Ngombo Cafe and Sanctuary

The Pitch

Ngombo Café and Sanctuary is a café and healing space created by exonerees, artists, and activists, and led by New Orleans youth. Their prison abolitionist-driven mission is to “provide plant based products grown in tandem with incarcerated individuals to facilitate healing for the communities they have been accused of harming. It is through this unique collaboration that we envision a world without prisons.”

jackie sumell, Jerome Morgan, Christin Wagner, Robert Jones

jackie sumell, Jerome Morgan, Christin Wagner, Robert Jones

The Entrepreneur

jackie is a co-founder of Ngombo Café and Sanctuary. Her work is at the intersection of abolition, social practice, and contemplative studies. She has spent the last two decades working directly with incarcerated folx, most notably, her elders Herman Wallace and Albert Woodfox. Her work has been exhibited extensively throughout the U.S. and Europe. She has been the recipient of multiple residencies and fellowships including, but not limited to, an A Blade of Grass Fellowship, Creative Capital, Art 4 Justice, Robert Rauschenberg Artist-as-Activist Fellowship, Soros Justice Fellowship, Eyebeam Project Fellowship and a Schloss Solitude Residency Fellowship. She is based in New Orleans where she continues to work on Herman’s House, Solitary Gardens, The Prisoner’s Apothecary PLUS and several other community generated, advocacy based projects.

Christin Wagner is a co-founder of Ngombo Café and Sanctuary and has lived and worked in New Orleans for nearly ten years. She is a graduate of Tulane University with over 20 years of experience in the restaurant/hospitality industry. Most recently, Christin worked as a paralegal where she gained experience in criminal and civil rights litigation. Since the completion of her AmeriCorps program in the early 2000’s, she has maintained a dedication to serving communities and is an active volunteer/member with several local organizations aimed at legal system reform and prison abolition including Court Watch NOLA, Solitary Gardens, and Orleans Parish Prison Reform Coalition.

Jerome Morgan, co-founder of Ngombo Café and Sanctuary, is a native New Orleanian who was wrongfully incarcerated at Angola State Penitentiary for 20 years and was fully exonerated in 2016. He is a Co-founder of Free-Dem Foundations, Co-Owner/Licensed Barber with Real Gentlemen Barbershop, Graphic Designer/Writer with Park Roots Productions, LLC, Client of Innocence Project New Orleans, Social Justice Co-Facilitator at local schools, Community Activist with Students At the Center (SAC), Justice & Beyond, The New Jim Crow Ministries and Panelist for Criminal versus Gentlemen: What Defines The Black Male Image 1 & 2, co-author of “Unbreakable Resolve: Triumphant Stories of 3 True Gentlemen” (2017) and “Go To Jail: Confronting Systems of Oppression” (2021).

Robert Jones is a native of New Orleans, Louisiana and a co-founder Ngombo Café and Sanctuary. Robert is also co-founder of Free-Dem Foundations, Inc. and founder board member. He served more than 23 years in prison for crimes he did not commit and in 2017, he was totally exonerated. While in prison, he re-educated himself in law, business, government affairs and peer counseling. He is now a motivational speaker, Co-author of “Unbreakable Resolve: Triumphant Stories of 3 True Gentlemen”, and well-known community activist. Robert sits on the Board of Directors of Innocence Project New Orleans, New Orleans City Council Criminal Justice Advisory Committee, Dillard Advisory Board for the Center of Racial Justice and the Community Advisory Group Committee of the McArthur Justice Center’s Safety and Justice Challenge Initiative, designed to decrease the jail population of New Orleans.


2021 Impact Accelerator Ventures