Dorothy Johnson-Speight, MHS, LPC is the Founder and National 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. Most recently, the Open Society Foundations named Dorothy as a member of the 2015 class of Soros Justice Fellows.
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 Harrisburg, PA, New York, NY
New Jersey State, Kansas City, MO, St. Louis, MO, Los Angeles, CA, San Francisco, CA, Berkley, CA, Palo Alto, C. Through her work with Mothers In Charge, Dorothy began to realize how angry teens and young adults who are unable to cope with their own anger and pain resort to violence with 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 networking with other community groups. MIC is also involved in collaborations with City of Philadelphia agencies, youth development/mentoring, individual and group grief support, and homicide survivor outreach. 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. Additionally, in June 2015, MIC lead a national rally at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington DC to bring national attention impact homicide is having on individuals, families and communities. At this rally over 1500 individuals from across the country stood in solidarity to call on our nations leaders to deem Homicide A Public Health Epidemic. 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, 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, and the School District of Philadelphia Humanitarian Award. Dorothy has also earned appointments by Philadelphia Mayor Elect Jim Kenney to serve as a member of his transition team; and, former Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter as Board Trustee to the Philadelphia Prison System. Dorothy In September 2013, Dorothy was named as Philadelphia Citizen of the Year by the 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.