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Marilynn B. Winn, Co-Founder of Women on the Rise has a history of impactful initiatives, such as spearheading the "Ban the Box" campaign in 2011, where she successfully advocated for the removal of questions related to prior felony convictions from employment applications in Atlanta. Her efforts resulted in the city becoming the first in the South to implement this change, with other cities and counties in Georgia, and eventually the entire state, following suit in 2015. Marilynn's collaboration with national organizations also led to President Obama issuing an Executive Order to ban the box on federal applications in the same year. Recognized for her outstanding work, Marilynn received the Lilly Ledbetter Award in 2013 and a Letter of Recognition from former President Jimmy Carter and First Lady Roselynn Carter in 2014. She was acknowledged for her dedication to ending employment discrimination for individuals with prior convictions and combatting mass incarceration. Furthermore, Marilynn received the Inspire Award from First Step Staffing for her contributions to community activism and later joined their Board of Directors.

In subsequent years, Marilynn continued her advocacy, being nominated to attend the United State of Women Summit in 2016 and playing a crucial role in passing legislation for pre-arrest diversion and marijuana reclassification in Atlanta and Fulton County. She also contributed to the successful passage of Bail Reform legislation in the City of Atlanta in 2018. 



Xochitl is the Co-Founder of Women on the Rise & Racial Justice Action Center. She served in a leadership position from its inception in 2013 until its sunset in 2020. Throughout this time, she was joined by a team of powerful organizers and leaders. Xochitl is a queer, Chicana/Latina organizer, lawyer, educator and movement builder with over 15 years of experience in grassroots organizing, media and policy advocacy, and training and technical assistance, mostly focused on ending criminalization in Black and Latino communities. Xochitl has experience working in diverse communities in California, New York, Louisiana, and Georgia.​ Her past experience includes co-directing Families and Friends of Louisiana’s Incarcerated Children (FFLIC) a statewide, membership-based organization building the power of the parents of incarcerated youth in Louisiana to fight for justice for their children and families; and co-founding and directing Safe Streets/Strong Communities, an organization born post-Katrina, dedicated to transforming the criminal justice system of New Orleans. Prior to this, Xochitl was a Soros U.S. Justice Fellow working with Grassroots Leadership to implement southern strategies for radical criminal justice reform by linking community organizing and the law. She has also worked as a juvenile defender in the Bronx and a media strategist with We Interrupt This Message.

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