LaNita Mitchell is a mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother with a passionate commitment to a more equitable and prosperous future for families and young people impacted by the justice system.
Drawing on her own experience of losing her husband to police violence and struggling with her youngest son’s 17-year prison sentence as a youth, LaNita is a leader in the growing family-led juvenile justice reform movement. In 2003, she was introduced to the Ella Baker Center’s Books Not Bars campaign, and quickly stepped up as a core member of Families of Books Not Bars, California’s first advocacy network for families of incarcerated youth. In 2006, she started Mothers of Many Sons (MOMS), a support group based in Lakewood, California, which serves parents and young people as they go through the traumatic ordeal of arrest and incarceration, and helps them feel less alone in the process.
A 1996 graduate of the Cottonwood School of Ministry, LaNita completed a Bachelor of Arts from the International School of Ministry in 2004 and was ordained in 2005. She also holds a certificate in Data Management and has worked for The Boeing Company for over 22 years.