Mona directs safety and justice initiatives at LISC, having served in a leadership role on the national safety team since 2006. Her experience includes providing technical assistance to police departments and community economic development organizations in topics such as crime problem-solving, Crime Prevention through Environmental Design (CPTED) and building high impact community-law enforcement alliances. Mona managed LISC’s competitive national community-police partnership awards program sponsored by MetLife Foundation for over a decade. In addition, she led the team’s knowledge-sharing initiatives and is actively producing training curricula for the U.S. Department of Justice on community-police problem-solving. Prior to joining LISC, Mona served as coordinator of youth development policy and programming at a New York-based child welfare agency. Mona holds a bachelor’s degree in Policy Studies from Syracuse University and a Master of Governmental Administration from the University of Pennsylvania.
Matt Perkins is an expert in community-based crime reductions efforts and advocate for resident-based crime prevention efforts. Matt joined LISC in 2013, his work has included supporting community-based approaches to reducing crime and increasing safety through collaborative problem solving. The goals of this work are to help residents improve their neighborhoods’ safety and health through community action and capacity building in equal partnership with local law enforcement agencies. He has been a lead technical assistance provider on the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) Innovations in Community Based Crime Reduction program, trainer for local LISC partners and collaborator with criminal justice policy and research organizations. Prior to working with LISC, Matt was a technical assistance provider for the federal Weed and Seed crime prevention program, provided crime reduction suport to HUD and public housing agencies nationwide, and worked at DOJ’s Office of Community Oriented Policing Services. Matt has a Master’s degree in Criminology from the University of Missouri – St. Louis, a History degree from Towson University and is a member of the American Society of Criminology.
John Connelly joined LISC Safety in 2016 with extensive non-profit sector experience, as well as having spent time previously with the City of Milwaukee. Most recently, John was part of the LISC Milwaukee office, where he focused on supporting dynamic community safety partnerships, including significant work on Milwaukee’s first BCJI project in the Washington Park neighborhood. For much of his career, John led projects for the Community Prosecution Unit program, a collaborative effort between the Milwaukee County District Attorney’s Office, Milwaukee Police Department and community stakeholders. These experiences has allowed John to work on improving quality of life and public safety issues in neighborhoods throughout Milwaukee. John has also worked in the Mayor’s and City Clerk’s offices at Milwaukee City Hall. He has been active in his community, and has worked on multiple city and county-level political campaigns. John attended the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, where he earned his degree in political science, as well as a minor in history and a certificate in urban planning.
LeVar Michael has worked to improve communities nationwide over the course of his career. LeVar worked as a youth counselor and later began a career in human services where he served as Program Coordinator. LeVar eventually transitioned to government service starting with the York City Housing Authority where he was responsible for organizing public housing residents and conducting community relations and outreach activities. LeVar was an active member of both the State and Federal Weed and Seed public safety initiatives, which conducted work throughout central Pennsylvania. He would later go on to help develop the successful Gang Prevention Initiative in York, PA where he received the York City Merit Service Award. LeVar also received numerous commendations from the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency for his public safety and community organizing work. In 2011, LeVar joined the Baltimore City Mayor’s Office of Criminal Justice and managed several initiatives including the High Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas program (HIDTA), the Byrne Criminal Justice Innovation (BCJI) and Operation Ceasefire. Prior to joining LISC in 2016, LeVar worked in federal service with the Corporation for National and Community Service. At LISC, LeVar provides technical assistance and training to cities throughout the country. LeVar holds a B.A. in Political Science and an M.A. in Organizational Management.
James Stark has focused his professional life on improving local, state and federal government delivery of services. James has been working with LISC since 2015, first as a consultant and currently in a full-time capacity as a program officer serving as a technical assistance lead for a portfolio of sites funded through the Innovations in Community Based Crime Reduction (CBCR) grant program. Prior to joining LISC, he worked in Massachusetts where he oversaw the implementation of the state’s gang reduction grant and its paired research partnership grant program. Both the CBCR and MA gang reduction grant are modeled similarly in that they are resident-driven, utilize data in the decision-making process, and require evidence-based strategies to address crime challenges and associated risk-factors. James holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Criminal Justice from Northeastern University and a Master’s Degree in Public Administration from the University of Massachusetts, Boston.
Brittany Sicora joined LISC in 2016 and has been involved with projects for both the safety and health national programs. Her primary duties include conducting research to support programmatic outcomes and grant management of our private and government funded network of sites. Brittany also oversees the LISC Safety & Justice AmeriCorps cohort, which includes a portfolio of members from across the country serving in both rural and urban communities. Prior to joining LISC, she interned with the Domestic Violence Unit of the Essex County Prosecutor’s Office in Newark, NJ. She also worked as a litigation paralegal for a medical malpractice defense firm. Brittany holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Marketing from Miami University’s Farmer School of Business and a Master’s Degree in Criminal Justice from Rutgers University – Newark, where she received The Richard J. Hughes Award.