Ayana is a woman who has been impacted by many traumas but the one she is most passionate about is women impacted by the criminal justice who are grieving from trauma & adverse losses.
Ayana was a guest speaker for, “Lighting the Way” fundraiser (Osborne Association) with the former Miss America 2012. That speech would grow into abundant opportunities to have a positive profound impact on women in prison and returning from prison. In 2014 she featured in “Women Inmates'', a joint production of The New York Times T Brand Studio and Netflix. The Marshal Project ``We Are Witness” 2015 The New Yorker Magazine.
“Teen Vogue” (Marshal Project) with Senator Corey Booker 2017. She currently is a part of a speakers Bureau that was created and run by formerly incarcerated & impacted women. Empowering women to use their voice to change the world, one story at a time. (FOWI) Faces of Woman Imprisoned.
She believes that where life broke her, she gained strength, resilience, and perseverance. She is not her past, but an awesome reflection of perfect imperfection.
Her current position as a Transitional Counselor at a NYC non-profit allows her to provide tools to disenfranchised and marginalized men/women transitioning back into society from prison through resources and access to education, job training, counseling, empowerment, advocacy, and housing.
Ayana is also a Grief Counselor and the Founder of Grieving Back to Life. Bringing to the forefront the collective grief our women impacted by the criminal justice system continuously face and how profound these experiences are and the grief they experience. Loss is not only death but many significant losses. Ayana created GBTL, to foster a community where grieving women can thrive in a cultivating community.
We’ve got to stop talking about grief as a problem to be solved. When we change our conversations around grief, we make things better for everyone.
Grief is hard and finding help doesn't have to be!