FLORIDA RIGHTS RESTORATION COALITION OFFICERS
Desmond Meade, President
Desmond Meade is the current President of the Florida Rights Restoration Coalition, and the State-Wide Coordinator of the Rights NOW! Rally. Born in St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands, he continues to keep firmly grounded in his Caribbean roots, making sure that all his friends and colleagues understand a bit of his heritage
Desmond is greatly respected by his peers, faculty and colleagues, and leaders in the community, and has received many accolades, celebrating his hard work and dedication to leadership and commitment to social justice. Some of the major achievements Desmond would like to feature is his induction into Phi Theta Kappa, International Honor Society; induction into MDC Chapter of Lambda Epsilon Chi, The National Honor Society for Paralegal Studies; his recent induction into Sigma Alpha Pi, the National Society of Leadership and Success; being appoint to the Miami Dade College Law Center Advisory Council; being featured as the 2008 MDC Honors Recipient for The Law Center, being the co-founder and inaugural President of MDC's Society of Law and Community Service.
Graduating with highest honors with degrees in Paralegal Studies, Pre-Law, and Public Safety Management with a concentration in Criminal Justice, Desmond is now a 2nd year law student at Florida International University's College of Law. His dedication to social justice and community service is not only reflected in his grades and school activities, but reaches out to all areas of his life. It is his passion to empower those individuals who suffer from being residentially displaced. Desmond experienced chronic homelessness for approximately nine years, but was fortunate to have discovered the services offered at Community Partnership for Homeless Inc. The misery culminated in his wanting to commit suicide by train in August of 2005. He didn’t go through with it, and decided to enter into a substance abuse treatment facility where he achieved sobriety. As someone who once suffered from homelessness Desmond Meade has dedicated his time towards finding ways to give back to the community. He is proud to work and hold positions with the following distinguished organizations: Homeless Formerly Homeless Forum (H.F.H.F.) as Co-Vice Chair and Chair of the Rights Restoration Committee, South Florida’s Congress for Racial Equality (C.O.R.E.) as Restoration of Rights Coordinator, Florida Restoration of Rights Coalition (F.R.R.C.) as former Secretary for the Steering Committee and now President, a board member designee of Miami Dade Homeless Trust, a former member of Florida Attorney General's Gang Reduction Task Force for Area 7, member of Mt. Olive Development Corporation Re-Entry Coalition and Mentoring, the Black Law Student Association, the Caribbean Student Bar Association, Criminal Law Society, and 1-L Representative of the Student Bar Association
As an ex-offender, Desmond has the capacity to lend a broader view of the challenges and benefits faced by ex-offenders attempting re-entry into the community. He is also a model example of the value of persistence in the commitment to change. His life experiences serves as a perfect conduit to reach both the ex-offender, and the community in the facilitation of a successful re-entry. Desmond's triumphant story has been featured in several major newspapers throughout Florida, and on television.
Jessica Chiappone, Vice President
Ms. Chiappone is the current Vice- President of Florida Rights Restoration Coalition. As a single mother raising two outstanding young boys, current ages eleven and five, Ms. Chiappone was able to obtain her law degree from Nova Southeastern University in 2011. Ms. Chiappone has since passed the New York Bar Exam and is planning on taking the July 2012 Florida Bar Exam.
Ms. Chiappone is respected among her peers and is well known in her community for her dedication and advocacy for disadvantaged youth and in the area of re-entry services and rights for impacted individuals.
While attending law school, Ms. Chiappone was appointed by the American Bar Association as Law Student Division Liaison to the Criminal Justice Section’s Juvenile Justice Committee in both 2009 and again in 2010. Included in her work with the ABA, Ms. Chiappone researched various aspects of the collateral consequences of juvenile adjudications and drafted research summaries for a proposed policy that was subsequently adopted as an official ABA policy. Due to her dedication and hard work with the Juvenile Justice Committee, Ms. Chiappone was awarded ABA LSD Outstanding Liaison Award in 2010.
Ms. Chiappone was also appointed by the American Bar Association as a Law Student Division 5th Circuit Lt. Governor for a Pre-Release/ Re-entry Initiative. Ms. Chiappone created a Volunteer Re-entry program in conjunction with Broward County Sheriff’s Office which enabled law students to assist Broward County Sheriff’s Office in providing Re-Entry Services to individuals set for release from local jails. Due to Ms. Chiappone’s hard work and dedication in the area of re-entry, she was the recipient of the ABA LSD Silver Key Award in 2011.
During Ms. Chiappone’s last year in law school, she created the General Education Advocacy Program Nova Southeastern University Children and Families Clinic. This program initially was created to represent children in the education system that were facing suspension and/or expulsion. This program is not only still running, but has expanded to help children with various other educational issues as well as representing children aging out of foster care that are being denied future benefits. Upon graduation Ms. Chiappone was the recipient of the Honorable Charles I. Kaplan Outstanding Service Award for the development of the General Education Advocacy Program.
While in law school, Ms. Chiappone also managed to take on leadership positions in a variety of law school activities and groups including, but not limited to, Criminal Law Society- Vice President; Public Interest Law Society- Vice President; Phi Alpha Delta- Co-Vice Justice; Italian American Law School Association- Vice President; Student Bar Initiative- Secretary; Law Student Advisor, and member of the Pro Bono Honor Program.
For undergrad, Ms. Chiappone attended St. Johns University, where she obtained her Bachelor of Science with a major in Criminal Justice and a minor in Psychology. While attending St. Johns, Ms. Chiappone was on the Dean’s List and was the recipient of the National Law Enforcement Scholarship Award and the Arthur B. Carton Scholarship Award. She was also a member of Alpha Phi Sigma (National Criminal Justice Honor Society) and the National Criminal Justice Association.
Ms. Chiappone has refused to let a society labeled status as an ex-offender, stop her from achieving immeasurable accomplishments and helping pave the way for those who choose to follow in her footsteps and not let their past be an excuse for not working towards a brighter future. Ms. Chiappone continues to work hard to break down the barriers and extensive limitations her status places upon her, so that each and every one of us can have a chance to succeed.
Dr. Rosalind Osgood, Secretary-Treasurer
Dr. Rosalind Osgood is a former welfare mom who previously lived homeless on the streets of Fort Lauderdale. Homelessness was the result of her struggle with substance and alcohol addiction. Through faith in God, and the help of numerous men and women, she has been able to change her life in ways that were previously unimaginable to her. Formerly disfranchised, Dr. Osgood was fortunate to regain her civil rights, and have made numerous achievements and is also an excellent mother of three children attending college.
Dr. Osgood has an earned Master’s and Doctoral Degree in Public Administration from Nova Southeastern University. In December of 2007, she earned a Master’s of Divinity Degree from New Orleans Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. Reverend Osgood has the unique honor of being the first woman in the history of the New Mount Olive Baptist Church to be licensed, ordained, and positioned in the pulpit by the World Renown Reverend Dr. Mack King Carter, Pastor Emeritus of the New Mount Olive Baptist Church of Fort Lauderdale, Fl. She currently serves the New Mount Olive Baptist Church of Fort Lauderdale, under the tutelage of the esteemed Dr. Marcus D. Davidson, in various capacities. She is the Minister of Christian Education responsible for the Church School Ministry. She is also the host of the Women Reaching Women Word Network Monday – Friday morning at 6:30 EST, a ministry of DROMINISTRIES, the ministry founded by Dr. Rosalind Osgood . This is an international ministry for women, children, and families. www.droministries.com. Dr. Osgood is a highly sought after itinerate preacher, and also finds time to serve as the guest lecturer for various community events, church services and public policy forums.
Dr. Rosalind Osgood has over 17 years of professional experience in mid to upper-level management in non-profit organizations. She is currently the President/CEO of Mount Olive Development Corporation (MODCO). In this capacity, she has demonstrated extraordinary managerial and transformational leadership skills. Dr. Osgood has a tenacious work ethic, creative and innovative mind, and critical thinking skills that have fostered and given birth to various new programs designed to reach those recovering from addiction, homelessness, and incarceration . She is also an Adjunct professor at Nova Southeastern University in the Master’s of Public Administration Program teaching Ethics, Strategic Management, Leadership, Public Policy and Program Evaluation, Organizational Behavior, and Organizational Theory and Practice. As a professional consultant, areas of expertise are non-profit management, strategic planning, organizational development, and leadership.
Reverend Dr. Rosalind Osgood is an educator, humanitarian and public servant who is dedicated to service. She is the author of two academic articles, "Moral Development and Municipal Elected Officials" and "Ethics in Municipal Government in Florida". She is also the author of the Story behind the Story, a profound literary repose'. In addition, she is a member of numerous professional organizations to include Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. Dr. Osgood exemplifies an extraordinary commitment to volunteerism. She is the former public policy chair for both the Broward County and State of Florida Branches of the American Association of University Women. She has served four years as a member of the Substance Abuse Advisory Board for Broward County, two years on the CRA Advisory Board for the City of Fort Lauderdale, two years on the Board of Directors for the Broward Coalition for the Homeless, and one year as vice chair of the Broward County Housing Council. She is currently Secretary for the Florida Restoration of Rights Coalition, a member of the Best for Broward Babies Advisory Board, a member of the Broward Teen Alliance Coalition, and member of the Children's Movement of Florida.In terms of public service accolades, awards, and recognition the followings chronology is in order. In 2010, Dr. Osgood was awarded the Bank America Local Heroes Award and the Friends of the Broward County Library Community Service Award. In 2009, Dr. Osgood was inducted into the Broward County Women’s Hall of Fame and was awarded the 2009 JM Families African-American Achievers Award for community service. In February 2008, Dr. Osgood was featured in the Westside Gazette Newspaper’s Black History Profile. In 2006, Dr. Osgood served as the Grand Marshall for the Martin Luther King Parade. In 2005, Reverend Osgood was honored as an “Outstanding Citizen” by the Sistrunk Festival Parade Committee. She was featured in the Saturday, February 5, 2005 lifestyle section of the Sun-Sentinel Newspaper. She was the recipient of the 2004 Broward County Urban League’s Kathleen Wright Legacy Community Service Award.
Dr. Osgoods' motto is as follows: "Optimize Opportunities and Obtain Outstanding Outcomes". This motto is exemplary of service, time, and commitment to women, children, and families. In retro and current perspective, Dr. Rosalind Osgood is an experienced, proven, fighter for what is right, what is good, and what is needed to sustain and maximize the quality of life for the human race.