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

Executive Director


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.

Robert Jones, a 48 year old African American and native of New Orleans, Louisiana is a Co-founder of Free-Dem Foundations, Inc. and founder board member. He served more than 23 years in prison for crimes he did not commit. In 2017, he was totally exonerated. While in prison, he re-educated himself in law, business, government affairs and peer counseling.  He is now a motivational speaker and well‐known community activistI. He also sit on the board of directors of Innocent Project New Orleans, New Orleans City Council Criminal Justice Advisory Committee, Dillard Advisory board for the Center of racial Justice and the Community Advisory Group committee of the McArthur Justice Center’s Safety and Justice Challenge Initiative, designed to decrease the jail population of New Orleans. He is the Co‐author of an Amazon 5‐ star rated book, “Unbreakable Resolve”.

Jerome Morgan is a 45 year old male who was placed in foster care at the age of 3, due to parents being incarcerated, and grew up in the neighborhood of Pontchartrain Park. He is Co-Owner/Licensed Barber with Real Gentlemen Barbershop, LLC (RGB), Graphic Designer/Writer with Park Roots Productions, LLC; Client of Innocence Project New Orleans (ipno), Social Justice Co-Facilitator at local schools, Community Activist with Students At the Center (SAC), Justice & Beyond, The New Jim Crow Ministries and Panelist for Criminal versus Gentlemen: What Defines The Black Male Image 1 & 2, co-author of “Unbreakable Resolve: Triumphant Stories of 3 True Gentlemen”, published in 2017 and “Go To Jail: Confronting Systems of Oppression”, coming soon.


Volunteer Administrator

Volunteer Mentor Coordinator

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.


“We are all dedicated to ensuring that our youth get the proper resources to progress in our society. We are also honored to be a part of this organization, and look forward to building stronger communities in the Greater New Orleans area.” Free-Dem Foundations Board of Directors.

Owner CMP Educational Consulting Services, LLC. and Director of education at Nursing Assistant Network Association.

Assistant Professor and Undergraduate Advisor, Chicana and Chicano Studies, San José State University.

Staff Attorney Capital Defense Project of Louisiana, Advocate and experience in representing youth.

Mentee of Free-Dem Foundations,Teacher at Arthur Ashe School Academy in New Orleans, Student of (SAC).

Community Activist and social entrepreneur.

Published author, Community Activist and entrepreneur.


Free-Dem Foundations has established an array of partnerships within inner-city communities, abroad, and with local organizations and businesses, to further provide services to the disregarded youth of the Greater New Orleans area, through volunteering and/or general collaborations:

Students at the Center (SAC), Real Gentlemen Barbershop (RGB), Rising Foundations, the Youth Empowerment Project (YEP), Louisiana Center for Children’s Rights (LCCR), Juvenile Justice Project of Louisiana (JJPL),  Boys Town of Gretna, Innocence project of New Orleans, Voice of the experience, Vera of New Orleans, Daughters Beyond Incarceration, Orleans Public Defenders Office ,The Renaissance Project, The People DA Coalition, Orleans Criminal District Court, Youth Justice Center.


Thanks to our sponsors for their contributions over the years that helped us provide much needed support to our community youth:

  • Ben and Jerry’s Foundation    
  • Walmart Foundation
  •  Nathan Cummings Foundation
  • University of California Santa Barbara
  • University of South Carolina
  • San José State University 
  • University California Los Angelos
  • University of Southern California
  • New Orleans YaHeardme
  • TandemEd Group