Essence magazine published an article profiling Syrita Steib-Martin, the co-founder and Executive Director of Operation Restoration, a nonprofit that provides resources and support to women and girls affected by mass incarceration.
The piece discusses Steib-Martin’s personal experience with the justice system and how its impact on her ability to attend college inspired her to partner with her co-founder Anne Freitas to form Operation Restoration. The organization was vital to the creation and passage of Louisiana Act 276, which prohibits higher education institutions in the state from asking about criminal history during the admissions process.
Since then, Operation Restoration has provided crucial resources to women, girls and communities affected by the criminal justice system and has been integral in the push for policy related to criminal justice reform.
“Our goal at my organization is to change incarceration one woman at a time. So, we don’t look at it like we are just helping this one woman at this particular time because every time you help one, then they want to come back and help someone else, and then it grows, and it moves from there. I just really want women to know that there’s space for all of us,” Steib-Martin says.
In 2018, the Art for Justice Fund awarded a grant to Operation Restoration to support the expansion of its programming and the leadership of Steib-Martin.