Teresa Y. Hodge
Teresa Y. Hodge is a committed champion for people living with an arrest and/or conviction record in America. It was a 70-month federal prison sentence for a white-collar, non-violent, first-time offense that introduced her first-hand to the criminal justice system and mass incarceration in America. As an entrepreneur “doing time” in prison she maximized her sentence by studying the prison system and its adverse impact on people from the inside. She co-founded Mission: Launch, Inc. with her daughter, Laurin Hodge.
The organization strives to accelerate self-sufficiency for formerly incarcerated individuals (and those facing similar discrimination due to an arrest record). The Hodges advocate for reentry reform nationwide but call the Baltimore, MD and Washington, DC Metropolitan regions home.
In 2017 she launched the for-profit Benefit Corporation, Human Centered Decision Labs LLC, as the sister organization to Mission: Launch. This hybrid strategy allows Teresa to focus on software development expected to disrupt the People Ops Tech space. This dedication to tech to improve reentry outcomes has led to key recognition. She is a 2017 Dewey Winburne Community Service Award recipient (South by Southwest – SXSW community award). Likewise, in 2016 she received an Open Society Soros Justice Fellowship award. Her project advocates for tech inclusion for people with arrest and/or conviction records. As an advocate, she informs and engages cross-sector influencers to close the digital divide created by mass incarceration in America. Teresa believes that without tech education and inclusion at the core of reentry mediations millions of Americans will remain unplugged – and locked out of sustainable opportunities.
Teresa’s TEDx talk – We’ve Made Coming Home Too Hard, highlights the impact of personal bias and social stigma on formerly incarcerated people. In 2015 she was selected for the inaugural cohort of JustLeadershipUSA’s Leading with Conviction Training. She is a certified Prison Reentry Life Coach and is committed to reducing the lasting harm caused by prison to millions of people living with a conviction in America.