Aisha Hall, also known as A. Rochester, was born and raised in Roosevelt, New York. Her love for writing stories and music started as a child. She developed leadership skills at a very young age and was eager to put those skills to the test. This led to her falling in love with the idea of using her creative mind to make a living.
For a while Aisha found her success, but at the age of 25, she caught a federal conspiracy charge, sending her to prison to serve a sentence of more than ten years! It wasn’t until her incarceration, that she decided to put those writing skills to the test and publish her first novel. She refused to let her circumstances hold her back. Aisha has become an activist, bringing awareness to the epidemic of women and mass incarceration. She also encourages all people who are imprisoned to use that time to better themselves and focus on their future. Aisha believes that when you are pursuing your dreams, the Universe will assist you in ways that are sometimes disguised as failure. Never give up or give in, just go hard.
Brandi Davis, born and raised in Southfield, Michigan, is an author, motivational speaker and a prison reform activist. Davis, the daughter of legendary street hustler and the girlfriend of a notorious drug dealer, was no novice to street life. After her child’s father suddenly died in federal prison, she faced the challenge of maintaining the lavish lifestyle he provided. With her back up against the wall, Davis accepted an invitation to enter the drug game and became extremely successful. Life was grand until Davis was caught red-handed with 27 kilos of freshly packaged cocaine, landing her a ten year sentence in federal prison. After serving close to a decade behind bars, Davis has decided to share her life experiences to warn others about the danger of poor choices. With her powerful voice and bona fide street credibility, she has captivated the attention of youth and adults across the nation. Exposing the naked truth and deadly consequences of street life, her heartfelt story has become an anchor used to save the lives of many of today’s troubled youth.
Sunshine Smith-Williams was raised in Queens, New York by her mother, who struggled to make ends meet, in the absence of her dad. Smith-Williams grew up in impoverished housing projects with dim hope. Utilizing education as a weapon to overcome poverty, she obtained several degrees and certifications, climbing the corporate ladder to achieve success. After being laid off from her dream job in 2010, Smith-Williams gained the faith to start her own business. Through an intense journey that equipped her to discover her gifts and talents, dethrone her character flaws and increase her self-esteem, she successfully opened several thriving businesses and mentored others to do the same. This experience enlightened Smith-Williams to her purpose. Her life is a living testament that the past, regardless of the mistakes you make or your background, does not have to dictate your future! She shares this message of hope with both youth and adults across the world, inspiring them to overcome life’s difficulties. Smith-Williams currently resides in Nassau County, New York with her husband, who is also her business partner, and their six year old son.
Lisa Barrett, born and raised in Scranton, Pennsylvania is an educator and prison reform activist who holds a Masters Degree in Education from Wilkes University in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania.
For nearly 30 years, Barrett taught in the Pennsylvania public school system and advocated for education reform as a local Teacher’s Association President and Regional Director of Political Action for the State Teacher’s Association.
In 2013 Barrett was indicted on federal charges for misappropriation of union funds and sentenced to serve a year in Federal prison. Behind bars, Barrett developed a passion to educate and assist incarcerated individuals, which inspired her to write “How To Navigate Through Federal Prison And Gain An Early Release.”
Barrett currently resides in Shavertown, Pennsylvania with her son JD. Today she is utilizing her experience as an educator, political activist and an overcomer to create awareness about the lengthy sentences of incarcerated women, make strides for prison reform and educate women behind bars.
Jamila T. Davis
Bio- Jamila T. Davis
Jamila T. Davis, born and raised in Jamaica Queens, New York, is a motivational speaker, prison reform activist, film producer and the author of several books geared to empower the young and the old. She is also a co-founder of WomenOverIncarcerated.org, an advocacy group created to shed light on the lengthy sentences of non-violent, female federal offenders and to rally for sentencing reform.
As a former real estate investor and Hip Hop Music & Professional Sports Celebrity Advisor, Davis is no stranger to triumphs and defeats. From a self-made, multi-millionaire at age 25, her life took a tragic twist. Today she is known as federal prisoner #59253-053, sentenced to 12 1/2 years for bank fraud.
From behind bars, Davis embarked on an intense journey of inner healing and restoration. Documenting her findings, she developed the “Voices of Consequences Enrichment Series,” a three book, self-help curriculum designed to empower incarcerated women to heal, recognize their potential and recapture their dreams. This series has helped to transform the lives of female offenders across the world.
After encountering the injustices women face behind bars, Jamila T. Davis produced “The High Price I Had To Pay” Book Series, creating a platform for female non-violent offenders, serving decade plus sentences, to tell their stories. The success of the series led to the formation of WomenOverIncarcerated.org.
While incarcerated, Davis received numerous college degrees, including her Associates in Psychology, Bachelors in Christian Education and Masters in African American Ministry. She is currently enrolled in a PHD program.
Through her advocacy work, Davis is responsible for the creation of “Unbolted Magazine,” an entertainment/news publication designed for prisoners and their loved ones. She has also been essential in the production of several films for her cause, including the upcoming reality show “Left Behind,” which follows the lives of children of incarcerated women.
Davis’s latest project is “The Pink Panther Clique” fiction series, done in collaboration with New York Times Best Selling Author, Wahida Clark. To promote this series and to shed light on the talent of women behind bars, Davis spearheaded the “The Pink Panther Clique Music EP,” recorded by incarcerated women. On the EP is her debut song “Cause I,” featuring Davis and her son, Kywuan “Ky-Lee” Warren.
Despite her current obstacles, Davis is committed to paying her way forward. Her life message is: No matter how far you’ve fallen in life, it’s never too late to recapture your dreams! Through her inspirational message, literary work and activism, from behind bars she’s making a difference!
MICHELLE MILES, born and raised in Brooklyn, New York, is currently a federal prisoner who is serving a 30 year sentence as a nonviolent, drug offender. With 16 years of serving prison time under her belt, she has utilized her real-life experience to enlighten others to the true-life circumstances of women in prison and the dilemmas that they face in the U.S. judicial system. Miles is a modern day voice for women behind bars and prison reform in America.
Gwendolyn Hemphill born and raised in Johnstown, Pennsylvania, during the post Great Depression era, is a motivational speaker and a prison reform activist. This modern-day freedom fighter utilizes her prolific experiences and her voice to advocate for the rights of incarcerated women.
From humble beginnings in a small rural town, Hemphill worked relentlessly to overcome barriers of racism and poverty, moving to Washington D.C. in the 60’s to provide a better life for her family. Gaining a notable position at the White House under the Carter administration in the 70’s, Hemphill utilized her keen wit, business savvy and political connections to help make waves in employment opportunities for African Americans in the White House.
Hemphill, a Political Science graduate of Howard University, has provided sizable contributions to the Washington D.C. community as a strong political advocate. Combining forces with various community groups and political organizations such as the legendary Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) to serving as the President of the D.C. chapter of the Coalition of 100 Black Women, Hemphill worked vigorously for over three decades to create change.
After her retirement from the District of Columbia Mayor’s office in 2001, Hemphill was offered a position at the Washington Teachers Union (WTU). Blinded by her ambitious desire to reign once again as a top political socialite, she made a poor choice that ended her career and destroyed her stellar reputation, costing her a 11 year prison sentence as a first time, non-violent offender.
Through her powerful message Hemphill illustrates the hardships and circumstances encountered by women, such as herself, who have been sentenced to over a decade in federal prison. She selflessly exposes her own mistakes and character flaws to warn her audience about the detriment of poor choices, urging them to avoid shortcuts at all cost!