Changed Choices helps moms returning from prison rebuild
I am an advocate for women who are incarcerated and those who are returning from prison. I currently work as the advocacy and resource manager for Changed Choices, an organization that works with women throughout their entire process of involvement in the criminal justice system.
In addition to teaching life skills classes at the Mecklenburg County Jail (as I have done for the last 16 years), I seek to create livable wage jobs and housing solutions for people with records. I believe strongly that those who are most directly impacted by the criminal justice system are those who can offer our community the optimal solutions.
My 12 year old, Emerson, has grown up witnessing both me and their dad working for justice causes that matter to us. I took Emerson to a park when they were three where there just happened to be a lot of people gathered, and they said, “Mommy, it’s a protest!” Emerson is one of the most empathetic and fierce kids I know, and I think that their early exposure to activism has played a big role in their development.
The aspect of my role I most enjoy is connecting people with records to each other for networking and support, and to opportunities for activism. I am always happy when I can get help someone with a record get a job, rent an apartment, or tell her story in front of people with privilege. Ultimate success however, is when that person becomes a landlord, employer, or activist herself and I can witness the beauty of a second chance.