The 5th Change Makers Panel Discussion

The 5th Change Makers Panel Discussion is on October 3rd from 9:30am-11:00am. Hear from our panel of Change Makers; leaders of color sharing their expertise, journeys, strategies, and vision. Join us as we discuss innovative tips and strategies that reflect lessons learned from our recently released comprehensive report assessing the resilience of DC area nonprofits amidst the challenges of the 2020s.

Register here.

Our second panelist has been announced:

Lashonia Thompson-El, Executive Director of The W.I.R.E. – Women Involved in Reentry Efforts

Jawanna Hardy, Founder of Guns Down Friday

The panel will be moderated by:

Glen O'Gilvie, CAE, CEO, Center for Nonprofit Advancement

Panel of Change Makers

Lashonia Thompson-El is the visionary founder and Executive Director of The W.I.R.E. – Women Involved in Reentry Efforts, a distinguished DC non-profit established in 2013. This remarkable organization, accessible at, is a dynamic network of formerly incarcerated women dedicated to offering invaluable peer support and advocacy for women currently incarcerated and those transitioning from incarceration. Notably, The W.I.R.E. extends its mission to at-risk girls in ward 8, fostering empowerment and change.

A graduate of Trinity Washington University, Lashonia holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Human Relations, underscoring her commitment to the betterment of individuals and communities. Her impactful journey includes leadership of the Violence Reduction Unit at the DC Office of Attorney General (OAG), where she spearheaded the District's premier gun violence intervention program. Lashonia's expertise in Restorative Justice is evident, with her recent contributions to Peace for DC, notably in launching the DC Peace Academy, a vital training resource for violence interrupters, credible messengers, and safe passage workers in the district.

Further enriching her extensive repertoire, Lashonia has played pivotal roles in the DC Corrections Information Council, where she inspected prisons housing D.C. residents and advocated for humane conditions of confinement. She has also been a dedicated contributor to (MORCA) The Mayor's Office on Returning Citizen Affairs, coordinating specialized female reentry services.

Lashonia Thompson-El's remarkable journey is encapsulated in her compelling book, "Through the WIRE: My Search for Redemption." This poignant narrative delves into themes of trauma, youth violence, and incarceration, reflecting her deep commitment to addressing these critical societal issues.

A proud Washingtonian, Lashonia balances her professional endeavors with her roles as a wife and grandmother, embodying her dedication to both family and community betterment.

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