Meet The Team
Dina Thompson is an educator, restorative justice trainer and facilitator, youth leader, and parent and community outreach coordinator in Buffalo, New York. She has spent the past five years educating and implementing Restorative Justice Policies throughout Erie County. As an educator in Restorative Justice at the University of Buffalo - School of Social Work, she works tirelessly preparing students to better serve our communities using the RJ skills taught in class. As a licensed trainer with Erie County Restorative Justice Coalition she serves as Board President and has participated in training over two hundred community member, assisted in piloting several Restorative Justice Programs in local schools, and presented to many organizations and judicial system on using RJ as an effective and peaceful response to crime and misconduct. Presently, Dina serves the Parent and Community Outreach Coordinator at Enterprise Charter School where she uses her talents to build positive school culture between students, families, and school staff.
Dir. of Community Engagement
Brandy Loveland is the Director of Community Engagement at Erie County Restorative Justice Coalition. Prior to her position with ECRJC, she has worked as a social worker with Baker Victory Services, specializing in services dealing with and advocating for traumatized youth and youth in foster care and their families. She has also worked closely with families connected with the Erie County Department of Social Services, the DDSO, and DJJOY. Mrs. Loveland has also worked with YWCA for homeless families and families looking to escape domestic violence, and the Salvation Army, working with PINS youth and runaway youth.
Edward Sunquist is an educator, political activist, and attorney in the Buffalo area. He got his start in restorative justice as an alternative education teacher in Philadelphia. He worked closely with students, parents, and courts to restore children back the public school system and to repair community relationships. After several years, Eddie moved to Buffalo to attend SUNY Buffalo law school. While there, he focused on community relations and became a part of the restorative justice movement in Erie County, ultimately becoming a Board Member of Erie County Restorative Justice Coalition. Currently, Eddie is a litigation attorney with Lewis & Lewis, P.C and focuses on community activism and bringing restorative justice to our schools and courts. Eddie has a Bachelors of Arts from St. John Fisher College, a Masters of Science in Education from University of Pennsylvania, and a Juris Doctor from SUNY Buffalo Law School.
Mary Beth Zanghi is a Trainer with Buffalo Public Schools and with Erie County Restorative Justice Coalition for the past 3 years. She is presently serving on the Buffalo Public Schools Committee of Special Education as the Chair for the last 8 years. Prior to that she was a teacher in a self-contained special education class for 27 years in the Buffalo Public Schools. Ms. Zanghi brought Restorative Justice to BPS school #74 with the help of Mr. Prinzing and the ECRJC team in 2014. The school saw the suspension data from the extended day problem drop from 36 to 1. In 2015, Ms. Zanghi was hired by the BPS to be a trainer for the teachers and administration in the Buffalo Public Schools on Restorative Justice. She is also doing circles with grades 1st through 8th weekly at BPS #74. On Saturdays during Community School Days at BPS #74 she is doing circles with parents and community members developing partnerships. Ms. Zanghi has been involved in PBIS training and implementation since 2007.
Born and raised right in the city of Buffalo on its North Side, Saafir is a graduate of HutchTech High School. Currently Saafir is Attending Canisius College majoring in Early Childhood and Special Education. Saafir is very active in his community, volunteering at his church for most of his life and with the Erie County Foster and Adoptive Board, Saafir has become a primary communicator for students from grades 1-5 at his church, and has sat on many panels for events relating to foster and adoptive care. Saafir has participated in a Jazz enzamble as the first chair trumpet and as captain of the swim team in his high school career. Saafir has become an active member of Erie County Restorative Justice Coalition after having intense conversations with other members about the social issues the community of buffalo faces such as the broken justice system, flaws in the education system ect. Saafir's philosophy is "Ignorance is bliss. Once you have been educated on doing better it's your morale obligation to do better and to educate others in a restorative way so that they can do better and begin to educate others as well."
Board V. President
Andrew is the Principal at Enterprise Charter School where the staff have used Restorative Justice to increase school attendance and reduce school suspensions by 75 percent over the past two years. He is also a licensed Restorative Justice trainer for Erie County Restorative Justice Coalition. He has 20 years in public education as a High School English Teacher and School Administrator. He is also provides training in Ruby Payne’s Framework of Understanding Poverty, and Reclaiming Youth International’s Circle of Courage Model of Positive Youth Development.
Youth Ambassador Leader
Jesse is a graduate of St. Joseph’s Collegiate Institute in Buffalo and a current student at Canisius College. While attending St. Joe’s, Jesse became active member of the service and social justice activities. This launched a passion that he has reached for beyond high school by becoming involved in various groups throughout Buffalo, including ECRJC, Prisoners Are People Too, New York Campaign Against Isolated Confinement, Open Buffalo, and Standing Up for Racial Justice. Jesse studies Education and Social Justice at Canisius College, and he uses his studies and his experience as a youth to take a lead in organizing the youth of ECRJC.