Our Staff provides a welcoming and supportive space for family members of murder victims to be heard, to connect with other murder victim family members who oppose the death penalty, and to more effectively raise their voices to advocate for victim family member needs – needs shared by victims/survivors regardless of their views on capital punishment. Our Staff includes victims/survivors of violence and persons with extensive training and experience in working with persons who have experienced sudden, traumatic loss.
Jack Sullivan, Jr, Executive Director
Raleigh, North Carolina
MVFR’s Executive Director, Jack Sullivan, Jr., is a native of Cleveland, OH. He is a racial justice activist, an ordained minister, and, of course, an advocate for the abolishment of the death penalty.
Jack has been justice-focused since 1968, when, as an eight-year old, he joined his family, community and nation in expressing outrage and grief over the assassination of the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. After Dr. King’s murder, the pivotal question that was asked in Jack’s neighborhood was, “Who will replace Dr. King?” Like many others of his generation, Jack indicated his interest in working for justice and peace. During childhood he joined his mother and grandmother as they walked picket lines demanding fair treatment as garment workers.
As a young adult serving as a church pastor, Jack participated in marches and candlelight vigils protesting death sentences and execution dates at Missouri’s state prison in Jefferson City, while working with clergy colleagues to demand the hiring of African American educators in the local high school. He would later lead faith leaders in Washington State as they lobbied elected officials, including then Governor Gary Locke, to abolish the death penalty. Jack worked with these same faith leaders to demand living wages, the exposure and dismantling of systemic racism, the inclusion of sexual orientation as a protected class in discrimination laws, global economic justice, and peace between nations.
Jack comes to MVFR as one whose life has been altered by murder. In 1997, Jack’s younger sister, Jennifer, was slain in Cleveland at the age of 21. In the traumatic days, weeks and months that followed, Jack’s family steadfastly rejected any notion that the killer(s) be sentenced to death if apprehended. No one was ever arrested in Jennifer’s death.
With over 32 years of service as a minister, Jack has led congregations in Kentucky, Missouri, Michigan, Washington State, and Ohio. He has been regional minister (bishop) of two distinct regional configurations of his church body, the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) US and Canada. In 2009, while a pastor in Cleveland, Jack worked with ministerial colleagues and congregants in providing pastoral care and economic support for the families of 11 African American women who were murdered by a serial killer.
Jack holds a Bachelor of Science from Ohio University, Athens, OH; a Master of Divinity from Lexington (KY) Theological Seminary; a Doctor of Ministry from United Theological Seminary, Dayton, OH; and an honorary Doctor of Divinity from Bethany College, Bethany, WV. He is a life member of both the NAACP and Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. Jack is married to the Reverend Sèkinah Hamlin who is the Director of the Washington, DC-based Ecumenical Poverty Initiative. He is the father of Nia, a college senior, and Jackie, a high school senior. Jack and Sèkinah are in the process of adopting two young children.
Horace Knight Jr., Delaware Coordinator
New Castle, Delaware
Horace Knight, Jr. joined MVFR in November 2012 as the Delaware Coordinator. Horace, a native of Burlington, New Jersey, brings an array of personal and professional skills that enable him to provide members with support while advocating for the needs of family members following murder. Recently he served as the Marketing Director on a political campaign where he was able to create many relationships that enhance his work in Delaware. He has worked in the Human Services field for more than 10 years compiling experience that includes working as a Behavioral Assistant/Consultant, a Case Manager working with high school students who self- identified as teenage parents and most recently, a case manager for the state of Delaware working with Developmentally Disabled Individuals. Horace received his B.S. in Business (Marketing) from the Richard Stockton College of NJ. Horace studies photography and champions social media technology for personal enrichment.
Jason Ortiz, Campaign Strategist
Raleigh, North Carolina
Jason Ortiz is MVFR's Campaign Strategist and works to help our members organize their efforts and ensure their voices are heard in the movement to abolish the death penalty. He assists local members in creating action plans, holding strategic conference calls and coordinating their efforts with local coalitions. He also maintains our website and database and strives to help local members use modern digital tools to their best ability. Jason got his Bachelors degree in Public and Community Engagement from the University of Connecticut. He has worked on a number of progressive campaigns, both issue based and electoral, with victories electing Strong Progressive to the School Board of Durham North Carolina, and changing drug policy law in CT.
You can contact Jason at email@example.com.
Teresa Avent, Administrative Assistant
Raleigh, North Carolina
Bio Coming Soon