Denise Ruben is an abolitionist, criminal justice/civil rights activist and advocate, community organizer, and survivor of incarceration. While working diligently to lift up the community and dedicating her life to changing the narrative of criminal and social justice reform; she works vigilantly to improve the quality of life for formerly incarcerated, demarginalized, and disenfranchised communities. She has been a community organizer for Women on the Rise; member of the National Council for Incarcerated and Formerly Incarcerated Women and Girls; and fellow with the National Bail Out (NBO). She is a member of the Movement for Black Lives (M4BL) Organizing Table.
She is a formerly incarcerated woman who actively seeks balance and stability for all humans affected by the judicial system.
Bridgette Simpson is a formerly incarcerated survivor, activist, advocate, entrepreneur, published author, motivational speaker, mentor, certified life coach, co-founder of Barred Business and the Formerly Incarcerated Small Business Rescue Fund, Minister of Organizing for M4BL, organizer for Women Run Campaign, canvasser for Working Families Party, and trail blazer who partners with other survivors, activists, social justice reform organizations, organizers, public figures, formerly incarcerated and incarcerated people to empower, inspire change and promote hope.
She worked as a case manager for NBO and the Center for Resilient Individuals, Families, and Communities (CRIFC); facilitates trainings for impacted individuals; and is a past M4BL Minister of Organizing and Relationship Building and a current M4BL field team manager. In October 2022, she addressed the National Council’s annual FreeHer Conference on “Leveraging Local Legislation as a Springboard for Federal Wins.”
After spending a decade training in the professional corporate arena, Bridgette spent 10 years in the state of Georgia’s department of correction, receiving up-close and personal training in the penal system. Bridgette now fuses both aspects of her training to educate people on the inequalities of the criminal justice system and the pressing need for social justice reform. She also teaches on perseverance, drive, change, and the willingness to overcome any obstacle. Because of Bridgette’s unique experiences, she has the ability to connect with the beating hearts of people who are or have been behind bars, their supporters, and people who are uninformed about the injustices of the criminal justice system.
Read about Bridgette and Denise: Atlanta Just Made Former Prisoners A Protected Class. Meet The Women Who Made It Happen.
CEO of Diamond Shine Enterprise
Chartisia Griffin is the owner of Diamond Shine Enterprise, Toastmaster, best-selling author and storyteller, grassroots organizer, and campaign manager for 7 plus years. Her work combines her lived experiences and her love for Black people.
As a Black “justice-impacted” woman, Chartisia strives to engage and activate her peers through love and leadership. She lives by her motto, “Most times all it takes is for you to know that someone believes in you for you to start believing in yourself.”
Currently servicing Gwinnett Countys to help justice-impacted people successfully transition into society, Chartisia has worked with 9-5 Atlanta, Pro Georgia, and Women Engaged.
Read about Chartisia’s experience as a mom: When Mom Is In Prison — And When She Comes Home
Canvassing Lead/Community Organizer
Cynthia White is a community organizer, activist, advocate, political observer, lead canvasser, and lover of people. She continually exemplifies her passion for movement and issue based causes.
Cynthia has a profound knowledge of the political process and a fearless approach to life. When Cynthia isn’t advocating for marginalized people, she enjoys living life and spending time with her grandchildren.
Board Member and Executive Director of Free Hearts
Board Member and CEO of Bounce Back and Intelligis
Board Member and Communications Director, Solutions Not Punishment Collective.
Board Member and CEO of Project Restart and Community Development Manger for Regions Bank.
Board Member and Realtor at JacKEYS Atlanta
Board Member and Hot Sticky Buns Consultant
Board Member and Currently Incarcerated Activist, Advocate, Film Maker and Essence #1 Best Selling Author.