What We Do
How It Works
Rahim Buford, Manager
Rahim has served as the Nashville Community Bail Fund Manager since May 2018. A native Nashvillian, Rahim has seen and felt how poverty negatively impacts people in the criminal legal system. Arrested at age 18, he spent 26 years of his life caged within seven different prisons across Tennessee. During that time, he completed course work for Lipscomb University, Ohio University, and Vanderbilt Divinity School. Rahim was a co-founder of SALT (Schools for Alternative Learning and Transformation), an inclusive undergraduate program that provides a safe learning space for non-traditional students at Riverbend Prison. While incarcerated, he also self-published his own book, Save Your Own Life. Upon his release from prison, Rahim received a Presidential Scholarship to American Baptist College, and worked part-time as an advocate for Children’s Defense Fund Nashville. In 2017, he founded Unheard Voices Outreach to empower formerly incarcerated persons to be leaders in reentry, and community building. Rahim graduated from American Baptist College with a bachelor’s degree in Entrepreneurial Leadership in 2019. Rahim continues to use his voice to advocate for decarceration and transformative justice.
Joan Shayne, President
Joan has long been a volunteer reading tutor with young children. She came to understand that the children she was tutoring (and whose innate talents she recognized) might well be on the school-to-prison pipeline if they couldn’t read on grade level by end of third grade. She landed on the idea of a community bail fund for those sent to jail upon arrest just because they could not afford bail. With the hard work and coordination of many others, particularly her friend Martin Brown, the NCBF was formed. Joan continues to study and remain active as an advocate on criminal justice issues and is hoping to help find a way to end that school-to-prison pipeline.
Martin Brown, Secretary
Martin Brown was born in Louisville, Kentucky. After serving in the US Army, Martin moved to Nashville in 1965 to raise his family. Martin has been an active community member in Nashville for several decades. He has served on, started and led a number of non-profit boards including: the Land Trust of TN, Fisk University, Southern Environmental Law Center, and the National Parks Conservation Association. Now retired, he spends most of his time volunteering for organizations across the state and especially in Nashville. His deeply held beliefs in justice and fairness led him to form the Nashville Community Bail Fund with his friend Joan Shayne.
Aisha McWeay, Director
Aisha is a career public defender and indigent defense advocate. She earned her JD from Vanderbilt Law School and worked in Metro Nashville Public Defender’s Office for 9 years, first as an Assistant Public Defender, then as a General Sessions Court Team Leader & ultimately as the Deputy Public Defender. In 2019 she was selected as the Executive Director for Still She Rises in North Tulsa, the first public defenders office in the country to work exclusively with mothers in the criminal justice system.
Dr. Rosevelt L. Noble, Director
Rosevelt Noble attended Vanderbilt University and completed a Bachelor of Science degree with a double major in Sociology and Human & Organizational Development. In 2003, he completed a Ph.D. from Vanderbilt in Sociology with a dissertation entitled, Race Matters: Black Rage in the American Prison System. A scholar of the American criminal justice system, he has publications pertaining to the interracial dynamics of prison violence, racial disparities in incarceration sentences, and he is currently working on a publication examining racial bias in the jury selection process in capital punishment cases. He has worked as a quantitative research consultant for the Tennessee Department of Corrections, the Federal Prosecutors Office, and several law firms. In the fall of 2002, he started teaching in the Vanderbilt Sociology Department as a Senior Lecturer while simultaneously working at the Tennessee Higher Education Commission as the Director of the Workforce Investment Act. After leaving state government in 2014, he continued teaching at Vanderbilt and became a Senior Fellow at The Curb Center for Art, Enterprise, and Public Policy at Vanderbilt. In 2017, he was named Assistant Dean of Students and Director of the Bishop Joseph Johnson Black Cultural Center at Vanderbilt.
Reverend Davie Tucker, Director
Reverend Tucker is the Pastor of Beech Creek Missionary Baptist Church and currently serves as the Coordinator of Alumni Affairs for American Baptist College. He is a member of the Interdenominational Ministers Fellowship, Nashville Baptist Ministers Conference and director of the Center for Equity, Change and Sustainability, and a Commissioner on the Metro Human Relations Commission. He is also the founder and chairperson of the Center for Imagination, Inc., an after school program focusing on at-risk youth. Reverend Tucker strongly believes that the current criminal justice system in America is wealth-based and negatively and disproportionately impacts persons who are resource challenged. He is committed to system reform and the advocacy for those adversely affected.