Mr. Julio Medina is the Executive Director/Founder and CEO of Exodus Transitional Community, Inc. While serving his 12 year prison sentence, Mr. Medina’s faith in God and belief in his fellow man forced him to see the layers of pain and desire to change that existed within each person in prison. Upon his release, Julio pledged to do all in his power to create a safer community and to instill hope in men and women returning home from prison.
The creation of Exodus Transitional Community is Julio’s fulfillment of his faith and mission. Under his leadership, Exodus has served over 7,000 men and women and has become one of the most successful re-entry programs throughout the country. Julio Medina and Exodus have been featured on C-Span, the New York Times, the Economist, and several other media outlets. In 2010 Julio received the EL Award, from El Diario La Prensa, which recognizes outstanding Latinos for their accomplishments and contributions to the Latino community.
Julio travels to prisons across the state to meet with and listen to the men he left behind, as their faith and encouragement have been the inspiration for Exodus and for his own personal transformation. He is an Adjunct Professor in the New York Theological Seminary’s Masters of Professional Studies Program for men incarcerated at Sing Sing Correctional Facility.
Julio Medina holds a BA from the State University of New York at Albany, a Masters of Divinity from New York Theological Seminary and is presently a Doctoral candidate in Ministry at New York Theological Seminary.
As Associate Director, Diana Ortiz is primarily responsible for overseeing daily operations at Exodus, including monitoring budgets and contracts. She also handles community relations for the organization working with elected officials and community leaders as well as other non-profit organizations to spread the word about the important work of reentry. Read More
Diana has worked with incarcerated mothers to help them remain connected to their children, as well as with women in the mental health units. In her advocacy work she was effective in changing Executive Law 259i, which now allows people with life on their sentences to apply for discharge from parole, and won an award from Citizens Against Recidivism in 2008 for her passionate efforts. Diana strongly believes that there needs to be a strong face and a presence to help create positive change for men and women in and outside of prison. Thus, she has dedicated herself to being a powerful voice in the battle for successful re-integration from prison. Through her work, she helps create awareness and possibilities for second chances and describes it as her most fulfilling life experience. Diana holds a Bachelor’s degree in Liberal Arts and a Master’s Degree in English Literature.
Rudy Holder is Exodus’s longest standing staff member second only to Mr. Medina himself. Rudy came through Exodus as a participant in 2003 after a twelve-year incarceration. The following year he was hired to work at the front desk when Julio recognized his energy and enthusiasm for the Exodus community. Since then Rudy has held almost every position in the organization, from Job Developer to Workshop Facilitator to Contract Coach. He is best known for his work as Retention Manager, tasked with re-engaging those members of our flock whose attendance has dropped off and who haven’t been seen for a while. Rudy is currently the Site Supervisor of East Harlem and oversees our Substance Abuse and Anger Management night groups.
Lila McDowell is Exodus Transitional Community's Development and Data Manager. Lila joined the Exodus staff as a Contract Coach after completing her PhD at Oxford University on the topic of higher education in prisons. After several months of casework Lila began helping with grants, and was eventually moved into a full-time development role encompassing both fundraising and communications. Beginning in the fall of 2014 Lila will also be an Adjunct Professor of Criminology at John Jay College of Criminal Justice.