Gwendolyn Hemphill born and raised in Johnstown, Pennsylvania, during the post Great Depression era, is a motivational speaker and a prison reform activist. This modern-day freedom fighter utilizes her prolific experiences and her voice to advocate for the rights of incarcerated women.
From humble beginnings in a small rural town, Hemphill worked relentlessly to overcome barriers of racism and poverty, moving to Washington D.C. in the 60's to provide a better life for her family. Gaining a notable position at the White House under the Carter administration in the 70's, Hemphill utilized her keen wit, business savvy and political connections to help make waves in employment opportunities for African Americans in the White House.
Hemphill, a Political Science graduate of Howard University, has provided sizable contributions to the Washington D.C. community as a strong political advocate. Combining forces with various community groups and political organizations such as the legendary Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) to serving as the President of the D.C. chapter of the Coalition of 100 Black Women, Hemphill worked vigorously for over three decades to create change.
After her retirement from the District of Columbia Mayor's office in 2001, Hemphill was offered a position at the Washington Teachers Union (WTU). Blinded by her ambitious desire to reign once again as a top political socialite, she made a poor choice that ended her career and destroyed her stellar reputation, costing her a 11 year prison sentence as a first time, non-violent offender.
Through her powerful message Hemphill illustrates the hardships and circumstances encountered by women, such as herself, who have been sentenced to over a decade in federal prison. She selflessly exposes her own mistakes and character flaws to warn her audience about the detriment of poor choices, urging them to avoid shortcuts at all cost