My name is Doreszell Cohen (DC), and I’m a native of Jacksonville, FL. I attended Duval County’s Public Schools (DCPS) and graduated from William M. Raines; Class of 1995.
From 2002-2005, DC worked as a “highly qualified” educator in Duval County Public Schools; wherein, I conducted an empirical study – Reducing Non-academic Distractions to Increase Student Achievement. In September 2005, I resisted institutional racism in the educational sector and resigned teaching in DCPS.
As a result of my resignation, DCPS filed claims, with the State of Florida’s Department of Education which forced me to defend both my individual rights and professional integrity. I prevailed. The Commissioner of Education ruled in my favor; finding no probable cause to suspend or revoke my teaching certificate.
As a “free and independent” professional educator, I founded a homeschool tutoring service, Mama D’s Academy. In January 2006, I achieved a Master of Arts degree in Education with a specialization in Curriculum and Instruction from Phoenix University.
Shortly after filing for my divorce, my own ignorance of the law made me victim to judicial system. As a Pro Se Litigant, I had my Fourteenth Amendment Constitutional Rights violated. Members of the Fourth Judicial Circuit in Duval County, Florida, for no reason under the law, wrongfully removed custody of my children at the stroke of a judge’s pen. Since then, I have been dedicated to researching, organizing, and advocating with individuals and groups who are committed to working towards ensuring that every American has Equal Protection under the Law.
By January 2012, I realized how “lack of knowledge” was part cause of disenfranchisement, marginalization, and other discriminatory effects between the powerful and the powerless, so I founded Link-Up 2 Lift-Up, LLC which (1) connects people to the products and services they need, and (2) assists individuals who need career coaching to realize her or his independence and navigate a path to his or her career goals and life’s purpose.
In 2014, I began advocating for citizens who were named as defendants in a criminal case but who had refused the pressures to plea. I noticed that, throughout the judicial process, most defendants have many non-judicial barriers that negatively impact the outcomes of our judicial branch’s services, so I began empowering citizens whose rights are violated – because of educational and communication barriers.
In November 2016, I became the first woman in Duval COUNTY, FL to file for public office in response to the historical election where Secretary Hillary Clinton lost the presidential elections to President Trump. Despite having no long-term experience as a political insider, I knew what leadership required. My mayoral campaign ran on three issues: criminal justice reform, political reform, and infrastructure of the mind.
In December 2016, I and others begun to scratch the surface of the many harms that systemic malpractice – promoted by the excessive subjectivity – causes to the citizens of Jacksonville, FL. I and others have embarked upon the daunting tasks to advocate for Bail reform – with the State Attorney’s Office; advocate for Notice to Appear reform; with Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office; and advocate for Professionalism without Prejudice in J-1 First Appearance Court; with the Fourth District Circuit.
In August 2018, I realized politics was not for me, so I withdrew my mayoral candidacy in Jacksonville, FL, and moved to central Florida to homeschool, teach, and focus on my writing career.
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