Women’s Symposium


Women's Symposium

Leading with Courage & Strength... Finding Your Voice

The American Probation and Parole Association (APPA) is pleased to announce a special, one-day Women’s Symposium entitled “Leading with Courage & Strength: Finding Your Voice” to take place on Saturday, August 27, 2022 during APPA's 47th Annual Training Institute. The goal of the Women’s Symposium is to bring together women in the community corrections field from all stages of life to promote strength and courage and inspire them to find their voice as leaders within their organizations.

During the one-day event, participants will attend interactive, action-oriented workshops with national experts and leading practitioners on these topics:

  • Leadership
  • Wellness
  • Financial Literacy

“Women make up a growing percentage of the community corrections workforce across the world, and APPA is committed to ensuring that women have a voice as leaders,” said Veronica Cunningham, APPA executive director and CEO. “We want participants to learn how to tap into their unique strengths and leverage them to have a voice in their organizations.”

Opening + Closing Speakers

Opening Speaker

Aisha J Bullard

Founder & Director of Franklin Grove

Aisha J. Bullard is an experienced attorney, developer and social entrepreneur based in Richmond, Virgina. Over the last 17 years, she has created housing opportunities and programs that have helped thousands of men and women in their transitions from crisis and homelessness to stability. With programs in Virginia and Washington, DC, Ms. Bullard partners with local, state and federal agencies to ensure supportive and affordable housing to some of the community's most vulnerable neighbors, and in so doing, the work of her agency has restored families, transformed communities and created jobs. For work during the pandemic, the Where We Help agencies, founded by Ms. Bullard, received the Virginia Governor's Housing Award for best regional partnership as well as the largest Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development Business Resurgence Grant Award for the creation of a new and vibrant development district known as Chamberbrook. To replenish, Ms. Bullard became an avid traveler and has visited more than 35 countries and inspired at least 30 travelers to explore the world through Travel and Build. She has a JD and BA from William and Mary.

Closing Speaker

Marcus Hodges

Vice President of APPA Board of Directors

Marcus Hodges has 29 years of community corrections experience across several important positions. He currently serves as Associate Director for the Court Services and Offender Supervision Agency (CSOSA) in Washington DC. Mr. Hodges was the President of NAPE from 2014-2018. He also assists in facilitating the APPA Leadership Academy and provides guidance as a co-chair on APPA’s Diversity Committee. In 2018, he received the Middle Correctional States Association Award for Innovation in Community Corrections. In 2020 he was awarded Probation Executive of the Year from NAPE/Sam Houston State University.

The Talk: The Unlikely AchieveHER - Speakers

Alisha S. James

Alisha S. James is a criminal justice expert and executive, leader in criminal justice reform, and an entrepreneur. With nearly two decades of experience in both government and the private sector, she has gained expertise on the most global and granular hurdles in corrections and criminal justice reform.

Alisha began her career as a Metropolitan Nashville Police Officer. Other professional service includes the U.S. Probation and Pretrial Services Office - Middle District of Tennessee and the Tennessee Department of Corrections where her last position Assistant Commissioner for Community Supervision.

In 2019, Alisha founded James Group Consulting and launched QwickTouch, a mobile-based platform designed to revolutionize services for community supervision. In 2021, she became senior vice president and general manager at Aventiv Technologies where she leads the Post-Incarceration Business Unit.

Michelle Cirocco

Michelle Cirocco is Chief Social Responsibility Officer for Televerde and the Executive Director of Televerde Foundation. She joined Televerde in 1999 where she has held several leadership positions including Chief Marketing Officer.

Michelle earned her MBA from Arizona State University where she also serves on the Dean’s Advisory Council. Michelle is an avid TED fan and organized and hosted TEDxPerryvilleCorrectional, the first TEDx to be held in an Arizona prison. The event looked behind the curtain of incarceration to show the potential that exists in providing second chances.

Michelle also dedicates a significant amount of her supporting justice reform as an Ambassador for Represent Justice. She is also a Sixth Amendment Center board member and member of Conscious Capitalism and Women in Revenue.

Women's Symposium


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