Essence magazine published an article profiling Gina Clayton-Johnson, the Executive Director of Essie Justice Group, a nonprofit that she founded in 2014 to organize women with incarcerated loved ones around ending the harm caused by mass incarceration.
In the piece, Clayton-Johnson discusses how her experience as a public defender and a woman with an incarcerated loved one inspired her to form Essie Justice Group. The organization has built and supported a number of initiatives that have had a profound impact, such as its Healing to Advocacy program, which works to break the cycle of isolation in which women with incarcerated loved ones often find themselves, and several bail reform initiatives.
The Essie Justice Group is a recipient of a Fall 2018 grant from the Art for Justice Fund for its work in keeping people out of jail and prison. Clayton-Johnson explains that the grant will help Essie expand its model so that one day its resources will be no more than 30 minutes away from every woman with an incarcerated loved one in this country.