From humble beginnings to now owning Sierra Productions, a largely successful audio/video production and event logistics company, Monalisa Johnson has proven herself to be as an exceptional, accomplished businesswoman and visionary!
Her company’s slogan is “We’re Raising the Standards”, and Monalisa certainly reflects that in her leadership and personal achievements over the past 24 years. She’s worked with a range of acclaimed companies all over the U.S. and abroad of all types of industries including her favorite social justice organizations. Monalisa inspires others to their greatness often, by coaching them towards the change they need and want in their lives! As one who overcame Hurricane Katrina and Hurricane Sandy, she has not only learned how to survive, but also to revive and thrive.
Monalisa’s life was completely knocked off course when she received a call in August 2012 from her one and only daughter stating, “Mom, I’ve been arrested!” Her daughter was ultimately sentenced to 10 years in prison and Monalisa’s seemingly happy, well thought out life, suddenly became unrecognizable.
In the initial years of her daughter’s incarceration, Monalisa’s emotional health was at an all-time low. She struggled with understanding society’s negative and callous view of incarceration, and she also lacked an understanding of her declining emotional health. She realized she had a lot to learn about her now, new “normal” world of incarceration.
Unable to find any assistance or resources she needed that might help her to cope and improve within her specific circumstances, Monalisa remembered a valuable lesson she learned from her successful professional life: necessity breeds invention and innovation. She decided to create the help that she was so critically in need of. Immediately Monalisa founded Parents with Incarcerated Children, Inc. to make sure that other parents had access to the tools, resources and support they needed to navigate their new journey, with grace and ease.
Monalisa’s mission is to put a human face on the prison system; incarceration involves individuals enduring a process of imprisonment. However; there are faces, families, people and personal stories behind incarceration… it is not merely a process. Giving back to others what they need when they need it most, is the reason why Monalisa created this organization: to SERVE! Advocating and lifting Parents of Incarcerated Children is a large part of Monalisa’s calling and testimony. Her journey continues…joyfully.