Ayoola Mitchell

Founder & Senior Consultant

Born and raised in San Francisco, ayoola has spent four decades working in many capacities within the Unites States Punishment System. As a fierce advocate for those who had caused harm, she learned early on that violence does not usually occur in a vacuum. As a former teacher, ayoola learned the failure of educational systems. As a juvenile hall counselor, she witnessed the failure of that system. As a social worker for Children and Family Services, she learned the failure of that system. Long before this current movement, ayoola was well aware that this country over incarcerates and who was most impacted by crime and harm.

ayoola’s world changed drastically over a decade ago when her family experienced not one or two but three separate tragedies. In a little more than four years, ayoola experienced her oldest son surviving 17gunshot wounds only to lose her middle (bonus) son to murder 15months later. Less than three years later, her Godson was killed by a drunk driver. Her focus, through each tragic event, was healing, for herself and her family.

Throughout the her Healing Journey, ayoola has had the opportunity to sit in circle and be in space with people from all backgrounds, walks of life and various proximities to harm and violence. She realized healing was needed for everyone, from first responders to law enforcement, district attorneys and public defenders to families of victims to survivors to those who deemed the responsible parties. Trauma affects everyone with proximity to violence, to harm. We are a nation of people with unhealed harm and unprocessed trauma. Healing has to become part of the conversations and more importantly part of the work. Everyone’s work, both personal and professional. We must prioritize harm to our minds the way we treat injuries to and illnesses in our bodies.

ayoola has worked with organizations such as H.O.L.L.A. (How Our Lives Link Altogether), California for Safety and Justice, Essie Justice Group, Insight Prison Project, Lionheart Foundation, Women Who Never Give Up, Alabama Initiative, Center for Justice – Columbia University, GEMTrainers, Both Sides of the Conversation, No Exceptions, JMacForFamilies. What all these organizations have in common is the belief that systematic change begins at grassroots levels and the real power belongs to the people most impacted by systems. NHC also believes not everyone can do everything but everyone can do something to dismantle systems; to get our people healed and free.

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