What inspired you to become a CEO?
I founded "Black Mother's for Justice," a (pending) 501(c)(3) non-profit organization out of necessity because the criminal Injustice system is targeting Innocent Black Men to meet their quota to fill beds in the 133,000 for-profit prisons located throughout the U.S. According to the National Registry of Exonerations, there have been 2,563 exonerations. We often hear about Innocent Black men being exonerated, with little or no mention of their mothers, many of whom die long before their sons are vindicated. Black Mothers have been "suffering in silence" for years at the hands of the criminal justice system and I want to give single, undereducated, low-income Black Mothers a voice so they can heal and be heard. I believe the key to rebuilding our communities is to restore the Village that we no longer have.
If you could share business advice with yourself 10 years ago, what would you say?
If I could share business advice with myself 10 years ago, I would say to believe in myself and pursue my God given gifts without any expectations from others to believe in my dreams.
What are you looking forward to most in 2020?
I am looking forward to hosting the 1st Annual Mother and Son workshop with my son in Washington, D.C. this Spring. The purpose of this 2-in-1 workshop is to share our experience with the criminal justice system with single mothers and sons to help restore their relationship. I will educate, empower and encourage mothers to be the best version of themselves and my son will share the “untold” truth about life behind prison walls, what he experienced and witnessed during his wrongful incarceration to “scare them straight.” I’m also excited about releasing my sixth book, "A Black Mother's Guide: How to Survive the Criminal Justice System." It’s a much-needed Resource for single mothers in the event their son is arrested because the statistics show that 1 in 3 black males will go to prison in their lifetime!
How can readers support your efforts and connect with you online?
I can be reached on all social media platforms as Author Melinda Robertson. They can also join the Black Mothers 4 Justice Facebook group, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and visit: www.blackmothers4justice.com and www.melindarobertson.com.