At Truth Be Told, our dedicated and passionate team of board members, staff, and the contributions of past leadership have played a critical role in our mission to helping women heal from trauma to break free from the cycle of incarceration. Our Board Members bring diverse expertise and experience to guide our organization’s strategic direction and ensure we are fulfilling our mission. Our Staff members work tirelessly to deliver high-quality programs, provide support to program participants, and ensure our operations run smoothly. And, we recognize and honor the contributions of our Past Leadership, whose vision and dedication helped shape Truth Be Told into the organization it is today. Together, these are the people that make Truth Be Told possible and continue to drive our mission forward.
Lisa Davis Bell is a mother, a wife, and a grandmother of a tribe! She was formerly incarcerated at the Lockhart’s Women’s Facility and during this time was introduced to her “Saving Grace” Truth-Be-Told. She is a 3 time graduate of Truth-Be-Told’s programs, and after her release she connected with TBT and began her career in volunteering and giving back. She became a Facilitator for Talk to Me Speaking at the Lockhart’s Women’s Facility and has been involved with and spoken at many fundraising events for TBT as well as podcasts, award events, panel events and much more. She received her quilt after staying out for 3 years and staying connected with TBT.
Lisa is a small business owner of Her Dreams T-Shirt Designs. She continues to give back and volunteer within the community.
Board Vice Chair
Colette has been a part of Truth Be Told since 2011, a graduate of the Talk To Me programs, Writing, Discovery, and Let’s get Real. She has facilitated the Write To Me correspondence course and moderates the weekly Beyond (Re-Entry) program Keep On Talking that gives graduates a safe space to share the triumphs and challenges of freedom.
Colette is a United States Army veteran, a college graduate, having received a Bachelor’s degree in English and Communications from Ashford University in 2017, a published author, mother of two, and grandmother of 4.
Colette has maintained her connection with Truth Be Told for over a decade, and is passionate about helping the program grow and thrive, as it has been a clear path to the success she has obtained. She desires all justice involved women have the same opportunity for success.
Past Board Chair
Jean Boone is a retired Justice of the Peace from Waco. She was the first Black woman elected in that capacity in McLennan County, where she served for 14 years. She has worked tirelessly with community-based organizations, volunteering with vulnerable populations within her church and community. Before applying for the organization’s Board of Directors she served as a volunteer co-facilitator for Truth Be Told. Being a formerly incarcerated woman and a survivor of the federal mass incarceration experience, she felt her perspective would enable her to engage with the board in a meaningful manner.
Jean is an avid community and social justice activist for underserved communities.
Board MemberRodney Northern is a seasoned business builder with a unique blend of strategic vision, organizational leadership, financial acumen and a “get ‘er done” mentality. During his corporate tenure, he has led billion-dollar businesses, created more than $15 billion of sustainable innovation businesses and managed multimillion-dollar budgets for many well-known consumer brands. Today, Rodney runs Nucleus Group, a consulting practice that focuses on business operations, leadership development, and organizational alignment and transformation. He is also a lecturer at The University of Texas at Austin, where he instructs students on innovation and entrepreneurship processes and scale.
Board MemberLauren Johnson is a graduate of Truth Be Told and has supported TBT in a variety of ways since 2010. Lauren works for the ACLU of Texas where she works on criminal justice reform policy on the local and state level.
Chloe Craig is a Ph.D. candidate in Sociology at the University of Texas at Austin. As a lead lecturer for the Texas Prison Education Program, Chloe teaches sociology courses at Coleman Women’s Facility. She hopes to use her skills in research and academia to write policy and shed light on the experiences of women and mothers tethered to the criminal legal system. She has written policy reports for the Texas Center for Justice and Equity and op-eds for Scalawag magazine.
Everyone deserves to have control over their own stories; Truth Be Told gives this freedom to women. She is proud to be a part of this incredible organization.
Curtis Lee is a person that has overcome many issues. After dropping out of high school, Curtis turned to the streets for his education and served multiple sentences in prison before being inspired by someone who had previously been in his shoes. He went on to earn a Bachelor of Arts and Applied Science with a Certification in Substance Abuse from The University of North Texas at Dallas and a master’s in social work from The University of Texas at Arlington. Curtis is also a Licensed Master Social Worker and a Licensed Chemical Dependency Counselor-Intern. Currently, he serves as a Student Conduct officer at Dallas College’s El Centro Campus and a Social Worker for Advanced Detox in Dallas, and has been recognized for his outstanding leadership, receiving awards such as The Outstanding Peer Mentor of the Year and the Amidon Beauchamp Student Leader of the Year.
Board MemberWith the Truth Be Told founders, Peggy Miser and her husband Bobby hold a vision for a society where all justice involved women are restored to integrity, thereby breaking the cycle of incarceration. Bobby and Peggy have actively supported Truth Be Told since the beginning of the organization. Peggy, BSN, MS Education, is a retired maternal child nurse and a retired Army Colonel, mother of 4 and grandmother of 9. Peggy also serves as President of a local chapter of P.E.O., a philanthropic educational organization which supports women’s education through scholarships, grants, and low interest loans. P.E.O. also owns a debt free women’s college, Cottey College, at which 98% of students receive some type of scholarship. Peggy consistently advocates for women’s education, women’s health, and women’s issues. Everyone deserves to have control over their own stories; Truth Be Told gives this freedom to women. She is proud to be a part of this incredible organization.
Director of Operations and ProgramsRutanya Pearson-Mitchner is a dedicated advocate who has traversed a remarkable journey within the Truth Be Told organization, evolving from her initial role as a program participant to her current position as Director of Operations and Programs. She is dedicated to addressing the pressing issue of mass incarceration, particularly concerning women entangled in the carceral system. With over two decades of experience in hospitality management, Rutanya’s seasoned management skills have been instrumental in shaping the operations of TBT. Her 9 year tenure as a facilitator within TBT programs has made her an indispensable member of the organization’s core team. Rutanya is certified as a Texas Board Certified Mental Health and Re-Entry Peer Support Specialist and studied at Liberty University.
Executive AssistantBorn in Austin, Texas, Melissa Austin spent 15 years within the confines of the Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ). Following her release in 2015, she became a graduate of Truth-be-Told, and her commitment to the program has remained steadfast ever since. Along her journey, she proudly earned an associate’s degree with honors from Central Texas College. Melissa is blessed with a beautiful family, including a wonderful husband, three children, two grandchildren, and two nieces and a nephew. Her life is always bustling with activity, and her heart is filled to the brim. She recently started working at TBT and her intention is to continue dedicating her unwavering energy and passion to both the community and the team as she moves forward. She has been living a free life for over 8 years now, and her focus remains resolute: she is committed to speaking and living her truth to the fullest.
Social Media Coordinator
Michelle is a wife, momma, and mimi. After enduring a trauma-filled youth, she found true freedom through the programs of Truth Be Told. While incarcerated, Michelle was introduced to the unbreakable bond of Truth-Be-Told sisterhood. She is a graduate and advocate, and after her release she connected with TBT and began giving back by spending her time volunteering for the cause. She quickly became a Facilitator and has been involved with and spoken at many events for TBT, and has visited two state prisons since graduating to share the hope and healing offered by the TBT community. Michelle is currently Truth Be Told’s Social Media Coordinator, and is excited to pursue its endless possibilities as the organization grows.
Though never incarcerated, Carol Waid believes there was a time when she was serving a “life sentence,” imprisoned by chaos, addiction and domestic violence. She found her way to freedom through 12-step programs and an 18-year journey as a co-founder, facilitator and program director of Truth Be Told. As Truth Be Told’s program director and a facilitator of programs behind and beyond prison walls for nearly two decades, she became a woman with purpose, passion and healing gifts who was willing and able to give back what had been given to her. Under Carol’s leadership as program director, Truth Be Told grew to serving approximately 1,000 justice-involved women every year across five correctional facilities and in the free world.
Co-FounderNathalie Sorrell is a “show and tell” woman, commissioned minister to women, and a passionate personal and spiritual growth advocate. In February 2000, a prison warden’s desire to have female inmates tell their stories to juveniles on probation resulted in Nathalie designing the first Talk to Me Speaking class. She exercised her “take charge” qualities as the visionary leader of Truth Be Told when it became a nonprofit in 2003. From 2003 to 2010, she was the organization’s behind bars coordinator, serving as the liaison with prison officials, overseeing the program calendar, driving carpools of volunteers to the prison, and emceeing program orientations and graduations. In 2016, Nathalie retired from her active role in Truth Be Told’s daily operations, but she remains committed to the organization as a donor and volunteer.
Co-FounderAryanna “Suzanne” Armistead — a dance artist and life coach — was invited to lead an Exploring Creativity workshop at Lockhart prison in late 2001. Aryanna encouraged Carol to create Talk to Me Writing and then went on to develop Talk To Me Movement, the third class in the Talk To Me program. In 2003, Aryanna enlisted the certified public accountant who helped the three founders complete the paperwork to transform their work behind prison walls into a 501(c)3 organization. In November 2003, Truth Be Told officially became a nonprofit. Aryanna retired from her prison work in 2004, but her legacy lives on in Talk to Me Movement and Exploring Creativity, two programs which are still offered today.
Join us for an unforgettable evening of hope and transformation on Friday, December 8th, 2023.