Lioness
Justice Impacted Women's Alliance

The female lion known as a lioness, is the perfect symbol of female power and sisterhood. We embrace the inner lioness in each of us as we gather together to advocate for the rights of currently and formerly incarcerated girls and women in Texas.

Join us for monthly meetings to establish priorities and action items.

“Lioness: Justice Impacted Women’s Alliance (JIWA) is a nonprofit program sponsored by Build Up, Inc., a 501(c)3 public charity.”


About Us image
Lioness: Justice Impacted Women’s Alliance is an organization led by currently and formerly incarcerated girls and women in Texas with the purpose of ending the incarceration and systematic devaluing of the girls and women within our criminal legal system.
We envision a society where we and our sisters are spiritually, emotionally, mentally and physically free from all forms of violence and harm in the criminal legal system.  Our vision can be achieved through radical advocacy, education, community engagement, grassroot organizing and legislative action.
We believe that lived experience is the guiding force to change.

We believe in honoring each other’s differences while striving to bring one unified voice of currently and formerly incarcerated girls and women in Texas into all spaces.

We believe that jails and prisons perpetuate harm and violence against girls and women.
  • PO Box 12051, Austin, Texas 78711

Contact us to receive the Lioness newsletter and links to join our monthly meetings. Add your name to the growing list of women ready to take up the fight on behalf of the girls and women incarcerated in Texas!


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Support us in our radical advocacy, education, community engagement, grassroot organizing and legislative empowerment!

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Jennifer Toon

Project Director

Lori Mellinger

Maggie Luna

Alexa Garza

Diane Schwiercz

Cecila McDonald

Nikki Moser

Amanda Cassidy-Trejo

  •  12/11/2022 05:00 PM
  •   112 St Louis Ave, Fort Worth, TX, USA

We are gonna be hanging out and filling out greeting cards for those who are spending the holidays in TDCJ!

  •  12/11/2022 01:00 PM
  •   1212 East Anderson Lane, Austin, TX 78752, United States

Lioness Holiday Party at RARE this Sunday! Bring your holiday cards, stamps and food. We are going to write cards to all our members on the inside and as many other women in TDCJ as we have postage and cards for! Please join us for holiday cheer and snacks.

  •  12/3/2022 11:00 AM - 12/3/2022 02:00 PM
  •   1212 East Anderson Lane, Austin, TX 78752, United States

A free event featuring presentations from system impacted speakers, along with resources and information about local organizations in Austin working on reentry and advocacy for criminal legal system reform. Free Food!

  •  10/20/2022 02:00 PM
  •   401 Joe Routt Blvd, College Station, TX 77840, USA

Marci joins the panel to discuss what the heat is like in Texas prisons.

  •  10/10/2022 06:00 PM
  •   2315 Red River St, Austin, TX 78712, USA
  •  10/1/2022 06:00 PM
  •   2307 Manor Road, Austin, TX 78722, USA

A showcase and celebration of the work of TAVP's inaugural Visions After Violence cohort featuring our own Lioness members Alex Garza and Lovinah Perkins. Join them at Butterfly Bar for an evening celebrating the inaugural cohort of Visions After Violence fellows. We will take time together as a community to commemorate and reflect on the interviews and work of fellows, whose projects have investigated the realities of incarceration for women, the intersection of mental health and mass incarceration, and how deportation changes individuals, families, and loved ones. This event is FREE and open to the public and invites each of us to honor the accomplishments of three outstanding Visions After Violence community fellows: Alex Garza, Lovinah Perkins, & Juania Sueños.

  •  9/17/2022 03:00 PM
  •   4550 Mueller Boulevard, Austin, TX, USA

On September 17, 2022, the Central Texas recovery community will host the Sixth Annual Recovery in the Park event at Mueller Lake Park in East Austin from 3 pm to 8 pm. To register for Recovery in the Park: www.recoveryinthepark.com

  •  8/20/2022 09:00 AM
  •   5540 N Lamar Blvd, Austin, TX 78756, USA
  •  7/15/2022 07:30 PM
  •   1610 East 11th Street, Austin, TX 78702, USA

The BOX is written and directed by Sarah Shourd, who was held in solitary confinement for over 400 days as a political prisoner in Iran. After discovering the prevalence of solitary confinement in the United States, she collaborated with other survivors and together, they have brought this project to life.

  •  7/2/2022 02:07 PM
  •   7910 Cameron Rd, Austin, TX 78754, USA

Speakers will introduce you to the landscape around justice reform in the Austin area, including youth justice and women's justice, and easy ways to get involved. The event will also feature community leaders, local organizations, voter registration information and resources, and information about record clearing.

  •  6/1/2022 07:00 PM
  •   2906 Fruth St, Austin, TX 78705, USA

Lioness member Jennifer Toon tells a unique story of community and friendship between system impacted women.

  •  5/19/2022 04:00 PM

Join us on Thursday, May 19 at 4pm CST to learn from a diverse group of Texas leaders, including two members of Lioness who are justice-impacted students, about the magnitude of this moment, what’s happening in our state, and the urgent work that lies ahead to ensure access and success for all Texans who stand to benefit from this long and hard-fought policy change.

  •  5/10/2022 10:30 AM
  •   100 East Weatherford Street, Fort Worth, TX, USA

Join us on Tuesday 5/10 at 10:30 am for a rally and press conference in front of Tarrant County Commissioners Court to stand in solidarity with Kelly Masten’s family and the people incarcerated in Tarrant county jail who have suffered medical neglect and inhumane treatment.

  •  4/23/2022 02:00 PM
  •   1010 Colorado St, Austin, Texas, USA

We in front of the Governor's house yall!! Join us in Austin this Saturday at 2pm CT as cities across the country rally around the National Day of Action to #FreeMelissaLucio

  •  4/14/2022 07:00 PM
  •   5500 Menchaca Road, Austin, TX, USA

Hosted by Texas After Violence Project. The state of Texas plans to execute two people this month: Carl Buntion and Melissa Lucio. Join Maggie Luna and Jennifer Toon in conversation with Texas Death Row survivor Pam Perillo about their lived experiences with the death penalty as formerly incarcerated women in Texas, and about their work as activists to advocate for an end to executions.

  •  4/6/2022 06:00 PM
  •   University of Texas at Austin, Austin, TX, USA

Screening of "The State of Texas vs Melissa" and panel discussion with Jennifer and Maggie.

  •  4/2/2022 01:00 PM - 4/2/2022 03:00 PM
  •   3081 S Hampton Rd, Dallas, TX 75224, USA
  •  3/26/2022 02:00 PM - 3/26/2022 05:00 PM
  •   4700 Grover Avenue, Austin, TX, USA