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Jessica Jackson

This month, we spoke to Jessica Jackson - Jessica is a fierce change-maker, Human Rights Attorney and Chief Advocacy Officer at REFORM Alliance. As a multi-faceted and dynamic businesswoman we couldn't think of a better Power Woman to introduce you to for the start of 2022.

Jessica Jackson

This month, we spoke to Jessica Jackson - Jessica is a fierce change-maker, Human Rights Attorney and Chief Advocacy Officer at REFORM Alliance. As a multi-faceted and dynamic businesswoman we couldn't think of a better Power Woman to introduce you to for the start of 2022.

Power Women is about sharing the successes and insights of women we admire and respect. Jessica is ground-breaking in her efforts and her ability to turn anguish into ambition is extraordinary.

She continues to fight for people’s freedom with humility and an unwavered moral grounding.
The world Jessica is fighting for is one we want to live in, and we can’t wait to share her story with you.

We sat down to speak with Jessica about her Legal Career, what inspires her and her greatest achievements.

What motivates/inspires you and your work?

My personal experience is what motivated me to go into this work initially. I’ll never forget holding my newborn daughter in my arms, while watching my then-husband be sentenced to six years in prison. I had recently overcome my own struggles with addiction and had dropped out of school. Despite only having a GED, I decided to turn my pain into action, and worked my way through college and law school with my young daughter, motivated to change the system that had torn my family apart. Today, I stay motivated by the people I encounter who are impacted by this system, whether by their own incarceration or the incarceration of a loved one. Their passion is inspiring, and they are often the most persuasive advocates in the room.

"Women are resilient and we are determined. I think women have the unique ability to bring people into the story."

What strengths and characteristics of being a woman do you think elevate and empower your work?

Women are resilient and we are determined. When it comes to getting criminal justice reform legislation passed, resilience is the name of the game. I cannot tell you how many times I’ve been told a bill was dead on arrival – but with the determination to never take no for an answer, we have passed into law bills that many thought impossible. A big part of this is understanding the needs and concerns of all parties involved, and then providing personalized solutions and explanations to ensure we’re all on the same page. I think women have the unique ability to bring people into the story, and that’s been a huge asset in my career.

Name a woman that inspires you and tell us why – pass the baton.

My dear friend Alice Marie Johnson inspires me with her humility, perseverance, and positivity. Miss Alice was sentenced to life without parole. Yet despite her daunting sentence, she became a certified hospice worker and an ordained minister and even spoke at Yale University via Skype. After receiving a commutation of her sentence in 2018 and a Presidential Pardon in 2020, Miss Alice dedicated her life to advocating for incarcerated men and women and has worked tirelessly to bring them home.

What advice would you give your 16-year-old self?

I would tell my 16-year-old self to speak my truth and not be afraid of being shut down. I think often younger people, especially women, are caught up in worrying about how they will be perceived and whether others will find what they have to say valid. I learned in law school and during my time on the City Council that what I had to say mattered and that even if others didn’t find it valid, I needed to speak my truth and share my perspective.

We sat down to speak with Jessica about her Legal Career, what inspires her and her greatest achievements.

What motivates/inspires you and your work?

My personal experience is what motivated me to go into this work initially. I’ll never forget holding my newborn daughter in my arms, while watching my then-husband be sentenced to six years in prison. I had recently overcome my own struggles with addiction and had dropped out of school. Despite only having a GED, I decided to turn my pain into action, and worked my way through college and law school with my young daughter, motivated to change the system that had torn my family apart. Today, I stay motivated by the people I encounter who are impacted by this system, whether by their own incarceration or the incarceration of a loved one. Their passion is inspiring, and they are often the most persuasive advocates in the room.

"Women are resilient and we are determined. I think women have the unique ability to bring people into the story."

What strengths and characteristics of being a woman do you think elevate and empower your work?

Women are resilient and we are determined. When it comes to getting criminal justice reform legislation passed, resilience is the name of the game. I cannot tell you how many times I’ve been told a bill was dead on arrival – but with the determination to never take no for an answer, we have passed into law bills that many thought impossible. A big part of this is understanding the needs and concerns of all parties involved, and then providing personalized solutions and explanations to ensure we’re all on the same page. I think women have the unique ability to bring people into the story, and that’s been a huge asset in my career.

Name a woman that inspires you and tell us why – pass the baton.

My dear friend Alice Marie Johnson inspires me with her humility, perseverance, and positivity. Miss Alice was sentenced to life without parole. Yet despite her daunting sentence, she became a certified hospice worker and an ordained minister and even spoke at Yale University via Skype. After receiving a commutation of her sentence in 2018 and a Presidential Pardon in 2020, Miss Alice dedicated her life to advocating for incarcerated men and women and has worked tirelessly to bring them home.

What advice would you give your 16-year-old self?

I would tell my 16-year-old self to speak my truth and not be afraid of being shut down. I think often younger people, especially women, are caught up in worrying about how they will be perceived and whether others will find what they have to say valid. I learned in law school and during my time on the City Council that what I had to say mattered and that even if others didn’t find it valid, I needed to speak my truth and share my perspective.

"Despite only having a GED, I decided to turn my pain into action, and worked my way through college and law school with my young daughter, motivated to change the system that had torn my family apart. "

"Despite only having a GED, I decided to turn my pain into action, and worked my way through college and law school with my young daughter, motivated to change the system that had torn my family apart. "

What superpower would you love to have and why?

I wish I had the superpower to increase empathy in others. The stories I hear from people inside our nation’s prisons and trapped on supervision are just devastating. I wish everyone could hear their stories and be filled with empathy and a desire to bring change.

What challenges have you faced in your industry as a woman and how have you overcome them?

As a female attorney, I’ve had many experiences of being mistaken for someone’s assistant or minimized based on my gender and appearance. I channel that frustration into getting work done. I don’t think anyone can question the results of hard work, and so I focus my energy on making an impact in as many lives as possible, bringing people home, and changing laws.

"I don't think anyone can question the results of hard work, and so I focus my energy on making an impact in as many lives as possible."

If there’s nothing off limits (and no one would ever find out!), what would you do, granted a day of total freedom?

Well, if nothing is off limits, I’d spend my morning signing comprehensive criminal justice reform in every state and on the national level, then work through a long list of pardons and commutations at the White House before spending the rest of the day with my family outside in nature!

What was your biggest achievement of 2021?

I’m especially proud of the bill we passed in Virginia early in 2021! Before this legislation passed, Virginia was one of only seven states that had no restrictions on probation terms, which keep people trapped in the system for years and even decades. We were able to celebrate the bill at a signing in June, and I got to meet some of the people who will be impacted by the changes we pushed through to Virginia law.

I was also honored to be named a Young Global Leader this year and to join a class of about 100 incredible activists, lawmakers, business leaders and changemakers in a five-year fellowship hosted by the World Economic Forum.

What superpower would you love to have and why?

I wish I had the superpower to increase empathy in others. The stories I hear from people inside our nation’s prisons and trapped on supervision are just devastating. I wish everyone could hear their stories and be filled with empathy and a desire to bring change.

What challenges have you faced in your industry as a woman and how have you overcome them?

As a female attorney, I’ve had many experiences of being mistaken for someone’s assistant or minimized based on my gender and appearance. I channel that frustration into getting work done. I don’t think anyone can question the results of hard work, and so I focus my energy on making an impact in as many lives as possible, bringing people home, and changing laws.

"I don't think anyone can question the results of hard work, and so I focus my energy on making an impact in as many lives as possible."

If there’s nothing off limits (and no one would ever find out!), what would you do, granted a day of total freedom?

Well, if nothing is off limits, I’d spend my morning signing comprehensive criminal justice reform in every state and on the national level, then work through a long list of pardons and commutations at the White House before spending the rest of the day with my family outside in nature!

What was your biggest achievement of 2021?

I’m especially proud of the bill we passed in Virginia early in 2021! Before this legislation passed, Virginia was one of only seven states that had no restrictions on probation terms, which keep people trapped in the system for years and even decades. We were able to celebrate the bill at a signing in June, and I got to meet some of the people who will be impacted by the changes we pushed through to Virginia law.

I was also honored to be named a Young Global Leader this year and to join a class of about 100 incredible activists, lawmakers, business leaders and changemakers in a five-year fellowship hosted by the World Economic Forum.


Thank you so much for speaking to us Jessica.
The world Jessica is fighting for is one we want to live in and we hope sharing her insight with you will inspire and motivate change within.

May 2022
This month we sat down with Amy Ramsey, Founder of Dilly’s Toy Factory, Entrepreneur and all-round Supermum. Amy takes us on her remarkable journey of navigating life as a mother with a 3-year-old son, Dillan, who has been battling leukaemia since the age of 20 months. 

March 2022
March brought us International Women’s Day 2022 and Mother’s Day, both very special days where we got to do what we do best, empowering women. 

February 2022
Arian Simone is an Entrepreneur, Philanthropist, International speaker and best selling author.

January 2022
Gina Swire is a Self Love expert, Mentor and manifesting Queen. Gina tells us about her incredible mission which aims to inspire and lift others up.

September 2021
Karina is the owner of the very popular Menagerie Restaurant & Bar in Manchester with an incredible ability to evolve and learn.

August 2021
Krystal Sutherland is a business founder, influencer, mental health advocate, mother and all-round superwoman.

July 2021
Georgia Allan and Sheridan Thomas are founders of MyMidwives UK- a private midwifery service that encourage women to feel confident throughout pregnancy.

June 2022
Join us this month as we engage in an eye-opening conversation with Tiler as she walks us through her motivations, goals, and one of her most difficult and transformative challenges yet. 

August 2022
Join us this month as Steph discusses her motivations, goals, personal challenges and incredible takeaways in this heartwarming conversation.

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