Lashonia Etheridge-Bey (firstname.lastname@example.org) is a Public Speaker who can candidly and articulately speak to the consequences of youth violence, the effects of incarceration and the challenges of reentry into society. She is a 39-year-old Washingtonian who was born and raised in Southeast, D.C. As a youth, she made a series of bad decisions and committed a violent crime that landed her in prison where she spent almost half of her life.
Prior to prison, Lashonia was a teen mom and a high school dropout. She was unemployed and addicted to marijuana. During her 18 years in prison, she set out to rehabilitate and reform herself and make atonement to the utmost of her ability. She received her GED, began pursuing a college degree, and helped to develop and facilitate many classes including Victim Impact, Self Esteem, and HIV and A.I.D.S. Awareness. She has also facilitated wellness classes such as group boot camp fitness and more.
Lashonia was blessed with the opportunity to be released on parole on December 13, 2011 after an initial hearing. Since her release, she has also been blessed with a phenomenal support system that has enabled her to obtain full-time employment, enroll in college, and begin to rebuild her life. Over the past 18 months, she has been in a series of transitional programs. This has helped her to gradually make a seamless adjustment back into society.
Lashonia has also held several jobs since her release. Most recently she was hired as the staff assistant for the Mayor’s Office on Returning Citizens Affairs in the District of Columbia. She is in the process of completing her second year at Trinity University where she is pursuing a Bachelor’s Degree in Human Relations. Most importantly, she is striving to develop a bond with her family. Lashonia has two adult children who she left behind when they were three years old and 10 months old. Her children are now 23 years old and 20 years old. She is also the grandmother of two granddaughters.
Lashonia is the subject of the award winning film Time Zone that chronicles the first year of her reentry process.