Dolfinette Martin is a native New Orleanian, a strong community leader, and fierce advocate of safe, affordable housing for people touched by the criminal legal system. Currently serving as the housing director at Operation Restoration, Dolfinette believes that housing is a human right.
Dolfinette earned a college degree in 2015, after her release from prison in 2012. She serves on the Formerly Incarcerated Transitional Clinic advisory board and sits on the Criminal Background Check Review panel for the Housing Authority of New Orleans (HANO) after advocating successfully for a new background check policy in New Orleans.
Dolfinette was appointed by Governor John Bel Edwards to sit on the Louisiana Women’s Incarceration Task Force in 2018. She also was appointed to New Orleans’ first female mayor Latoya Cantrell’s transition team, and in 2019, was appointed to the New Orleans Audubon Zoo board of commissioners. She is a founding member and former president of the NOLA chapter of the National Council for Incarcerated and Formerly Incarcerated Women and Girls. She is a recipient of the John Thompson Leadership for Change award and A Freedom Fighter award.
Dolfinette is an equal partner in Tulane University’s Newcomb Art Museum’s (Per)Sister exhibition highlighting the stories of 30 formerly and currently incarcerated women and girls, which received the museum exhibition of the year award by The Louisiana Art Endowment for Humanities. Dolfinette was instrumental in creating the first Women’s Gathering Fellowship for women of color at Center for Change. She also contributed her expertise to help create The Power Coalitions-SheLeads Fellowship, which also focuses on women of color performing on-the-ground organizing.