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Abolish Private Prisons Board of Directors

andré douglas pond cummings, President

andré douglas pond cummings joined the UA Little Rock William H. Bowen School of Law faculty in 2018, teaching Business Organizations, Contracts I and II, and related courses. Prior to arriving at Bowen, Professor cummings was a Visiting Professor of Law at The John Marshall Law School in Chicago, Illinois, where he taught Contracts I and II, Hip Hop & the American Constitution and Sports Law. He has served as Interim Dean, Vice Dean and founding Associate Dean for Academic Affairs at the Indiana Tech Law School. Additionally, cummings was Professor of Law at the West Virginia University College of Law. Before embarking on his academic career, cummings worked as a judicial law clerk for Chief Judge Joseph W. Hatchett of the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit and for Justice Christine M. Durham of the Utah Supreme Court. In addition, he worked at the Chicago, IL based law firm of Kirkland & Ellis LLP, focusing his practice on complex business transactions including mergers, acquisitions, divestitures and securities offerings of publicly traded corporations. Simultaneously, cummings represented clients in the sports and entertainment industries, including athletes in the National Football League, record labels, motion picture production companies, and a variety of authors, including Hollywood screenwriters.

cummings writes extensively on issues regarding investor protection, racial and social justice, and sports and entertainment law, publishing in the Washington University Law Review, Indiana Law Journal, Utah Law Review, Howard Law Journal, Drexel Law Review, Marquette Sports Law Review, Iowa Journal of Gender, Race and Justice, Thurgood Marshall Law Review and Harvard Journal on Racial and Ethnic Justice, amongst many others. cummings has published three books including “Corporate Justice” (with Todd Clark) in 2016, “Hip Hop and the Law” (with Pamela Bridgewater and Donald Tibbs) in 2015, and “Reversing Field: Examining Commercialization, Labor, Gender, and Race in 21st Century Sports Law” (with Anne Marie Lofaso) in 2010. Noted public intellectual Cornel West has stated that cummings’ scholarly “reputation goes far beyond . . . the nation, and is heard in every corner of the globe, wrestling with legacies of legal thinking on one hand and popular culture on the other.”

cummings has been recognized as Professor of the Year on numerous occasions including the University-wide Distinguished Professor Award by the West Virginia University Foundation. cummings has taught as a Visiting Professor of Law at the University of Iowa College of Law, University of Utah S.J. Quinney College of Law, Syracuse University College of Law, Temple University Beasley School of Law (Tokyo Campus) and has taught as a Visiting Lecturer at the North Carolina Central University School of Law, Fundação Getulio Vargas, Direito Rio in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Universidade de Vila Velha in Vila Velha, Brazil, and Universidad de Guanajuato in Guanajuato, Mexico. cummings holds a J.D. from Howard University School of Law where he graduated cum laude.

Shawnee Ziegler, Vice President

Shawnee currently works at the Arizona Justice Project, a non-profit dedicated to investigating and litigating claims of actual innocence or manifest injustice in Arizona. In her role as Director of Operations, Shawnee oversees case intake, the organization’s financials, strategic project implementation, federal grants, and a competitive student intern program.

Shawnee has also coordinated advocacy and policy efforts to correct sentences for juveniles who were given mandatory life sentences without the possibility of parole. Through her work at the Arizona Justice Project, Shawnee has been able to combine her passion for helping the most vulnerable members of our society with her experience in humanitarian and development work.

Prior to joining the Arizona Justice Project, Shawnee spent many years working in the humanitarian relief and development field doing program management, community development, and grant writing, specifically in post disaster settings.

Shawnee is an ASU Alumni and enjoys tailgating before ASU football games. She loves reading, the beach, and doing puzzles.

Robert Beckett, Treasurer

Mr. Beckett has been with Beckett & Anderson Law Partnership since 1978, where he practices law in Arizona. Mr. Beckett concentrates on estate planning, probate, guardianships and conservatorships and trusts, access to health and social services, particularly for families with handicapped members. He has been a Board Member of AFH (Arizona Corporation for the Handicapped); Arizonan Senior Citizens Law Project; Bethany Ranch Home, Inc.; Arc-San Diego; Association for Retarded Citizens – U.S.; Association for Retarded Citizens of Arizona, Inc.; Phoenix Association for Retarded Citizens. Mr. Beckett is also a member of the Arizona State Bar Committee on Legal Services for the Elderly; Chairperson 1981. Member of Arizona Governor’s Council for Children, Youth and Families; Chairperson, 1979-1981. He also has been a Vista Volunteer, Blackhawk County Legal Aid Society, Iowa.

Sentari Minor

Sentari M. Minor is a social impact advocate and passionate relationship builder. As Arizona Director of Gen Next, Mr. Minor oversees the development and engagement of accomplished and purposeful local leaders to ultimately drive generational change. Prior to Gen Next, he worked to steward effective philanthropists and strengthen social enterprises at the venture philanthropy firm, Social Venture Partners Arizona.

A Phoenix native, Mr. Minor continued his education in the Midwest and is an alumnus of DePauw University in Greencastle, Indiana where he studied English with an emphasis in Creative Writing. He is also a member of Class IV of the American Express Leadership Academy through the Arizona State University Lodestar Center for Nonprofit Innovation.

With an extensive background in high-touch stakeholder engagement, fundraising, public relations, and Strategic Planning, Mr. Minor serves on the board of directors for a diverse set of nonprofits. Passionate about strengthening the social sector, Mr. Minor speaks nationally on governance, leadership, and the concepts of venture philanthropy, nonprofit capacity building, and social entrepreneurship.

When he’s not busy changing the world, he enjoys fitness, reading, and spending time with his loved ones.

Ira P. Robbins

Ira P. Robbins is the Barnard T. Welsh Scholar and Professor of Law and Co-Director of the Criminal Justice Practice & Policy Institute at American University’s Washington College of Law. He teaches courses on Criminal Law, Post-Conviction Remedies, and Prisoners’ Rights. Professor Robbins has served as Acting Director of the Federal Judicial Center’s Division of Education and Training, and as the Reporter for the American Bar Association’s Task Force on Privatization of Corrections. He has also served as a special consultant to the Advisory Committee on Criminal Rules of the Judicial Conference of the United States.

An ardent opponent of private incarceration since its inception in the early 1980s, Professor Robbins has testified on the subject before the U.S. Congress, the President’s Commission on Privatization, and many state legislatures. He has also served as an expert witness on prison privatization. His publications include a book that is considered a classic in the field – The Legal Dimensions of Private Incarceration (American Bar Association, 1988) – as well as many articles, including Privatization of Corrections: Defining the Issues (Vanderbilt Law Review); The Impact of the Delegation Doctrine on Prison Privatization (UCLA Law Review); Privatization of Prisons: An Analysis of the State Action Requirement of the Fourteenth Amendment and 42 U.S.C. § 1983 (Connecticut Law Review); and Privatization of Corrections: A Violation of U.S. Domestic Law, International Human Rights, and Good Sense (Human Rights Brief). Robbins is also the author/editor of Prisoners and the Law (Thomson Reuters, six volumes, 2016).

Angela Addae

Angela Addae is a graduate of the James E. Rogers College of Law at the University of Arizona. Currently, she practices Intellectual Property law at Schwabe, Williamson and Wyatt in Portland, Oregon. While in law school, Angela developed strong interests in organizations and constitutional law—particularly in the areas of Equal Protection and the First Amendment. She has explored topics such as the constitutionality of private prisons and conceptualizations of voting as protected speech. She has conducted a comparative analysis of the Israel Supreme Court’s reasoning in Academic Center of Law and Business v.  Minister of Finance, which declared privately-owned prisons unconstitutional.


In Memoriam to William W. Ryan, Founding Board President

Bill Ryan was a legend in Arizona and beyond, and a friend to all who knew him. A true Southern gentleman, he loved river trips, the night sky, and a good political protest. Bill was born in Marks, Mississippi on March 31, 1943 and grew up in Memphis, Tennessee. He was active in the Civil Rights Movement, marching alongside leaders like Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and he was on the organizing committee for the famous "I am a Man" strike in Memphis in 1968.

Bill was a Memphis State grad and committed his career to civil rights work at the United States EEOC in Phoenix, and from 1992 to 1995, Bill served as a volunteer member of the St. Francis Xavier School Advisory Board. The school is part of the St. Francis Xavier Roman Catholic Parish Phoenix, an Arizona nonprofit Corporation.

Bill was a master of trivia who was never stumped by a crossword clue, and he could not resist a good story. He was exceedingly generous, loyal, and steadfast.