In the news: Monalisa Smith
JRI, a nonprofit provider of trauma-informed care to children and families in Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Connecticut, has announced the addition of Monalisa Smith, Founder, President and CEO of Mothers for Justice and Equality, to its board of trustees.
After the loss of her nephew due to violence in 2010, Smith founded MJE, a nonprofit agency aiming to eradicate local violence in Boston neighborhoods by educating and engaging individuals and families within those communities. She and other mothers, many of whom suffered through the loss of their own child, joined together to make it their mission to end neighborhood violence by empowering mothers and youth to become effective catalysts for change.
For seven years now, Smith has been engaged in every facet of the organization including administration, finance, fundraising, communications and human resource management. During this time, she has received the City of Boston award for Community Leadership as well as the Madison Park Development Corporation “Catalyst for Change” YMCA Black Achievers award.
Prior to founding MJE, Smith served as State Director of Community Investment for Citizens Bank, Massachusetts. Her responsibilities included directing the development and implementation of a community investment program, creating and managing a faith-based lending portfolio and managing over $32 million in deposit balances. During her time there she received the Citizens Bank Area of Excellence Award for Outstanding Community Leadership and Involvement.
Smith holds a B.A. in Business Management from Simmons College and has received executive leadership training from Babson College. She is also author of the book, “Reflections to My Sisters,” which details stories of mothers and their daughters overcoming some of life’s greatest challenges. She currently resides in Dorchester with her husband and three children.
JRI works in partnership with individuals, families, communities and government to pursue the social justice inherent in opening doors to opportunity and independence.