Dorothy Johnson-Speight, MHS, LPC is the Founder and Executive Director of Mothers In Charge, Inc (MIC). She is a highly regarded leader, advocate, speaker, guest radio/television commentator and a clarion voice against the war to end senseless acts of violent crime. Her work, though rooted in Philadelphia, has led to national appearances and presentations across the United States and abroad.
A licensed family therapist, Dorothy is a proponent for the rights of children and families. She has a distinguished career in victim advocacy. Following the tragic murder of her son Khaaliq Jabbar Johnson in 2001 over a parking space dispute, Mrs. Johnson-Speight along with other grieving mothers founded the non-profit organization Mothers In Charge, Inc., (MIC). Based in Philadelphia, MIC is a grassroots organization whose mission is violence prevention through education. MIC engages in proactive intervention with children, young adults, families and community organizations. The organization’s mission is realized through collaborative partnerships with the school districts, youth and faith-based and community organizations, and government agencies, while providing grief support to families affected by violence. Subsequently, Dorothy’s vision and leadership has inspired others who have been affected by grief and loss. MIC chapter affiliates have been established in San Francisco, CA, Los Angeles, CA, Kansas City, MO, Atlantic City, NJ, and Brooklyn, NY.
Dorothy began to realize violent crimes are often perpetrated by angry young adults who often resort to violence and engage in criminal activity in their communities. She began to work with juvenile offenders, some of whom are incarcerated for murder. Recognizing these young men and women may be returning citizens, she began to work with this population using a cognitive skills development model titled, “Thinking For A Change”. The program addresses the development of pro-social and proper decision making skills, violence prevention and preparation for re-entry back into their communities. Thinking For A Change has been successfully introduced and implemented in numerous Philadelphia correctional facilities. Other initiatives at Mothers In Charge include community engagement with local faith based organizations and other community groups. MIC is also involved in collaborations with the City of Philadelphia agencies, homicide survivor outreach, individual and group grief support, youth development/mentoring. MIC has most recently established Women Working For A Change (WW4C) an onsite job training program for women who were formerly incarcerated
In May 2014, Mothers In Charge (MIC) hosted its second national conference The Cost Of Violence: The Journey From Pain to Peace in Philadelphia. The conference offered an exciting line-up of impassioned speakers, impactful and thought provoking panel discussions, in addition to important skill-sharing workshops. The results driven environment featured workshops on legislative organizing, restorative justice, fund development and ways one begins the journey of healing and the support needed.
The work of MIC and its founder, Dorothy Johnson-Speight, has been recognized by local and national media establishments including the following: Philadelphia Magazine’s coveted Best Philadelphia Award, recognition by Philadelphia Eagles 75th Anniversary Celebration as one of the 75 Greatest Living Philadelphians, selection by Philadelphia Tribune as one of 2012 Philadelphia’s Most Influential African American Leaders. The film, “No Greater Pain”, produced by Villanova University, was selected to screen at the 2012 San Diego, CA and Chicago, Il Black Film Festival. MIC and its leaders have also received numerous organizational awards and recognitions including the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Director of Community Service Award, the Wells/Fargo/Wachovia Community Service Award, and the School District of Philadelphia Humanitarian Award. Dorothy has also earned an appointment by Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter as Board Trustee to the Philadelphia Prison System. In September 2013, Dorothy was named as Philadelphia Citizen of the Year byThe Philadelphia Inquirer. The efforts of Mothers In Charge has received national of the OWN Network’s” Our America” hosted by Lisa Ling. She has received numerous certificates of appreciation from the Department of Human Services, Division of Juvenile Justice Services Youth Study Center. Our newsletters, blogs and website provide an ongoing opportunity for community education about timely and critical issues of violence. Recognizing violence as a nation epidemic, Dorothy Johnson-Speight and Mothers In Charge will continue their work to advocate for and make a difference in the community.