Melinda is an author, activist, and advocate born and raised in the S.E. section of Washington, D.C. In 2016 Robertson’s twenty-year old son was in his third year of college when he was falsely accused and wrongfully incarcerated for stabbing a student to death during a brawl on the campus of a prominent HBCU. He went on trial for first degree murder, with no DNA evidence linking him to the heinous crime and found Not Guilty, however, during the trial the judge “added” an accessory after the fact charge, to which he was found guilty. The pre-sentencing investigator recommended time served and/or probation since he had NO PRIORS, but the judge gave him the maximum TEN years. She watched in disbelief as they "railroaded" her only son and fought vigorously until the Court of Special Appeals and the Court of Appeals overturned his conviction in 2019. They assumed that once the conviction was overturned her son would be released immediately, but that's not what happened. He was given another court hearing two months later, at which time the judge set a $50,000 bail!! She couldn't believe the level of corruption they witnessed. Sadly, the student's death remains unsolved today.
Robertson wrote about their experience in “The AboveGround Railroad." The story opens the night of the brawl and takes readers through the trial, endless court hearings, two overturned convictions and shows readers how she survived the depression and despair. Learning the importance of feeding her Spirit in order to feed her son's whenever he called, crying after each call. Desperately trying to forget the haunting images and sleepless nights until she came to the realization that God had her son where He wanted him and she had to learn to Trust the Process and get the message God intended for her to get out of the ordeal.
Following her son's release, Robertson founded Black Mothers 4 Justice, Inc. to help mothers understand the process and provide a safe space where they can speak freely about their child’s conviction, maximum sentences for minor offenses, etc. without being judged. She is the 2020 Union Temple Baptist Church Women's Day recipient of The Dr. Dorothy Height Award in recognition of her outstanding work in the community.
Robertson is the host of "NjustUs," a bi-weekly one-hour podcast on Urban Flava Radio she has been hosting since May 202. She features guests personally impacted by the criminal justice system and/or making a difference in the Black Community, further solidifying her role as an activist and advocate.
Robyn A. Ross-Nell, MS, CAADC, BS
Robyn was born and raised in Washington D.C. She's a wife, proud mother of three and grandmother. She is outgoing and loves to assist, engage, empower, educate and advocate for those in need from life’s challenges.
Robyn has a Master of Science degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling and Substance Abuse from Shippensburg University and has worked in multiple counseling settings to acquire knowledge and gain experience in her profession.
Robyn views her counseling process as a commitment of advocating and supporting the wellbeing of her clients. She provides a safe, non-judgmental, and a supportive environment that is significant in conveying comfort to bring about change clients are seeking in their lives, relationships and creating that kind of environment in counseling is her primary goal. Robyn has a passion for assisting others with their needs and chose this field because she is a recovering addict and alcoholic with twenty-four years of sobriety. Her clean date is August 4, 1997, and says she would not have made it this far without the knowledge of the disease of addiction, assistance from her Substance Abuse Counselor, the 12 Step Program of Narcotic & Alcoholic Anonymous (NA & AA), her sponsor and a relapse prevention plan.
Today, Robyn advocates for people with life’s challenges and struggles in mental health, against injustice issues, human trafficking, domestic relations, teenage suicide, crisis, racism, and bullying to name a few. She also sponsors other recovering addicts, speaks to prisoners in recovery, meets individually with trauma patients, crisis clients, and recovering addicts to discuss the recovery process. Robyn shares her story with clients, recovering addicts and alcoholics at NA & AA Conventions worldwide and enjoys giving back what was so freely given to her. Robyn works with people from diverse backgrounds including religious, racial, ethnic, gender, socioeconomic status, sexual orientation, and different abilities.
Jocquelle M. Wrenn
Jocquelle is the mother of two sons, Davon and DeMarco Wrenn and a granddaughter named Zoei that she affectionately calls her love bug. Joquelle’s love for children and her expertise of nearly 20 years as a licensed childcare provider in the State of Maryland speaks for itself. She is a black businesswoman, entrepreneur, leader, trainer on budget planning and what excellent customer service look like on the other side of your business doors.
Jocquelle chose to become a board member for Black Mothers 4 Justice, and says her inspiration is most derived from knowing everyday she can support, give unconditional love, and listen to the needs of other mothers after becoming entangled in the judicial system through a situation her oldest son encountered. Jocquelle had no idea how corrupt lawyers and judges were until her own experience, which compelled her to join the Black Mothers 4 Justice movement. She is greatly concerned about the injustices people of color or subjected to by an unfair and unjust criminal justice system.
Joquelle is a long-time member of Union Temple Baptist Church in Washington, D.C. and accredits her faith for sustaining her and her son during those dark days and knows without a shadow of a doubt that it was God’s Grace that got them through.
Join the Black Mothers 4 Justice Facebook Group today!