Jerome Morgan, Robert Jones, and Daniel Rideau developed plans for Free-Dem Foundations while they were incarcerated in the Louisiana State Prison at Angola. At a time when it seemed certain that the three of them had no chance of freedom and would all die in prison, they resolved that if they were freed they would reunite as free men and work together to help build community cohesion and self-sufficiency in the neighborhoods where they were raised, and provide special help to the young men living there to escape the snares of mass incarceration. 

With assistance from social justice organizations Jones and Morgan proved that they had been wrongfully convicted and were freed after Jones spent twenty-three and a half years and Morgan spent twenty years in prison for crimes they did not commit. Rideau was released after serving nine years when evidence revealed irregularities in his sentencing. After release, they set up a barber shop and mentoring program that enrolled then twenty year-old Samson Price as their first apprentice.

Let us go forward in this battle fortified by conviction that those who labour in the service of a great and good cause will never fail.



Program Coordinator

Volunteer Mentor Coordinator

Vladmir Celius is a Mentor, Trainer, Peer Support Specialist, Counselor and Coach with over 16 years’ experience working with at risk youth. Vladimir specializes in life skills coaching and is responsible for leading the very first STRIVE Future Leaders program in New Orleans. A program rooted in cognitive behavior therapy and attitudinal change using progressive lessons and innovative activities, including work readiness training, financial literacy, and professional development. Vladimir is a powerful force in the workplace and uses his personal testimony and positive attitude and tireless energy to encourage others to work hard and succeed. Vladimir is active in his community and board member of Sharpmen New Orleans. In his free time he coaches football and basketball with formerly incarcerated men as a way to help them transition back into society through sports and recreation.
Kane Yutaka Tenorio is a law student from Los Angeles, California. Kane first met Robert, Jerome and Daniel in 2018 when they visited the University of California Santa Barbara during his senior year as a sociology undergraduate. He was part of a student and faculty led coalition at UC Santa Barbara to create the Friends of Freedom chapter there, providing support and spreading awareness about the organization to other UC Campuses. Kane relocated to Louisiana to pursue his education at Loyola University New Orleans, and continues to assist the foundation’s outreach efforts.
David Monroe served more than 30 years in prison. Since his release he has been speaking in local churches, schools and youth facilities throughout the New Orleans area. He is a productive citizen and runs a lawn service business. He created several youth programs while in prison. Mr. Monroe has a passion for helping youth progress in our community. He has an unique way of reaching youth and bringing other volunteers together.