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Teresa Y. Hodge

Advocate. Social Entrepreneur.

Teresa Y. Hodge, is a committed champion for people living with an arrest and/or conviction record in America and creator of Unlock Inclusion.

Unlock Inclusion is a body of work made possible by way of her 2016-2017 Open Society Foundation, Soros Justice Advocacy Fellowship. During her fellowship she was able to focus on how the diversity in technology/tech inclusion movement was missing advocacy on behalf of people with arrest and/or conviction records. She informs and engages cross-sector influencers to close the digital divide created by mass incarceration in America. Teresa believes that without tech education and inclusion at the core of reentry mediations millions of Americans will remain unplugged and locked out of sustainable opportunities. Her fellowship term resulted in a podcast series; a position paper “Unlock Inclusion: A Pathway of Digital Inclusion for people living with criminal records” position paper; and, a national network of committed supporters.

While promoting the power of tech in reentry Teresa built the confidence to become a tech founder herself. In Mission: Launch (link www.mission-launch.org), the organization she co-founded with her daughter Laurin, she faced a problem, which was how could they assess the skills and readiness of individuals living with records while fairly measuring risk. Realizing there was a void in the market for a tech product that could solve this problem they set-out to validate their idea. November 2017 Teresa was named an Unlocked Futures inaugural cohort member for the tech product now known as R3 Score (link www.r3score.com).

In 2015 Teresa was selected for the inaugural cohort of JustLeadershipUSA’s Leading with Conviction Training. She has presented twice at SXSW 2016 and 2017 and is a 2017 Dewey Winburne Community Service Award recipient (South by Southwest – SXSW community award). Teresa’s TEDx talk – We’ve Made Coming Home Too Hard, highlights the impact of personal bias and social stigma on formerly incarcerated people. She is a certified Prison Reentry Life Coach and is committed to reducing the lasting harm caused by prison to millions of people living with a conviction in America.

My Story It was a 70-month federal prison sentence for a white-collar, non-violent, first-time offense that introduced her first-hand to the criminal justice system and mass incarceration in America. As an entrepreneur “doing time” in prison she maximized her sentence by studying the prison system and its adverse impact on people from the inside. She co-founded Mission: Launch, Inc. (link www.mission-launch.org) with her daughter, Laurin Leonard (Hodge). The organization’s mission to accelerate self-sufficiency for individuals living with criminal records. Through a need in the company Teresa and Laurin developed R3 Score (link www.R3Score.com) with a co-founding team. Together they continue to advocate for reentry reform nationwide but call Baltimore, MD home and work throughout the Washington, DC-Baltimore, MD Metropolitan region

Book Teresa to speak today!