The Uplifting People, Inc. Board
Ponchellis Jackson, Executive Director
Materials/Process Lab Chemist
Ponchellis Jackson is a returning citizen activist who is working to assist other formerly incarcerated men and women to become successful, law abiding, career oriented, and tax paying citizens. He wants other returning citizens to not only contribute to society, but also to serve as mentors to others who have gone through the criminal justice system to lead law abiding lives. Ponchellis is committed to helping returning citizens establish themselves as responsible adults, parents and leaders in our communities. Ponchellis is a father and husband and active in his church.
Bonnie Erica Horton, Board Secretary
Senior Adviser, Time Served LLC: Serving Those Serving Time
Bonnie Horton has worked in refugee resettlement as well as with an international peace and justice social service organization. Bonnie is also a skilled grant writer and fund raiser and has worked to maximize resources and opportunities for at-risk, underserved and marginalized communities for decades. She is working to help those that are incarcerated prepare for release from prison and assisting returning citizens acclimate back into society and stay out of prison..
Free Polazzo, Board Chair
DSD Business Solutions of Georgia, Partner
Free Polazzo co-founded Uplifting People in 1995 as a way to help people in Georgia not return to prison. Free is currently the owner of a small business which consults with organizations who wish to improve their business processes. He received his Certified Public Accountant (CPA) certificate from the state of Ohio and his MBA from the Graduate School of Business at the University of Michigan. Free has a long career in accounting, auditing and information systems and education. He has worked as an external auditor, an internal auditor, a controller, a systems manager and information systems consultant. He has enjoyed helping middle and high school students to learn mathematics as certified NYC public school teacher as well as teaching accounting and auditing at several colleges. Free is a happy husband, father and grandfather and enjoys working to improve our community’s air quality by helping politicians learn about ways they can help to improve our environment..
Janine Anthony, Board Member
Janine Anthony graduated with honors from Spelman College and The Georgia Institute of Technology with degrees in Mathematics and Electrical Engineering and was the first Women in Science and Engineering (WISE) Scholar from NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center. After working one year as an Electrical Engineer with CSX Transportation, Janine returned to complete graduate studies at Clark Atlanta University and was awarded the Master of Science in Applied Mathematics. Janine was then employed by IBM where she became a certified Senior Project Manager; Janine was also the first President of Greater Women’s Business Council. This was where she developed the desire to work with small businesses and led her to become VP of Business Services and Director of the SBA Women’s Business Center at The Edge Connection (TEC) a micro-enterprise development organization focused on training and counseling micro and emerging businesses based in Kennesaw, GA. This experience led to the formation of J. Anthony Consulting, a boutique business-consulting firm committed to providing customized services for small and mid-sized businesses.
>Roland Carlisle, Board Treasurer
Roland Carlisle serves as Treasurer of Uplifting People. His work history as an accountant was at a wide variety of organizations and includes not for profits, corporate, government, and a big four public accounting firm. Roland is a Florida A&M graduate and also a fierce advocate for social justice. Roland’s passion for criminal justice reform derives from first person experiences which revealed to him many of the injustices in the criminal justice system.
Sarah Walton, Esquire, Board Member
Sarah Walton has been a licensed attorney for over 20 years and recently was licensed to practice law in Georgia. She provides short-term civil legal services to individuals and non-profit organizations. Sarah has co-authored a 600+ page police manual and also provides of training to law enforcement officers. She was a professor of criminal justice and justice studies for 10 years and has also held leadership roles in the League of Women Voters..