The masterminds that propel Got To Stop forward is an outstanding team of visionary leaders from diverse fields fueled by passion and a strong belief in the human spirit’s innate desire for a better life.
We recognize the obstacles that make freedom goals in our society harder to reach. Our Got To Stop team uses historical contexts, creativity and collaboration to find cutting-edge solutions to address the social issues that greatly impact marginalized communities.
Got To Stop is governed by empathy and compassion for others. We recognize we share and are impacted by the same struggles. Our clients problems are our problems. We hold ourselves dutiful and duly responsible and accountable to finding sustainable solutions.
Our Got To Stop practices a commanding growth mindset which provides spaces and opportunities for people to reflect on what’s happening in the world and share their ideas about what should be done to make the world a better place.
We believe change is both a practice and process and the attainment of improvement begins the moment one can recognize, identify, envision, share, and voice what they believe. Our high quality services educate, inspire, enrich, and empower our clients and the communities around them.
If you are a visionary leader looking for a collaborative space to bring new ideas to improve our communities and environments or would like to partner with us on an existing campaign or new endeavor please contact us.
Joy Spears relocated to New York City from Scottsdale Arizona in 2003. She received her bachelor of science degree in Global Finance from Arizona State University and spent over two decades working in accounting and finance for corporations such as Motorola, ASML and The New York Times. Joy is also the owner of Taylor Asset Management, Inc., a boutique residential property management firm in Manhattan.
Joy founded Society of Etiquette & Protocol in 2016 to ensure that civility and manners remain a part of our global society. Joy received her etiquette certification from the prestigious American School of Protocol located in Atlanta, Georgia.
Joy has many years of experience working with adults, teens & young children and spends a good portion of her free time giving back to the community through public and private organizations. Joy is an active member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., The New York Junior League, and Jack & Jill of America, Inc.
Joy lives in Manhattan with her husband and two children.
Gilda D. Gillim, co-founder of Got To Stop is a native New Yorker, who grew up in the historic neighborhood of Harlem. Gilda honed her skills in sales, marketing, and public relations while working in the communications and events industries. Having a deep passion for neighborhood revitalization and growth, Gilda has continuously worked on grass-root initiatives allowing her to speak out and fight against injustices for the voiceless. Co-founding the New York City Breastfeeding Alliance, Inc. (NYCBA), in 2002, which is designed to increase the initiation and duration of breastfeeding amongst middle to low-income women, and help eliminate social and ethnic disparities in breastfeeding, allowed Gilda to create partnerships with various community-based organizations and leaders to educate families on the benefits.
Gilda has served on the board of the New York City Coalition to End Lead Poisoning (NYCCELP), a twenty plus year organization, which is dedicated to eradicating the ills of lead poisoning through education, outreach, legislation, and organizing.
Currently, she is a member of the housing committee of Faith in New York organization, committed to justice and faith-rooted community organizing in order to influence policies and systems that will create a more equitable New York. These organizations, help shape Gilda’s work in legislative advocacy against environmental, educational, social, and economic issues concerning urban communities.
Gilda graduated, with a Bachelor of Science Degree, from Virginia Union University in Marketing and Retail Sales. She attended the Atlantic Theatre Company as a Conservatory Ensemble Member. In the 2017 Primary Races, Gilda was elected as a County Committee Member for the 108th ED 70AD Part A, in the Central Harlem Region of Manhattan.
Kim Dennis-Walker is our expert trainer who brings years of experience in social services, family and youth engagement skills to the forefront in helping our organization grow and succeed.
Kim Dennis-Walker duly serves as our Marketing and Event Coordinator connecting us to strategic partnerships aligned with our mission and goals.
Tim Mahabir is passionate about serving others as a Social Worker and Community Organizer. He has been working in the field professionally since 2014. Tim graduated with his BSW from Nyack College in 2015 and his MSW from the Silberman School of Social Work in 2016. Currently Tim serves as a Counselor for HSE diploma-seeking students at the Central Queens YM & YWHA. As a Social Worker and professional he believes in intentionally serving others to extract and activate untapped purpose. Likewise as a Community Organizer, Tim serves populations whose potential has yet to be tapped into; believing also that the systemic issue of Human Trafficking leaves the potential lives of many young men and women untapped. Tim lives in New York where he is married to his wife, Marissa Mahabir.
Byron E. Price, Ph.D. is a professor of public administration and the former Dean of the School of Businesss at Medgar Evers College of the City University of New York in Brooklyn and the former Lillie and Nathan Ackerman Chair of Social Justice at Baruch College (Visiting Endowed Professor), which is housed in the Center on Equality, Pluralism and Policy. He formerly served as the Director of the Barbara Jordan Institute of Policy Research and as an associate professor of political science in the Barbara Jordan-Mickey Leland School of Public Affairs at Texas Southern University (TSU) in Houston, Texas.
Dr. Price spent five years at Rutgers University-Newark at the School of Public Affairs and Administration where he served as an assistant professor of public administration and director of the MPA and Executive MPA Programs as well as a number of other leadership positions including serving as the Associate Director of the National Center for Public Performance and Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Public Management and Social Policy.
Before beginning his academic career, Byron served in the United States Army as Deputy Commander, Executive Officer and Training Officer at Fort Sill in a period that covered the Desert Storm operation and he honorably separated in 1991 and achieved the rank of Captain. A leading scholar in the field of prison privatization, he is the author of the book, Merchandizing Prisoners: Who Really Pays for Prison Privatization published by Praeger Publishers in March 2006 and the coedited 3-volume set entitled “Prison Privatization: The Many facets of a Controversial Industry” by Praeger Publishers, September 2012.
Dr. Price has published in many academic journals and blogs for Huffington Post Black Voices. His areas of research are prison privatization, prisoner reentry, school-to-prison pipeline, race, politics, social entrepreneurship, impact investment and social justice.
Jorge Luis Vasquez, Jr. is an Associate Counsel at LatinoJustice PRLDEF and litigates on a broad range of civil rights matters. Jorge is a second generation Nuyorican and a proud product of Manhattan’s Lower East Side. He earned his Bachelor’s and Master’s degree from the University at Albany, a Juris Doctorate from Seton Hall University School of Law, and an LL.M. in trial and advocacy from Basely School of Law, Temple University.
During law school Jorge served as a student mediator, representing pro se litigants with pending employment discrimination claims before the Southern District of New York. He also participated in the Immigrant Rights/ International Human Rights Clinic, where he successfully represented a detained Guatemalan national before an Article I Judge.
After law school, Jorge served as a judicial law clerk to a Presiding Judge of the Superior Court of New Jersey. Previously, Jorge was an Agency Attorney with the New York City Commission on Human Rights where he was responsible for enforcing New York City’s Human Rights Law. Prior to the Commission, Jorge was a housing attorney with Legal Services NYC the nation’s largest provider of free civil representation.
Jorge is a lifelong advocate. Because of his dedication and leadership to the community in undergraduate, he received the President’s Award for Leadership. In law school, he was the recipient of the Adeline Lillian Memorial Award for making the law school experience more life-affirming for others through compassionate contributions to the community, and Public Interest Scholar during his LL.M. In 2016, he was named the New York County Bar Association’s Young Lawyer’s Division, Star of the Bar.
Pascale Bernard is a dynamic leader with extensive government, non-profit, education and labor experience. Pascale is the former Deputy Commissioner for the Community Relations Bureau New York City Human Rights Commission. During her tenure at the Human Rights Commission, Pascale led a team that created progressive programming related to Muslim and LGBTQ communities as well as pregnancy accommodations. Pascale worked for the last three New City Council Speakers.
At the City Council, Pascale worked on housing, gun violence, MWBE, women’s issues, small business and public safety. Ms. Bernard worked for Political Action and Legislation Division of District Council 37. During her time at DC 37, Pascale was responsible for the management of the union’s federal political action committee. She was also involved in the union’s advocacy efforts in Albany and New York City. Pascale assisted in developing the union’s Election Day activities for local, state and national elections.
Dr. Marilyn M. Brown is the Sunday School Coordinator at the First Baptist Church of East Stroudsburg. She is a community activist and firmly believes in spiritual, emotional, and academic education. While living in Staten Island, New York, she founded Girl Scout Troop #5363; the first GS Troop within Staten Island with an Afro-Latina as a troop leader. While in Staten Island she was a member of Community Board #1 as well as Youth Services Chair for eight years.
Having been raised in a single-parent household, Dr. Brown has a deep passion for children as well as single parents. Dr. Marilyn M. Brown attended Our Lady of Good Counsel Catholic School and graduated with a Regents Diploma from Curtis High School in 1992. She earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in Child Psychology from Medgar Evers College. She attended Touro College where she earned two dual Master of Science Degrees in Special Education, Childhood Education, School Building, and School Leadership. In February 2018, successfully earned her Doctorate in Special Education with a focus on Behavior Modification from North Central University.
She has worked for the City of New York for the last eighteen years; five as an NYPD Police Officer, and thirteen as an appointed certified Special Education Teacher within the New York Department of Education. Dr. Brown’s educational expertise is attributed to working in Title I schools, students with disabilities, facilitating workshops regarding the Common Core Standards and how it relates to Special Education, Teachers’ College Reading and Writing Project, mentoring educators. She also serves on various hiring committees for the 18-D and the C-30 processes. In her career thus far, she has placed 25 students into a least restrictive environment (LRE).
Currently, she serves as Conflict Resolution Teacher, Mentor, SLT member, and Sustainability Coordinator. Since moving to the East Stroudsburg, PA in 2013, Dr. Brown has continued to serve the community. She belongs and holds offices in various organizations such as the Monroe County NAACP, Greater Pocono Section NCNW, Monroe County Republican Women’s Committee, Council of Exceptional Children, Silver Queens, Chapter #43, P.H.O.E.S, NYAFT, a PROUD member of the UFT, as well as East Pocono Alumnae Chapter, Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. Dr. Marilyn M. Brown is happily married, in like and in love with her husband, David S. Brown.
Her educational philosophy is, “Education is a pathway to liberty; hence it takes a village to raise a child.” Her testimony to everyone who is a student of any level is, “My faith and earning an education saved my life.”
Her motto, “the pain is never in vain.”
Dr. Miller holds an Ed.D in Executive Leadership and a Masters of Education Administration both from St. John Fisher College. He also has a Bachelor of Science in Physical Education and Teacher Cert. from SUNY Brockport.
Dr. Miller has 16 + years in the Urban Public Education system; specializing in school redesign and reform, creating effective change for schools through collaborative missions, visions, and teamwork. Dr. Miller has been a successful at Green Tech for the past five school years with stellar results, more than doubling the graduation rates recognized by the State of New York for Black males.
Additionally, Dr. Miller has over seven years of executive experience as Director of Operations for Team E Foundation, a not-for-profit organization. Dr. Miller has been successful at operating and organizing all aspects of one of the nation’s largest cash paying street-ball basketball tournament, which raises funds to provide full tuition scholarships for inner-city youth who deserve a second chance.
Dr. Miller was nominated and accepted to join the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) an international civil rights organization, as a council member for the Next Generation Leadership Council. He is working to improve youth issues throughout the country and on an international level. The NAACP recognized Dr. Miller by awarding him with their “Living Legend” award in 2017. In 2015, Dr. Miller was recognized by Israel AME Church and received their Men of Honor “Man of the Year” (2015), also he was nominated By Congressional Representative (CHCI) as Top 20 Educators in the Country (2015), St. John Fisher College Distinguished Leadership Award (2015), and Kappa Alpha Psi Distinguished leadership Award (2015.)
Dr. Miller was recognized in 2012 by the City and the County of Albany as a Man of Valor, and as one of the top 40 under 40 Top African American Leaders in Rochester (2011). Additionally, Dr. Miller has made appearances for local news stations and colleges, as a guest panelist with an expertise in Black female’s experiences with cyberbullying. Currently, he is one of the only researcher’s nationally who has viewed cyberbullying from the Black female’s perspective. Dr. Miller also adds to his credentials by having assisted with the writing of The Cyberbullying Manual, with Dr. Jim Colt and Dr. Sam McQuade.
Recently, Dr. Miller wrote two books which are published by Chalfant-Eckert publishing, a nationally recognized publishing company. The first book is called Cyberbullying: Breaking the Cycle of Conflict and the second one is We Need to Do Better: Changing the Mindset of Children through Family, Community, and Education. This Year No More Failures. Both books aim at taking an action based approach to breaking negative cycles within the urban community, in order to improve the quality of life for children.
Dr. Miller proclaims that his biggest professional accomplishments are when students graduate and walk across the stage towards an adult life filled with potential success, unhindered by societal woes, because they have an education. Dr. Miller takes pride in knowing he played a part in their lives and began a cycle of paying it forward for future generations. He said the best feelings arise when students, who may not have previously seen the light at the end of the tunnel, wake up and not only become productive but are now willing to help others become productive as well.
Dr. Coralanne Griffith-Hunte is a Human, Trauma & Industrial Psychologist. As a certified clinical trauma specialist, Dr. Hunte seeks daily to create a safe space to empower individuals to unmask their dividedness, affirm their true identities and welcome their souls to wholeness. She’s the founder and chairwoman of Created for Greatness Leadership Group, Inc. In addition, she is a professor at the College of New Rochelle. Dr. Griffith-Hunte, works tirelessly with key government officials and other organizations at the state, local and federal level to pass legislation favorable to the educational mission, human rights, domestic violence, anti-gang, community engagement and empowerment for New York City families.
Dr. Griffith-Hunte, was appointed as the Vice Chair and Long Island Director for Not On My Watch Inc, in July of 2018. She is also a member of Senator James Sanders Economic and Marking Committee. Dr. Griffith-Hunte serves as an Executive Board Member for several other public and private schools and organizations. She has over 25 years’ experience as an Orator, Educator, Mentor, Community Advocate, Humanitarian and the creator of the A. T. T. Model of Living.
In 2007, she was elected as the Vice President and then President for School Board 27, where she governed over 60 schools and was the adviser to the Mayor and Chancellor of New York City. She served in these capacities until 2015. In addition, she was appointed as the educational and community representative for the President of the Borough of Queens for the late, Honorable Helen Marshall. She’s the recipient of copious public service, educational and religious organizational awards including the Citation of Honor from the Office of the President of the Borough of Queens, New York, The Distinguished Alumni Award of 2014 and the Community Leader’s Award. She has been appeared in several well-known publications.
In 2014, Dr. Hunte was characterized as the walking representation of Mahatma Gandhi’s quote, “Be the change you want to see in the world.” Dr. Griffith-Hunte’s various leadership positions afford her the ability to govern effectively, her goal is to deliver vital strategies that produce growth within organizations and communities resulting in positive and beneficial outcomes. Thus, she actively seeks out and develop relationships with various professionals within the local and state government, The Police Department, Clergy members, the local community boards, health services professionals and financial institutions. Through collaborative efforts with these various organizations, she’s able to organize and execute organizational, community and school district programs, initiatives, and events with the purpose of exposing stakeholders (i.e. teams, communities, families) to strategies and resources available to them. She is one of the well-known and actively sought after public and motivational speakers.
Dr. Griffith-Hunte, has been married for 20 years and is the proud mother of four beautiful children.
Litza is a Licensed Professional Counselor, Speaker, Life Coach, and Educator who is on a mission to challenge the stereotypes and stigmas surrounding mental health. She has received a B.A. in Psychology and a B.A. in Spanish from the University of North Texas and a M.A. in Community Counseling from Argosy University. She has multiple years of experience working with adults, teens, and children in various settings, including Parkland Hospital, Garland and Dallas ISD, as well at her private practice Shining Lights Counseling LLC. Litza is originally from the Republic of Panama and now resides in Dallas, Texas, her second home. Through her private practice, she is changing the face of mental health and proving that mental health is for everyone. She thrives in empowering people of color to use their inner strengths to overcome obstacles like fear, anxiety, depression, grief, relationship issues and stress. Litza truly wants everyone to let their inner light shine bright!
Athenia served 28 years of active duty service in the United States Army. Originally, from Westbury, New York. She is now retired and resides in Texas with her beautiful daughter.
Retired Army Master Sergeant (MSG/e-8)
Army Combat Medical Specialist (Medic)
2016- Basic Healthcare Administration (BHAC) Course
2012- Basic Instructor Training Course
2011- Battle Staff Harassment Course
2010- Sexual Harassment / Assault Response and Prevention (SHARP) Course
2006- BCS3 NET (Battle Sustainment Support System)
2005- Senior Leaders Course
2004- Equal Opportunity Course
2003- FBCB2, Force Battle Combat Brigade and below training
2020- Master Degree in Healthcare Administration, Ashford University, IA
2014- Bachelor Degree in Healthcare Administration, Ashford University, IA
Toni D. Rivera, Sex Trafficking Survivor and Activist's childhood forced her to confront the toxicity of sexual abuse and the destructive cycles of trauma that followed as a direct result of profound betrayal.
According to the National Child Traumatic Stress Network, “child sexual abuse is [unfortunately] not rare. Retrospective research indicates that as many as 1 out of 4 girls and 1 out of 6 boys will experience some form of sexual abuse before the age of 18. 1 However, because child sexual abuse is by its very nature secretive, many of these cases are never reported.”
Although Rivera’s trauma led to years of hopelessness, insurmountable grief, drug addiction, and sexual exploitation, she hit rock bottom after being kidnapped.
Rivera, now a mother, wife, and a proud medical professional, has surpassed recovery, has become a pillar of support for kids and women in crisis battling similar circumstances, and, sadly, sometimes worse. Rivera debunked the myth survivors never recover.
Toni has taken her painful experiences of being molested and sex and human trafficking and turned them into fuel for her mission as a one-woman army taking on the streets across the globe in an attempt to save the youth. Inform the public and community on what's lurking in their backyards for our children.
Toni's book, Silent Screams, retells the riveting accounts of Toni's life growing us in Calhoun Falls, South Carolina.. She brings you in with a horrific beating and rape she went through that nearly took her life. This story is about pain, sex trafficking, and so much more of life issues. She talks about being homeless, not have a penny living in a car eating out of the trash. These events planted a seed in Toni that grew into the desire to empower other people the youth but empowering herself mostly. Ultimately, it is a book about how to keep children safe.
The sky is the limit for Toni as she continues to break glass ceilings and becomes the face for survivors. Toni aspires to continue to make strides in the film and entertainment industry, and to internationally grow her non-profit, The R.O.S.E. Organization.
Tonya Turner served as the National Training and Technical Assistance Director during her tenure at GEMS (Girls Educational and Mentoring services). GEMS is the only organization in New York State designed to serve girls and young women who have experienced commercial sexual exploitation and domestic trafficking.
With extensive prior experience working within Fortune 500 companies at all organizational levels, where she created, promoted and delivered solutions designed for large scale growth. Tonya is considered a master trainer and business strategist leader.
During her recent tenure at GEMS she led a team to conduct hundreds of trainings and to provide technical assistance across the country for legal professionals, law enforcement, and social service directors, start-ups on the issue of commercial sexual exploitation and domestic trafficking.
Notable past participants include the Administration for Children’s Services, Department of Education, New York’s’ Police Task Force, and various government agencies.
Ms. Turner is a highly sought keynote speaker, and strategist focusing on assisting organizations in defining program gaps, restraints and drivers, and develop business plans to achieve overall goals in alignment with their missions.
Jonesy is a brave mother of a sex trafficking survivor. As a parent who has witnessed the horrors of sex trafficking, she has turned her pain into power, by speaking publicly about her experience.
Jonesy, has traveled to Washington, D.C. urging Congress to support both FOFSTA, and SESTA legislations banning sex advertisements on Backpages.com. She currently is active in her community by attending the NYPD community and safety meetings and spreading awareness about trafficking. Most importantly, she was invited to be the only parent advocate on the New York Mayors Traffic-Free NYC, which meets monthly with various providers to combat human sex trafficking in New York City.
Last year, NYC lost 2300 children to trafficking, Jonesy hopes to lower the number of children exposed by collaborating strategies with Traffic Free NYC. She had extensive experience working with children and was a previously mandated reporter for Administrative Services For Children.
Besides,serving as Parent Advocate, Jonesy is the Manhattan Borough Director of Not On My Watch, Inc. NOMW is the only service organization made up of survivors of domestic violence and sex and human trafficking.
During her spare time, she is an Advisory Board Member and volunteers to many community service organizations that serve children including: Not On My Watch, Inc., The Harlem Childrens Zone, Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., The African American Day Parade, The Parentjobnet, The Grassroots Aspen Experience, Children For Children, Kids Who Cook, Inc., The YMCA Teen Action Program, SANKOFA, Inc., the NAACP ACT-SO, The March of Dimes, Gladiators Sports, The Wendy Hilliard Foundation, The Stay Strong Foundation, FC Harlem Youth Soccer, The Ludacris Foundation, People United For Children, Inc., Future Leaders Institute, and Women In Need, Inc.
She resides in New York with her 19-year old twins who have appeared on CNN, New York Times and in the Daily News with President Barack Obama and with Soccer star, David Beckham.
After spending years in the working-class culture, I decided to join the intellectual crowd and pursue a degree in Public Administration. I have years of sales, hospitality, brand ambassador and administrative background and wanted to increase my skills and future earning potential so attending college was the best option for my goals. I enjoy being challenged and expanding my network and CUNY has provided both elements in my experience. Since attending school, I have discovered my desire to practice Law and pursue a career as an attorney in NYC. With my current continuing education, and my multi-faceted career skills I am currently seeking a position in a Law Firm as an administrative assistant, or a marketing firm as an entry level brand ambassador. I enjoy interacting with people, expanding my network, and love doing research! With all the vast variety of fields I have had the opportunity to work in, I believe that I am able to quickly adapt to any work environment and possess competitive skills that prove I can be an asset to any organization. I look forward to networking with you!
Dawn Shawnt'e Blackman, Sex trafficking Survivor, and Domestic Violence Activist Against Human trafficking.
Dawn's life work is to educate communities on the dangers of Sex-Trafficking and commercial sexual exploitation of children.
to empower young women around the world. Her message to the trafficked community is,WE ARE NOT VICTIMS. WE ARE SURVIVORS. WE ARE MORE THAN SURVIVORS. WE ARE WARRIORS."
As a survivor, she is committed to using her personal journey out of "the life," to empower young women around the world. Her message to the trafficked community is,, "WE ARE NOT VICTIMS. WE ARE SURVIVORS. WE ARE MORE THAN SURVIVORS. WE ARE WARRIORS."
Amanda Gloria Valdes is an actress, yogini, and teaching artist. Amanda began performing at age 9 and decided wanted to make this a lifelong love. Amanda studied acting at Rutgers University and William Esper Studio. After studying the craft went on to perform on the silver screen to the stage.
Amanda had a calling to do something more to really help and unify with her community. So, Amanda began teaching artist work at Nite Star St Luke's Hospital to CUNY Creative Arts team using theater in the classroom. In the midst of her teaching artist work, Amanda started to explore Yoga by becoming a certified yoga teacher in 2012.
Since then she has gained 525 yoga teaching certification hours in Ayurvedic Medicine, Bhakti, Restorative yoga, Energy/Subtle body, Fly and Super sequencing. Amanda manages and teaches at Laughing Lotus NYC. Amanda has explored India learning about the history of the ancient practices to then leading a yoga retreat in Thailand.
Amanda has been featured in Yoga Journal, Self Magazine, Refinery 29 and Daily Burn.
Craig Hunter is a Meditation Wellness Coach, Certified Energetic Practitioner and Group Fitness Expert. In addition, he is an educator at the NYC Department of Education.
Craig Hunter has meditated since 1981, and is influenced by Satyananda Yoga Nidra, and Kundalini Kriyas, and practices at the Shambala Institute. In 2006 he studied Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction, at the Mindfulness Center, University of Massachusetts Medical School. Craig has been certified by Yogi Charu, master teacher of Savi Yoga and co-head instructor training at Pure Yoga.
Craig developed a new innovative approach to fitness called Cycletherapy. A moving meditative practice that enhances well being through the energy centers of the body. Also developed profound new healing meditation practices which has been well received by NYC's top fitness clubs, ABC TV and Agapi Stassinopoulos of The Huffington Post.
He was named "Urban Zen Dude" by clients at Equinox Fitness in NYC where he leads meditation classes with relatable warmth and integrity.