As Seen On:
These were the words that knocked Monalisa Johnson's life completely off course. She received a call in August 2012 from her one and only daughter stating that she had been arrested. Her daughter was ultimately sentenced to 10 years in prison and Monalisa’s seemingly happy, well thought out life, suddenly became unrecognizable.
In the initial years of her daughter’s incarceration, Monalisa struggled with understanding society’s negative and callous view of incarceration. To see what it was like to be locked up, Monalisa made a decision to participate in Season 2 of "60 Days In" on A&E.
Since her appearance on the #1 unscripted cable television show, Monalisa has traveled the world as a sought-after global thought leader, author and speaker who sheds the light on our country's problems with mass incarceration.
• The United States spends over $80 billion on incarceration each year.
• Combining the number of people in prison and jail with those under parole or probation supervision, 1 in every 31 adults, or 3.2 percent of the population is under some form of correctional control.
• Blacks are incarcerated for drug offenses at a rate 10 times greater than that of whites, despite the fact that blacks and whites use drugs at roughly the same rates.
As leaders, we are charged with perpetuating change and transformation in the world. No longer can we turn a deaf ear to these issues surrounding mass incarceration. If you're not personally impacted, someone you know is.
Monalisa is helping society learn about the conversation of mass incarceration. To think more deeply about fairness in our society and about repair work that leads to safer communities and a better future based on lessons from our past.
Monalisa captivates the attention of her audiences with her message "Why Should You Care?" as she shares ways that we can take a stand against mass incarceration and engage in restorative justice together.
"Families have been changed forever. Their journeys are dark and the valleys are low. They will not see changes in mass incarceration unless we start now."
~ Monalisa Johnson
"How can anyone be expected to live without access to a job, food or shelter? What do we expect prisoners to do when they enter back into society other than what they have done in the past?"
~ Monalisa Johnson
Monalisa Johnson, is the Founder of Parents with Incarcerated Children, CEO & Executive Producer of Sierra Productions, Inc. and International TV Personality. Monalisa regularly appears on TV interviews and Radio talk shows. She is sought after for advice on the Prison Family from the USA to Australia and worldwide.
Her company’s slogan is “We’re Raising the Standards”, and Monalisa certainly reflects that in her leadership and personal achievements over the past 24 years. She’s worked with a range of acclaimed companies all over the U.S. and abroad of all types of industries including her favorite…social justice organizations. Monalisa inspires others to their greatness often, by coaching them towards the change they need and want in their lives! As one who overcame Hurricane Katrina and Hurricane Sandy, she has not only learned how to survive, but also to revive and thrive.
Monalisa’s mission is to put a human face on the prison family & criminal justice system; incarceration involves individuals enduring a process of imprisonment. However; there are faces, families, people and personal stories behind every incarceration… it is not merely a process. Giving back to others what they need when they need it most is the reason why Monalisa created this organization: to SERVE! Advocating and lifting Parents of Incarcerated Children and their families is a large part of Monalisa’s destiny and testimony. Her journey continues…joyfully.
"The great awakening has begun. We must begin to move away from punitive thinking to ‘restorative thinking."
~ Monalisa Johnson
"It’s time for America to awaken to the fact that we are great at a lot of things, unfortunately one of those things is mass incarceration."
~ Monalisa Johnson
“Monalisa is a passionate advocate who speaks not only from her heart, but from thorough knowledge and expertise. She is immersed in all aspects of incarceration issues and reform, and transforms her own personal story into a call for action and a testimonial for all families who face the same challenges.”
Marc Morial, President &CEO National Urban League
"Monalisa is authentic, a powerhouse and an incredible leader. Her transparency is captivating and she really is the real deal. I love her sense of community, you get she cares and is a true friend! She speaks the truth and is a force to be reckoned with! I love her! She is a connector and a resource for just about anything you need."
Lisa Nichols, CEO & World Renowned Speaker Motivating the Masses
"After meeting Monalisa I realized why she is such a dynamic speaker. It’s because she is a dynamic personality! I love her candor and ability to impact the audience in a manner that allows them to focus on issues that personally impact them.
I can honestly say that she is one of the most intriguing women I have met. With such a vibrant style, it is no wonder that she attracts audiences wherever she goes.
One of the things I love most about Monalisa is her passion. It is infectious. This passion drives her to help others to forgive themselves and to learn how to take pain and turn it into action. Monalisa inspires me to push my limits and to never take no for an answer."
Kate Boccia, President/CEO The National Incarceration Association
"Monalisa is courageous, inspiring and committed. Her authenticity is unrivaled. She is an unbelievable powerhouse! She is a loving, generous listener and most importantly a change agent. You can count on her, she is dependable, reliable and has the utmost integrity!"
Susie Carder, COO Motivating the Masses
"Monalisa is an engaging speaker that knows how to captivate the hearts and minds of her audience and move them into action. She speaks from a place of experience and provides her audience the tools and knowledge needed to understand who they are and what steps need to be taken to master their situation."
Shayna Rattler, CEO and Founder Corporate Attraction
"Monalisa is powerful and passionate. You can feel the intensity in her soul and the passion in her heart. It is awesome to witness a person walking in her purpose. She is inspirational!
There is a lot of things wrong about our criminal justice system and it is up to each & every one of us to stand up and demand change. Monalisa is my sister and I love her dearly! I love how she cares for everyone....She really wants everyone to live their best life. She inspires me every day."
Amber Jaynes Casanave Marketing Communications Executive
"Monalisa is a vivacious, powerful and dynamic leader. She empowers others around her to be the very best version of themselves. Her speaking is influential and comes from the heart.
Monalisa’s leadership empowers others around her to be the very best version of themselves. Her positivity and energy are truly inspiring. When I am in her presence it feels as if anything is possible.
Monalisa forces you to expand your mind and step out of your comfort zone. Her enthusiasm and determination are contagious."
Leslie Toups Success Manager Raycom Media WVUE FOX 8
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