Women on the Rise launched in 2013 as a project of the Racial Justice Action Center for formerly-incarcerated women of color and women targeted and/or impacted by the criminal legal system. Since our founding in 2013, Women on the Rise has won several victories, along with our partners, the Racial Justice Action Center and Solutions Not Punishment Collaborative, including: Launching #CloseTheJailATL #CommunitiesOverCages Campaign and passing legislation to close and repurpose the city’s extra jail through a community-led Design Taskforce process; Repealing 40 archaic “quality of life” municipal offenses in Atlanta, including reclassifying marijuana to a non-arrestable offense; Developing the Atlanta/ Fulton County Pre-Arrest Diversion Initiative through a community-led design process; “Banning the box” from 6 jurisdictions in Georgia, at the county and state-level, and removing barriers to employment for formerly-incarcerated individuals, as well as collaborating with national partners to carry 30,000 signatures to Washington, D.C. and conducting meetings resulting in an Executive Order to ban the box on federal employment applications; Growing our base and uplifting the leadership of over 300 formerly-incarcerated Women on the Rise members.
Women on the Rise is a grassroots organization led by women of color who are targeted and/or impacted by the legal system. Women on the Rise works to educate, heal, and empower ourselves, one another, and our communities to demand justice, dignity and liberation for all.
Women on the Rise envisions a world where women, families and communities are safe, whole and free. To bring that vision into existence, we transform lives, laws and social institutions.
Executive Director, Co-Founder
CHALANA “CHAY” McFARLAND