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Rey Chavis appointed as NCST's new Executive Director and Daamin Durden as National Training Director for "The Collective".


April 1, 2024


Rey Chavis Replaces Daamin X. Durden as the Newark Community Street Team’s Executive Director; Durden is Appointed as the National Training Director for the Community Based Public Safety Collective

Appointment of New Positions will Build on the Success of Community Violence Intervention Programs and Strengthen Public Safety 

NEWARK, N.J., –  Newark Community Street Team (NCST)’s Board of Directors has announced that Rey Chavis has been appointed Executive Director, effective April 1, 2024. Chavis brings several years of experience in community-based public safety to this role, including his most recent work as the director of high-risk intervention for NCST. He replaces Daamin X. Durden, who had served as the Executive Director for three years and is becoming the National Training Director for the Community Based Public Safety Collective (The Collective). 

“Rey is the ideal choice to continue moving the Newark Community Street Team’s work forward as we advance community engagement in comprehensive solutions to maintain public safety, strengthen neighborhoods, and save lives in the City of Newark,” said Aqeela Sherrills, founder of NCST and now the Executive Director of The Collective.


Chavis has a unique approach to identifying individuals with backgrounds similar to his own, having grown up in Newark, New Jersey, and having spent time in carceral spaces. He uses his lived experiences and the lessons he has learned to train others to intervene in the lives of community members at risk of being a victim or driver of violence.

“I am deeply honored and grateful for the opportunity to serve as the Executive Director of NCST. I am excited to work alongside the dedicated team and community members to advance our mission of promoting public safety and well-being. Together, we will strive to make a meaningful and lasting impact in our community,” said Chavis about his newly appointed role. 

NCST’s previous Executive Director, Daamin X. Durden will assume the role of National Training Director for the Community Based Public Safety Collective, the nation’s premier training and technical assistance provider for violence intervention work. Durden will train programs nationally on field operations, organizational protocols, and more. Durden will train on the globally recognized Professional Community Intervention Training Institute (PCITI) curriculum. Mr. Durden was one of the first members of NCST and has advanced through the organization. 

“I have been part of NCST since 2015. Since that time, I have witnessed its growth into a 120-person organization credited for contributing to the seven years of declines in violence in Newark. I am excited to take my skills and knowledge, as well as the PCITI curriculum, and train teams nationally,” said Durden.

Additional staff changes include the appointment of Julie Chowdhury as Chief Operating Officer of NCST and Solomon Middleton-Williams as Senior Advisor at NCST. 

The Newark Community Street Team (NCST) is the community violence intervention organization in Newark, New Jersey. NCST specializes in resolving relationship-based disputes toward a peaceful outcome while reducing the impacts of community trauma. NCST coordinates efforts with partners, including city agencies, service providers, and policy organizations, to improve the quality of life of citizens in the City of Newark. NCST draws upon an evidence-based, trauma-informed approach to violence reduction.

The Community Based Public Safety Collective's (CBPS) mission is to strengthen neighborhood leadership by investing in the education, advocacy, and training of community-based public safety practitioners and organizations. CBPS improves relations between communities and police by engaging residents as participants and leaders in the public safety process.  As a result, CBPS reduces violence and incarceration by keeping people from engaging in violence that leads to incarceration. In short, CBPS is a key missing link to building out a new approach to safety. 


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