MEET THE TEAM
We are dedicated to funding evidence-based strategies that can stop murders before they happen.
Lashonia Thompson-El is excited to join Peace For DC, effective April 26, 2022, as Executive Director in charge of overseeing our investments and partnerships working to eliminate violence and create safe and peaceful communities throughout DC.
Ms. Thompson-El joins Peace For DC from the Office of the Attorney General for the District of Columbia, where she served as Co-Chief of the Violence Reduction Unit. Since 2018, Lashonia has helped to oversee the Cure the Streets program at the OAG. Cure the Streets uses a data-driven process to reduce gun violence and operates in discrete high violence neighborhoods using a public health approach and treating gun violence as a disease that can be interrupted, treated, and stopped from spreading.
Lashonia is one of the District’s leading Restorative Justice practitioners and she is an expert in gender-responsive criminal justice reform. Prior to joining the DC Office of Attorney General Lashonia worked at the Mayor’s Office on Returning Citizens Affairs (MORCA) coordinating gender-responsive reentry efforts. She has also worked as a Program Analyst at the DC Corrections Information Council (CIC) inspecting prison conditions in facilities where DC residents are incarcerated.
As a directly impacted, native Washingtonian Lashonia is committed to transformative justice and the public health approach to healing and preventing harm. She believes strongly in a community-centric, people-centered approach to accountability and harm reduction. She feels that this is an exciting time to be in partnership with community. The District has come a long way in building a credible workforce. Now the work begins as we set out to provide frontline workers with the support, training, and resources they need to be successful at preventing gun violence and changing unhealthy community norms.
Roger Marmet is working to reduce gun violence to honor the memory of his son, Tom Marmet, as well as every other victim of homicide in the District. Tom was 22 when he was killed, October 24, 2018, just driving home from his first job out of college working for So Others Might Eat. Tom’s murder was another senseless but possibly preventable tragedy in the plague of DC gun violence.
Since then, Roger has dedicated his time to advocacy - and now action. He is dedicated to building community-powered resources to save lives in DC’s most dangerous neighborhoods, and bringing philanthropy to helping reduce the homicide rate in the city.
Roger was born in Washington DC and had a long career in television before entering the restaurant business. He has been active in the leadership of nonprofit organizations and is now committed to bringing resources to the most desperately needed neighborhoods in the city that he - and his son - loved so much for all their lives.
Co-Founder | Strategy & Advocacy Lead
Rachel Usdan became involved in the gun violence reduction space in 2016 as a volunteer with the DC chapter of Moms Demand Action. Rachel learned that while DC has relatively strong gun safety laws, the city’s borders are porous and illegal guns can easily enter the city. It wasn’t until Rachel volunteered with Moms Demand Action that she realized she too was a survivor; her uncle died by gun suicide before Rachel was born. Rachel recognized the ripple effects that that tragedy had on her family was the same as the heartbreaking ripple effects that trauma has had on so many DC families who have had loved ones taken by gun violence, homicide or suicide.
After Rachel‘s hometown neighborhood (Tree of Life, Squirrel Hill, PA) and the high school that her husband attended (Marjorie Stoneman Douglas, Parkland, FL) both experienced mass shooting in the same year, Rachel decided she wanted to do more. In 2018, Rachel became the DC Chapter Leader for Moms Demand Action. By then, Rachel understood that much more beyond gun safety laws could make a community safe. Rachel worked hard to show up and listen and get to know the amazing Black- and brown-led local community organizations doing the arduous work of interrupting violence and healing trauma in DC.
Rachel is proud that as Chapter Leader, the DC Chapter of Moms successfully advocated for DC’s first Gun Violence Prevention Director, and effectively directed advocacy to increase government funding of gun violence reduction programs. She also led the chapter in supporting the passage of many of DC's gun safety legislation, DC Chapter's first Advocacy Day in 2019, and Advocacy Week in 2021.
Rachel is honored to be a part of Peace For DC - working to encourage philanthropy to make coordinated investments in violence intervention, to give DC’s peacemakers and community-based organizations the tools they need to build capacity and be successful in their work, and to co-create DC’s next phase of safety, peace, and wellness.
DC Peace Academy Director of Learning
Peace For DC welcomes Nakeda Gilbert as our new Director of Learning for the DC Peace Academy. Nakeda brings a wealth of management experience working in the violence intervention field, as well as work in the corporate and business world, and life experience as a mother and deep ties living and working with community in Ward 7. Nakeda is a strong, organized leader who also brings true compassion and patience, which are very valuable for this new role.
The Peace For DC Fund is housed at the Greater Washington Community Foundation.
former U.S. Secretary of Education
Credible Messenger Mentoring Movement - CM3,
former Director of the D.C. Department of Youth Rehabilitation Services
NO MURDERS DC,
Enterprise Community Partners
The TraRon Center
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