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Malika Kidd

Strategic Leadership

Sunday, September 25

Strategic Leadership: Women in Leadership

Malika Kidd was released from the Ohio Department of Corrections, after serving 14 years for drug trafficking, in 2015. Her last four years of her incarceration was at Northeast Reintegration Center where the programs that she was involved in gave her confidence, leadership skills, higher self-esteem, and the ability to work under pressure. Upon her release she faced many obstacles, from employment to housing because of having a felony record. She overcame those obstacles and was hired at a nonprofit organization, Lutheran Metropolitan Ministry (LMM).

Malika started her career at LMM as a kitchen supervisor of the groundbreaking first of its kind in Ohio; culinary arts program Chopping for Change (C4C) in December 2015.  The program started as a pilot with five incarcerated women from NERC coming to LMM for the program. The program grew with students as well as notoriety. Malika’s passion and advocacy has been featured in newspapers and videos. In 2018 She was promoted to Program Manager of Chopping for Change. In her role at LMM she motivates the women.  Her passion for the women can be seen in the PBS Independent Lens documentary Apart, following the lives of three women who went through the C4C program.  Malika lets them know the positives that can come from a dire situation.  In doing so, she has received accolades from several organizations to include the 2017 Reentry Impact Award from Cuyahoga County Office of Reentry.

As she continued to work with Workforce Development and the Chopping for Change program, to further her career and education, she obtained an Associate of Arts degree from Cuyahoga Community College in 2018 and graduated from Cleveland State University in December of 2019 with a Bachelor of Arts degree with a concentration in Nonprofit Administration. Since her graduation, she has been promoted to Program Director Workforce Development.

Malika is currently enrolled in the MBA graduate program at Cleveland State University.  Her goal is to continue to work in the reentry field and eventually create a nonprofit focusing on housing for women, who have children, being released from prison. Malika wants to make the road easier for those coming behind her than it was for her and her advocacy in higher education, housing discrimination, and employment barriers is doing just that.

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