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THE TEAM

The Uncuffed Project aims to reform policies for those people who have been marginalized, disenfranchised, neglected, abused and suffered travesties of justice in all facets of their lives. We care about them and their loved ones. We provide access to basic human care. Giving recently returned citizens a place where they can decompress without enduring daily pressures placed on them is what we strive for. Recently returned citizens who are new to our communities are still in need of our help. We must end their prolonged victimization at the hands of the current justice system. We feel society as a whole must be more inclusive and less judgmental.

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DAMON COOKE

Co-Founder & CEO

As someone who has fought the fight for freedom for 30 years, the internal information I hold is invaluable. To anyone who truly seeks to know and understand what goes on behind the walls of prison, emotionally, physically and mentally I welcome your inquisitiveness. I have a need to right a wrong. I am driven to eradicate recidivism. I am tired of seeing the same men return to prison time after time. When the pain is too great to ignore, I am driven to not simply stand by, but to DO something and the possibility of The Uncuffed Project was born.

LISA STRONG

Co-Founder

As a volunteer chaplain, it became clear that there was a need for support for those being released from incarceration. I witnessed first hand the fear and abandonment men endured as they took their first steps towards freedom. I knew the intrinsic value of these individuals and sought for that same understanding amongst my peers outside of prison. It is my mission to lead our brothers and sisters back to freedom as whole, valued, and trusted members of society. We, the Founders of The Uncuffed Project came together through a spiritual connection with the same goal in mind…

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Senior Navigator

During his community outreach, Bip discovered The Uncuffed Project. His passion to give back to the marginalized and disenfranchised among  those less fortunate was evident and he quickly became the Senior Navigator with the organization. His work is tireless and he is driven to make a difference within the inner city of Oakland.  The Uncuffed Project is fortunate to have a man of Bip’s caliber champion their cause.

Brandy Rametta

Wellness Navigator

"At The Uncuffed Project, my mission is to create a space for diversity in yoga, health & wellness." - Brandy Rametta

Brandy Rametta's journey is a testament to the transformative power of yoga, not just as a physical practice but as a beacon of light nurturing mental health and emotional intelligence. Her dedication goes beyond personal enrichment; Brandy utilizes yoga as a therapeutic tool to uplift others. Armed with certifications in yoga and cognitive behavioral practices, she seamlessly integrates her formal education with real-life experiences to better serve those seeking holistic wellness.

A proud graduate of Cal State University Northridge and a certified 200-hour registered yoga teacher from the esteemed Soul Ascension Healing Arts school, Brandy is on a continuous educational quest. Currently pursuing her 500-Hour YTT Yoga Alliance certification with Science of Self, she remains deeply committed to expanding her knowledge. In parallel, her dedication to mental health education is unwavering. Brandy actively invites speakers and wellness sponsors to Heart & Soul Yoga, creating a space for inspiration, motivation, community connection, and healing.

Brandy's outreach extends to communities, corporations, and organizations, where she advocates for yoga as a universal remedy for healing, mindfulness, and peaceful living. Her gratitude is reflected in the opportunities to teach yoga and address diverse groups, including Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health, ActiVision, The Lions Club, The Female Maker Market, The Chito Foundation, The City of Whittier School District, The Whole Child, National Charity League, Rise Up Act, and Bridge Home Health & Hospice for Senior Citizens. Currently serving as the Wellness Director for The Uncuffed Project, Brandy Rametta is passionately dedicated to bringing awareness to the transformative power of yoga and fostering holistic well-being for all

Erin Larsen, LCSW

Board Member

Erin Larsen, LCSW, earned her master's degree in Social Work from the University of Utah. She specializes in Gerontology and Medical Social Work. She is the Patient and Family Services manager for a local hospital and is an adjunct instructor at Weber State University. Erin is a wife, mother, and grandmother, who is passionate about her family and her career. She has experience working with diverse populations and remains a strong advocate for marginalized, underrepresented communities. Ms. Larsen has been a board member of The Uncuffed Project for two years. She is excited to see this organization grow while it continues to serve formerly incarcerated individuals navigate their freedom. 

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John "Doc" Fuller

Board Member

John grew up in Keyport, NJ. As a wayward youth he dabbled in petty crimes. At the age of 23, he moved to Los Angeles, where he was seduced by the money and perceived glamor that accompanied a life of crime. John’s criminal behaviors eventually caught up with him, as served one year in a state prison for forgery and eight months later, he was arrested again and spent the next 10 years behind the bars in more than five federal prisons for conspiracy to distribute cocaine. He refused to let that destroy him, and vowed that he would turn his life around and encourage others living on the edge to do the same. When John was released in 2002, he began coaching others who were facing incarceration about how to make the best of their time in prison. In 2004, he formalized his coaching by founding Prison Coach Speaking and  is currently one of the most sought-after prison coaches in the world. An expert in the space of incarceration.

Dr. Deanna Cooke

Board Member

Dr. Deanna Cooke is currently a Clinical Associate Professor and Director of Engaged Learning at Loyola Marymount University.  She previously directed programs at Advancement Project California and at Georgetown University. Dr. Cooke is committed to seeking equity and justice in communities of color through partnership and uplifting community voices. As a Community Psychologist, she has spent over 20 years collaborating with non-profit, non-governmental organizations, and government agencies. Her work seeks to take on community advancement using core principles of community psychology such as working at the levels of individuals, communities, systems, and policies, and seeking to address the root causes of social issues in addition to ameliorating the immediate needs in communities. She is also a senior research associate with Loyola Marymount University’s Applied Research Center and with Imoyase Community Services Inc, through which she has projects related to culturally appropriate mental health services and community collaboration on homelessness. 

Pamela Williams

Board Member

As a university counselor with a Master's in Business Management & Human Resources, Pamela is a certified financial planner and practical money manager. She’s sat on the Board for The Welcome to America Project (WTAP) since 2016, faithfully representing refugees finding support in America after volunteering in 2011. Pamela is committed to serving those less fortunate, returned citizens, and welcoming refugees to America. Building a good life for those less fortunate is what attracted her to The Uncuffed Project. She is a proud mother of one son and loves interior design. Because of her love for everything beautiful, Pamela is passionate about designing tiny and transitional homes for returned citizens

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Ricard Rametta 

Board Member / Geospatial Scientist / Navy Veteran / Social Justice Activist/Bass Guitar Player & Enthusiast 

As a veteran who has weathered the storms of emotional conflicts and anger, my life's purpose has become deeply intertwined with the mission of The Uncuffed Project. My passion lies in guiding homeless veterans, incarcerated veterans, and recently freed individuals toward a path of self-discovery, showcasing the abundance of help available and nurturing the belief in their inherent capacity to forge a positive life.

My educational journey, a testament to resilience and dedication, comprises an associates degree in liberal studies from Los Angeles Harbor College, a Bachelor's degree with a double major in Computer Technology & Labor Studies from California State University Dominguez Hills, a Master's degree in Geographic Information Science from Cal State University Long Beach, and a Graduate Certificate in Geospatial Leadership from the University of Southern California. These academic achievements serve as tools, honed to empower marginalized groups seeking a fresh start.

"There isn't much that separates us as human beings, just the mental barriers we have created in our own minds."

When I'm not with my family or immersed in the realm of GIS professionalism, I dedicate my time to volunteer work. Specifically, I contribute to the development of GIS and IT Solutions, a testament to my commitment to The Uncuffed Project's mission. 

Clifford Lelikona Parker

Board Member

Clifford Lelikona Parker was a formerly incarcerated (life) prisoner, who through many life challenges and struggles, has found himself in trouble since the age of 10. He was able to take advantage of cognitive behavioral programs offered by community members dedicated to preparing those returning home with the necessary tools to become and remain a productive and law abiding citizen. The life skills offered through these cognitive behavioral programs are profound and equip each individual with the necessary tools to enhance quality of life.

Since Clifford's release, he founded two non-profit organizations and has been a strong advocate and dedicated servant to the reentry and homeless population. He has been instrumental in creating several successful reentry and homeless programs in Northern California that offer transitional living, residential living, job skill training, job placement and other services such as family reunification and a multitude of cognitive behavioral therapeutic and educational classes. His practical experience has allowed for a "Real World" solution approach.
 

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Suzanne Daggert

Board Member

Suzanne Daggert is a certified public accountant with her own public practice serving clients in the San Francisco Bay Area and nationwide. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Business Administration from the University of Washington and a Master of Science in Personal Financial Planning from Golden Gate University. Ms. Daggert utilizes her 25 years of experience in small business accounting and family wealth management to assist clients to integrate their personal and professional financial strategies.  She has served on the boards of several non-profit organizations as she seeks to embody the spirit of tikkun olam - repairing the world.
 

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