Bios

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COURTNEY B. LANCE

Courtney Lance, born in Chicago and raised mostly there, some in New York, and a teeny bit in Kansas City has worked for Chicago real estate firm Draper and Kramer, Incorporated for 27 years. There, she is an Internal Auditor focused on process, efficiency and compliance audits.

Courtney is also a culinary enthusiast and finds time to cater and bake. She has judged culinary competitions and leads cooking demonstrations regularly. Courtney is a director of Louis’ Groceries a non-profit organization whose mission is to increase community access to fresh produce and other healthy food options and to promote the adoption of healthy eating habits. She leads cooking demonstrations in their flagship grocery store on Chicago’s south side.

Courtney is an officer and director of the MAGIC Foundation, a charitable non-profit created to provide support services for families of children afflicted with a wide variety of disorders, syndromes and diseases that affect a child’s growth and support services for adults who were also impacted by these ailments.

Courtney is also a vocalist and has performed regularly around Chicago including singing with Chicago’s own Sunday Evening Club Choir on local PBS network WTTW, and with the John Work Chorale whose mission, aside from bringing historic and beautiful music to the ears of many, is to preserve the Negro Spiritual genre, and ensure its longevity and accessibility.

Courtney enjoys reading, writing and music and is currently engaged in a project about music. She also loves working with her hands, creating jewelry and knitting. In what spare time she has left, she is a Massage Therapist and a Reiki Practitioner. Courtney is married and resides in Chicago with her loving and supportive husband, Sotirios.

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bios_page_1 NIKKI POPE

Nikki Pope is a native of Brookhaven, Mississippi but has led a rather nomadic existence before moving to the Bay Area (for the third time!). She counts among her “hometowns” Chicago, New York, Paris and Vienna. Nikki’s interest in wrongful conviction really started in 2005 when she joined the advisory board of the Northern California Innocence Project. Since then, she’s met many men and women who have been wrongfully convicted. It was at a public speaking workshop for exonerees in 2012 where Nikki got the germ of the idea that has grown into this project.

Nikki is a director of Moving Train, Inc., a non-profit organization that sponsors documentary film projects and she works with other non-profits in the area of prison reform. Her friends and family think she’s getting ready to go back to school having already earned her B.A., M.B.A, and J.D. With a life filled with many twists and turns, Nikki knows not to rule out anything!

When she’s not working on this project, Nikki loves to write. Pruno, Ramen, and a Side of Hope is her first book. She’s also a film junkie, often watching a film multiple times. As you can tell from her list of “hometowns,” Nikki is a traveler. She’s not crazy about the getting there part of travel, aside from the fact that she gets a big block of time to work on her crochet projects, but she enjoys learning about the history and culture of different places. On her bucket list is an around-the-world cruise so she can see more of the world, including Antarctica. Nikki’s other love is reading. She will often re-read books (like “Dune”) and is currently engrossed in the genres of science fiction and the novels of Alexandre Dumas.