We The People Opportunity Farm

Our Board Members

Victoria Burton-Harris

Board President

Victoria M. Burton-Harris is a native of Flint and a graduate of Flint Southwestern Academy. She earned a B.A. in Political Science and African American Studies from the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor. She graduated from Wayne State University Law School in 2012. In 2014, Victoria opened a private firm in the heart of downtown Detroit specializing in family law and criminal defense at the state and federal trial court level.

After years of witnessing over-charging, requests for excessive bail, and prosecutorial vindictiveness, Victoria realized that her efforts to end mass incarceration as a “people’s lawyer” would never be sufficient. Effective change would require a transformation of the gatekeeper to the criminal justice system: the county prosecutor. 

Victoria Burton-Harris currently serves as the Chief Assistant Prosecutor for Washtenaw County. Victoria was appointed to this position January 1st, 2021 by Prosecutor Eli Savit.

Annie Somerville

Board Member

Annie Somerville lives in Ypsilanti and was a member of City Council. She was recently elected to the Washtenaw County Board of Commissioners. and works as Chief of Staff to State Senator Jeff Irwin. Annie has worked on legislative campaigns since 2016. Annie graduated from Eastern Michigan University in 2018 after studying Political Science and Womens and Gender Studies.

Cormac Levenson

Board Member

Cormac Levenson has been learning about the intersection of farming and social justice for almost two decades. He worked with alternative schools in New Haven Connecticut, helping them develop mindful gardens. He is also the founder and current board president of Elm Village, an organization that focuses on supporting criminalized youth. He is a graduate of Harvard Divinity School and Duke University, but he learned far more in his years as a hospital chaplain and connecting with inmates from Scotland to California.

Justin Harper

Board Member

Justin has a heart for people in need. Harper brings twenty years of experience developing and mentoring youth and young adults through coaching and educating in the classroom. Justin currently works as Board Representative for Paraeduators for the Ann Arbor Public Schools District and is pursuing his special education teaching degree from Eastern Michigan University. His passions are improving communities, mentoring youth and changing lives. Justin is also on the steering committee for Washtenaw My Brother’s Keeper, the co-founder and director of CLR Academy, and a Board member for Mighty Oak Project and We The People Opportunity Farm.

Deshawn Leeth

Board Member

Deshawn was born the youngest of five in Detroit, MI on May 1, 1994. Growing up was a roller coaster ride for him. His childhood was nothing but trial and tribulations due to a lack of stability and structure. At age 11, he entered the juvenile justice system. By the time he reached 18, he was sentenced to prison after years of living a criminal lifestyle on the streets. Following his release from MDOC on January 5, 2021 at age 27. That year Deshawn became an intern in our formerly incarcerated paid internship program.In August 2021, Deshawn started UnderDawg Nation (UDN). His goal is to bring a positive message to at-risk youth in Washtenaw County who are vulnerable to community violence and disengagement from school. From the ground up, he has built UDN’s programs: a mentoring program that provides youth with relatable and positive role models, a tutoring program to give kids one-on-one support with school, a sports program in partnership with MYSI (Michigan Youth Sports Initiative) to bring free sports activities to kids, and community engagement events that bring youth together in a fun, safe, and judgment-free zone.

In 2023 Deshawn was sworn-in with the Washtenaw County Sheriff department as a Community Engagement Specialist to help with juvenile violence prevention. A GO BLUE Michigan Super Fan!  Deshawn is a testament whose story shows that it is possible to come back from life’s most difficult challenges to create something positive that changes the world.

Jordan Else

Board Member

Jordan Else (she/her) is a mother, wife, sister, auntie, and social justice co-conspirator. She holds a masters in nursing and spent her nursing career working in the hospice field as well as with those affected by pain and addiction. She is an active Renters’ rights advocate, serving on the Ann Arbor Renters Commission and working closely with community members to improve the state of rental housing in Michigan. She is also the Co-chair of the Ann Arbor PTO Council and a proud member of Ann Arbor Parents Intent on Racial Equity.

Brain Jones-Chance

Board Secretary

Brian is a council liaison to the Planning Commission, Bicentennial Committee, and Zoning Board of Appeals. He works with community and elected leaders, law enforcement, and school district representatives as a member of the Community Violence Intervention Team.

Brian is also a member of the Board of Directors of the Ann Arbor Ypsilanti Chamber of Commerce, the Association of Businesses of Color, and We the People Opportunity Farm.

He is a local business owner who owns a real estate brokerage and asset management firm in Downtown Ypsilanti as well as a brewery in Depot Town Ypsilanti.

A sixth-generation Ypsilantian, Brian is proud to have grown up in the ward and city he now serves.