WINGS UpRising Mission and Foundation for Our Transformative Justice Work
“I believe freedom is priceless. It is not measured by justice, fairness or tears. I have sought justice, fighting and standing for rights of the vulnerable. Today, I know freedom transcends what you think, feel or deserve. Freedom rises above all . . . and lives not in castles, nor prairies, cities, mansions or deep space; it lives within our essence. It resides in the very core and nature of who we are, when we have the courage to live FREE, no matter what . . . A foundation for Transformative Justice.” Sharon Jai Simpson-Joseph, Esq. is the founder of our organization and purveyor of this practice.
WINGS UpRising: A Social Good Practice, is based upon the principles of Transformative Justice. Freedom. Joy. Social justice objectives of the 21st century will not be won on a conventional battlefield; they will be achieved through unabashed belief in the power of this evolved brand of justice. We support organizations, governments, corporations and individuals to actualize their visions and commitment in the social justice arena, applying a methodology that provides for lasting impact, accomplishment and fulfillment.
The transformative warrior’s armor is not made of metal, nor is it impenetrable. It comes from a belief in valiant vulnerability and the refusal to be daunted by what is brutal or inequitable in this world. I am armed with grace and love, grit and guts – radical compassion and collective tribe – gear for 21st century social change.
Bio Journey of Sharon Jai Simpson-Joseph, Esq.
Evening the scales of justice for all with radical compassion, is a mission Sharon Jai has practiced on her journey as an attorney, author, strategic consultant, coach and speaker. Her career uniquely spans the legal, political, and educational fields, coming full circle in the launch of WINGS UpRising A Social Good Practice, She puts its mission into practice as a change agent and Graceful Warrior, supporting nonprofit organizations, governments and corporations in actualizing their social justice visions – applying a methodology that provides for impact, results and sustainability. It is founded on the belief that social justice objectives of the 21st century will not be won on conventional battlefields; they will be achieved through the power of this evolved brand of transformative justice and the techniques to apply it effectively.
Sharon Jai currently serves on the multi-sector national Physicians Campaign to End Bullying: Championing the Well-Being of All Children, a collaborative with the Federal Partners in Bullying Prevention and national healthcare providers, NoBle Support for Bullied Children and The Bully Project, the extraordinary social action campaign founded by the documentary film BULLY that leverages the power of film in the movement to inspire youth and highlight solutions to address bullying and champion compassion. She is the past Executive Director of the Georgia Law Center for the Homeless. Her journey is founded upon serving vulnerable populations and bringing a trauma informed approach to this work.
A graduate of Stanford Law School and a member of the California State Bar, Sharon Jai served as legal counsel to Mayor Tom Bradley of Los Angeles, worked on juvenile justice initiatives, strike negotiations, legal investigations and drafted speeches for the Mayor, including the “Nelson Mandela Welcome Address,” after his heralded release from prison. She was the award recipient of Los Angeles City Council Extraordinary Efforts on Behalf of Domestic Violence Victims and partnered with the LAPD to expand community policing initiatives in that arena. After the 1994 civil unrest, she served as the Managing Director of Los Angeles Cities in Schools in Watts. Based at Nickerson Gardens, the largest federal housing project in California, the program provided children pre-school through high school and their families with an array of coordinated services, an approach that reflects today’s collective impact model.
In the ensuing years, Sharon practiced corporate law, municipal finance at Nossaman, Guthner, Knox and Elliott, LLP, in Los Angeles and taught Constitutional Law and Marketing for Nonprofits at the University of Judaism. She was the Education Consultant for the Sundance award winning documentary film, Amandla: A Revolution in Four Part Harmony, on the role of song in the struggle for freedom in South Africa, Executive Produced by her sister, Sherry Simpson Dean. A writer, a warrior and a poet, Sharon Jeanine captures her early journey in the debut book: And How My Spirit Soars: Learning to Pack for an Extraordinary Journey (“SOARS”).
Residing in Atlanta, Georgia, Sharon Jai joined the fight to end human trafficking back in 2008 when she joined the board of the Juvenile Justice Fund (now youthSpark). She was the founding Executive Director of youthSpark, Inc., from 2010 through 2013, the nonprofit organization based at juvenile court and a national pioneer in the child sex trafficking movement. During her tenure she established an innovative partnership with Microsoft YouthSpark that included a $300,000 grant to the organization. She serves on the Board of Directors of two organizations that are ground breaking leaders in this movement, as Vice Chair to Circle of Friends Celebrating Life/Living Water for Girls and Georgia Women for a Change (now the social justice policy arm committee of the YWCA).
In September, 2013, she was the keynote speaker in Toronto, Ontario, for the inaugural Canadian National Task Force Conference to end trafficking of women and girls, convened by the Canadian Women’s Foundation.
As a SME (Subject Matter Expert) in the fight to End Human Trafficking –Champion of Transformative Justice, Sharon Jai was a successful strategic advocate for the 2015 passing of Georgia’s groundbreaking Safe Harbor/Rachel’s Law that allows for children victimized by trafficking to be treated as victims, not criminals, and executes more severe punishments for perpetrators. She is currently driving campaigning for the November 2016 statewide ballot for voters to pass the law’s Resolution 7 segment.
She is the mother of two extraordinary sons who attend Atlanta International School. Sharon’s upcoming book and initiative, A Graceful Warrior: Poetry UpRising recognizes the power of creative advocacy to enact change on the social justice battlefield and is honed by her role as a poetic activist. “I am not armed with hatred and hopelessness, no matter WHAT the circumstances, but with grace and love, grit and guts – radical compassion and collective tribe – gear for 21st century social change.” Transformative Justice as its core, her work is founded upon this principle.