Meet the tribe
Andre Simms, also known to the community as performing artist DayOneNotDayTwo, is an activist, artist, and the Lead Organizer for the Youth Art & Self Empowerment Project. After serving 8 years in prison at the age of 17, Andre has been working with YASP & the Care, Not Control Coalition to end youth incarceration in Pennsylvania.
Andre coordinates a youth led participatory defense hub in Philadelphia, facilitates art and poetry workshops in the Philadelphia jails, and runs a music program that pays local artists to create socially responsible music and poetry as a way to combat the culture of violence in Philadelphia.
Andre is also part of the Care, Not Control coalition which is a statewide advocacy campaign with the mission to end the carceral state for youth in Pennsylvania. Through his work with Care, Not Control Andre has spoken with lawmakers using his experience to advocate for reform within the juvenile justice system. He has also organized protests panels and press conferences all in which he’s used his experience and platform to advocate for safer futures for young people. He was most recently featured on CSPAN during a panel alongside Liz Ryan where he addressed the media’s portrayal of youth crime.
Andre’s mission is to inspire, Empower, and make positive impacts that lead to equal opportunities for all.
Andre "DayOneNotDayTwo" Simms
Jason M. Coles is a graduate of Howard University where he studied finance in the nation’s capital. He also holds an MBA in management information systems from Wilmington University in Delaware. In 2018 Jason founded and created the platform Katika to better help people find and connect to black owned businesses and resources. Jason has been a strong advocate of building up local communities through economics by using technology. He has created several programs and events in the city educating people about the importance of supporting local businesses.
Maxine Morris is a painter, poet, performer, and the Creative Arts Coordinator at DayOneNotDayTwo. She has used art as an outlet to overcome childhood adversity and now, through the Art of Healing, facilitates workshops that empower other young people to do the same. Through her poetry she paints unapologetic pictures of the pain, passion, and punishment associated with coming of age in Philadelphia. Through her abstract paintings Maxine's voice speaks to the power of perspectives.
Jessie Keel C.P.S. is an eternal student of life who embodies empathetic leadership via radical grassroots organizing, advocacy, and effective collaboration, she leads with love and holistic innerstanding to support her community. As a whole-hearted community organizer with aspirations to “Heal the Future”, she sows seeds of healing and empowerment within youth & young adults who inquire to lead organizing efforts. Much of her past projects centers youth voices and experiences as they are all too often stigmatized and stifled. Her passions derive from her own lived experience of being impacted by youth systems- ex; foster care, juvenile delinquency, youth homelessnes, navigating mental health and anger management- allowing her to pave the way for her to support youth facing the same systemic barriers & adversities.
Jessie is an ideal person to touch base with when it comes to resource navigation in Philadelphia. She is currently a CoChair of the PH4Y Coalition, a Co Founding member of the former powerhouse Youth HEALers Stand-Up, the CoOrganizer of Youth Mentorship and Community Engagement for The Womanist Working Collective, and a Holistic Wellness Consultant & Detox Specialist via the IASV Academy.
“Love and Build, Love and Fight, Love and Work. Always Love First. Anything placed before Love will Fail” -Sistah Souljah
Lead Youth Organizer
Sashaun Townsend is advocate for the restoration of our communities. He believes the root cause of the destruction and violence in our communities is from lack of communication and aims to bridge the gap between younger black males and the older black male generation. Townsend is a student of the universe and values teaching and learning from each other,
Chief Operations Officer
During the mandatory sentence climate and the war on crime Andre Davis was convicted and sentenced to 140-280 years for twelve counts of robbery and four counts of conspiracy, restyling from four different robberies. For the first ten years of his sentence he continued the same pattern of drug use that had driven his life for over two decades. In 1993, he became determined to change his life and entered the intensive Inpatient Drug and Alcohol Behavior Adjustment Unit at Graterford. After sixteen months of treatment, and being reconnected to the spirituality that his parents had instilled in him, he returned to general population. He has since been extraordinarily active in his own transformational process, and his personal quest to intervene in other men’s destructive life patterns.
Andre has participated in the longest consistently running reentry program, People Advancing Reintegration (PAR) since 1997. Over the years he has served as facilitator, Director of Operations, Lead Facilitator/Curriculum Coordinator, and Executive Director. He is one of the founding members of the LIFERS’ Public Safety Initiative (PSI) and now serves on the Steering Committee.