Dr. Denise MakingADifference (M.A.D.) Graham~ Co-Founder of P.I.A.S. Organization~ People Influenced, Impacted, & Affected by the System, and host of the online radio show “Its Not Law and Order.”
Dr. Denise MakingADifference(M.A.D.) Graham~ is the Co-Founder of P.I.A.S. Organization ~People Influenced, Impacted, and Affected by the System. Currently, she is pursuing her P.H.D. in criminal Justice with a focus in Family Studies, and holds a M.S. in Criminal Justice and Business. Over the last 20+ years, she has worked with various populations, i.e. ex-offenders, offenders, at-risk youths and adults, HIV, mentally and emotionally ill, as an educator/instructor, group facilitator, case manager, liaison, patient/client advocate, and referral/intake specialist. Also, she is the host of the new blog talk radio show , “It’s Not Law & Order.”
Now that we are done with the formalities, lolol..Let’s get down to the “real” nitty-gritty~ I became involved and co-founder of P.I.A.S. for various reasons, my formal and informal education, life’s journey, personal experiences, and passionately fulfilling my God given purpose. I humbly and proudly consider myself to be a product of the system~& an example and testimony of God’s restoration, omnipotent, and awesome power. Believing that God gives us a testimony to get others through their test, I gladly and openly share mines with others~~
Both of my parents were incarcerated, one parent served several years on various occasions (although they held a graduate degree), my other parent served a short term incarceration when I was a child, a close relative recently came home after being impacted by the mandatory minimum sentencing and Rockefeller Drug Laws, and recently I became directly affected by the criminal justice system. Even with all the informal and formal education, life’s experiences, being a criminal justice instructor, and indirect involvement with the criminal justice system on behalf of others, it wasn’t until my direct involvement with the criminal justice system that I realized how ignorant, ill-informed, and mis-educated I actually was regarding the “real” core of the criminal justice system, “Its Not Law & Order.”~LMBO.. Although, I am a great instructor/educator, I realized that up until that point I had done my students a disservice, I had taught them from theory and not application. Needless to say, my next class was on, poppin’, real, and informative.
As God began to deal with me on several levels, P.I.A.S. was birthed. Like so many others, I too had worked hard to establish a better life for me, my children, and to overcome my past history. As God dealt with me on these levels , He also ministered to me, and showed me “that ALL THINGS WORK TOGETHER FOR THE GOOD TO THOSE THAT LOVE THE LORD,” that “He knew each day of my life even before I was formed in my mother’s womb,”, that He had a plan and purpose for it all, and that God gives us a testimony to get someone else through their test, “there is nothing new under the sun, not anything.” After some pouting, kicking, screaming, and a few temper tantrums I began to accept my past, embrace the life’s lessons and experiences it had afforded me, and welcome it as a catalyst for my God given purpose and future. As I began to surrender to God’s plan and purpose for my life, He began to reveal certain things to me, daily He brings people in my path who have been impacted, influenced, and affected by the system ,who are just as ill-informed, mis~educated, and ignorant of the system as I once was, and P.I.A.S. came into fruition~~For which I am honored, blessed, & humbly proud to be a part of~