, a local community development initiative that supports the health, welfare and rising level of sustainable prosperity for children and families. Prior to her work with WayUp, Johnson led Health Education Council’s Healthy Eating Active Living Initiative (HEAL Zone), a placed based health initiative focused on reducing obesity rates in underserved communities, funded by Kaiser Permanente. There, Johnson successfully led a multi-sector collaborative that worked to transform the physical and social environment to support healthy living for the more than 13,000 residents living in the South Sacramento, Valley Hi neighborhood. She has also directed grassroots campaigns around violence intervention and prevention as a community organizer with Sacramento Area Congregations Together. In earlier positions, Johnson served as a Committee member of the Sacramento Safe Community Partnership, which was the governing body of the Ceasefire Violence Prevention Initiative which resulted in significant reductions in gang violence in South Sacramento. Johnson holds a BA in Liberal Studies from Sacramento State University, and is a recent graduate of the Sierra Health Foundation’s Leadership Program Class XIII.
Southern Regional Director
Phyllis M. Hill is the South Regional Director for LIVE FREE, a campaign within the PICO Network, which seeks to reduce the prison population and end gun violence. A native of Hazlehurst, GA, Phyllis returns to her southern roots after spending 12 years in the mid-west, and most recently eight years in Minneapolis, MN working as the Lead Organizer for ISAIAH. Her many accomplishments include: working with Minneapolis School Board to place a moratorium on non-violent suspensions in all elementary schools in the district; partnering with Robbinsdale School District to reduce suspension by 80%, and collaborating with MN Commissioner of Education to place equity in its mission statement. Her proudest moments are working with congregants to address spiritual matters that hinder their leadership, emboldening them to live with purpose without fear. Phyllis received her Bachelor of Arts in History from Georgia Southern University, while participating in a study abroad at Oxford University. She also holds a Master’s degree in African American Studies from University of Wisconsin-Madison. As a daughter of the South, Phyllis is excited to join a faith movement that includes oppressed people---formerly incarcerated, women, youth, LGBTQ--- leading the way toward freedom!
REV. JEREMY MCCANTS
For general LIVE FREE inquiries call 510-506-4133, available from 9am-5pm PST
Rev. Jeremy J. McCants is a native of the little town of Senoia, Georgia. He is a 2013 Cum Laude graduate of Morehouse College in Atlanta, GA, receiving a Bachelor’s of Arts in Religion with a minor in music. At Morehouse, he served as president of the Morehouse College Glee Club and served with the Morehouse Chapter of the NAACP. While at Morehouse he decided to surrender his will to God’s Will and pursue the call to ministry and service. God then graced Jeremy to attend The Divinity School at Duke University to pursue his Master’s of Divinity (M.Div.). While there he served as a Roger William’s fellow of the Baptist House and as treasurer of the Black Seminarians Union. Jeremy completed his M.Div. with a certificate in Baptist Studies in May of 2016. He was licensed in the summer of 2015 and ordained in the fall of 2016 in the missionary Baptist faith denomination. He is currently serving as the Executive Assistant to Michael McBride with LIVE FREE, USA, organizing and raising awareness about the intersectionality of oppression across the nation.
Live Free National
1918 University Ave, Suite 4A
Berkeley, CA 94704
Phone: 888-550-7426 X725
171 Santa Rosa Avenue
Oakland, CA 94610
Phone: 510 655 2801
Fax: 510 655 4816
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4305 University Ave Suite 530
San Diego, CA 92105
Phone: 619 501 1804
Policy & Communications
110 Maryland Ave., NE Suite 201
Washington, DC 20002