Episode 54

December 31, 2023


Episode 54 - Ivy Woolf Turk - In 2009, I'm Sentenced to Five Years in Federal Prison. I Was Convicted of Conspiracy and Wire Fraud.

Hosted by

Drew Deraney
Episode 54 - Ivy Woolf Turk - In 2009, I'm Sentenced to Five Years in Federal Prison. I Was Convicted of Conspiracy and Wire Fraud.
From Caving In To Crushing It
Episode 54 - Ivy Woolf Turk - In 2009, I'm Sentenced to Five Years in Federal Prison. I Was Convicted of Conspiracy and Wire Fraud.

Dec 31 2023 | 00:44:17


Show Notes

This episode: In 2009, I'm sentenced to five years in federal prison. I was convicted of conspiracy and wire fraud.


Here’s what you’ll learn about:

Life changes and resilience. (0:00)

  • Ivy Woolf Turk shares her personal journey of resilience and redefining success after facing challenges.
  • Her father had a major health issue when she was a freshman in college, causing her to reevaluate her goals and switch majors.
  • She dives into the male-dominated advertising industry in the early 1970s, married her childhood sweetheart, and later realized her husband had issues but thought she could fix them.

Life events and business ventures. (4:24)

  • Ivy describes experiencing multiple life-changing events, including the loss of her home, job, and husband, while raising four young children.
  • She eventually merges her business with another company, and the partnership does not work out, leading to a new chapter in her life.
  • Ivy describes her experience with an abusive partner and the pressure to close a lucrative deal, despite feeling trapped and unhappy.
  • FBI agents raid Ivy's home, read her legal rights, and ransack her bedroom. 

Personal struggles and resilience. (11:43)

  • Ivy shares story of abuse, loss, and betrayal, including uterine cancer and death of loved ones.
  • She shares stories of financial fraud, depression, and advocacy for criminal justice reform.
  • Ivy reflects on forgetting her true self during difficult times, finds strength in letters from loved ones.

Overcoming obstacles and advocating for oneself. (18:22)

  • Ivy shares her personal story of overcoming self-worth issues and lack of self-esteem through teaching GED classes, leading to 61 out of 62 students graduating high school.
  • Ivy found her purpose in life by transmitting their life experiences into service, leading to her early release from a civil suit.
  • Ivy shares her experience of homelessness and struggle to rebuild her life after being released from prison, highlighting the challenges of reentry and the need for support and advocacy.
  • She reflects on her past actions as a real estate developer and how they marginalized and disenfranchised communities, and now she is facing similar struggles herself.

Overcoming trauma and injustices in the criminal justice system. (24:37)

  • Ivy describes her journey from prison to creating a program for women, helping 100 find housing and jobs.
  • Her Probation officer surprises her with unexpected freedom and financial support.
  • Ivy shared her experience of giving a public speech despite feeling unprepared and anxious, highlighting the importance of passion and confidence in public speaking.
  • Ivy discussed her creative solution to overcome financial challenges, using her children's lives as motivation to succeed.


To learn more about Ivy, go to LinkedIn at https://www.linkedin.com/in/ivywoolfturk-cpc/ or you can go to Ivy’s website at http://www.ivywoolfturk.com/


Ivy Woolf Turk Bio: Even the most well lived lives can contain moments when obstacles require us to find new tools to deal with adversity or the unexpected.…when life throws curve balls, and we feel stuck or “imprisoned” in one way or another. I sure did! 

For almost 20 years, I co-owned and managed a multi-million-dollar real estate portfolio, survived cancer, divorce, and single parenthood. All of this culminated in the betrayal of my business partner and I unwittingly got caught up in a fraudulent scheme and was sentenced to five years in Danbury Federal Prison!

Hi, I'm Ivy Woolf Turk.

During my time in Danbury, I realized that I was imprisoned in my outwardly successful life long before I was actually sentenced to serve my time. And, by the time I walked out of my seven by seven-foot cube for the last time after living there for forty-seven months, I realized that it shouldn't take a stint in Federal Prison for a woman to find her worth. And although Federal Prison gave me nothing, it certainly took a lot away. It took my home, my business, my reputation, and my place in my family. I was isolated, humiliated and degraded. 

Even though I was surrounded by 200 suffering strangers, I was so very alone. With no other way to grieve my overwhelming losses, I found myself turning within. And it was there that I found the real riches in my life. They had been there all along…I just didn’t know it!

Upon release, I needed a credential other than “ex-felon” to effectuate my dreams. So after a year of working odd jobs while pursuing my certification with Coaching for Transformation/ Leadership that Works, I became a certified professional coach. I founded Resiliency Coaching to work with individuals one on one and two years later, founded Project Liberation. Our trauma informed and healing workshops provide justice involved women the tools they need to create powerful and transformational relationships with self, other and community.   

Ten years later, it has become crystal clear to me that there are many prisons in which we find ourselves- but most don’t involve bars and cement walls. After coaching thousands of individuals both one on one and in group settings, Ihave founded A Liberated Lifeseries for those who want to move from the life they have to one they may not have even dared to dream of!

As a Champion of Freedom, I utilize my story to inspire others, not only as a coach, but as a keynote speaker, workshop facilitator, consultant and as an author. I have spoken domestically and internationally at many conferences, at the White House and from high schools to Harvard, partnered with the Department of Health and the United Nations. I was named New Yorker of the week and have been featured in Forbes, Rolling Stone, The New York Times, The Telegraph/ India and many other media outlets.

But none of those platforms or my B.S from Boston University are as important to me as regaining my place as matriarch of my family. I am inspired every day by my four adult children and my two very special grandchildren.

View Full Transcript

Episode Transcript

[00:00:06] Speaker A: Welcome to from caving in to crushing it, the podcast for those who find themselves immersed in adversity and choose to write their story instead of having others write it for them. I'm Drew Deraney, and I'm your host. Hi, Ivy. So good to see you. [00:00:23] Speaker B: So great to see you too, Drew. [00:00:26] Speaker A: So we have Anka Herman to thank for the introduction. So thank you, Anka. And I'm so glad Anka did introduce us. And the one call we had a few weeks ago was so enlightening for me, the type of human being you are. Resilience is one word I'd use for you, but I'd probably use that word four times for what you've gone through and who you've become. And I bring people on this show who were taught that life is linear, and we know that was a lie. We were told that if you do ABC or D e is going to happen. And every one of us have encountered something that got in the way of one of those letters and rerouted our life, and it's all about how we react to it, right? And I know you did not retreat from all the stuff that got in your way, and I know you turned into a stronger person because of it. If you could reach back as far as you desire and pinpoint one or two defining moments that had you stop and say, ivy, there's a better way to live, and I'm going that way, and that molded you into who you are now and what you're doing professionally and personally. Love to hear that. [00:01:45] Speaker B: Okay, well, I must say this. I don't think I was actually raised, as many people are, to believe, that there was a linear life, which was confusing to me, because in one way, the messaging was, you go to college, you get a career, whatever. And if I could begin at when that sort of blew up, it was when I was a freshman in college. This is really the first pivotal moment. My dad had some major health heart issues. I was a freshman in the school of fine Arts. Somehow I knew when I got in early decision to University of Pennsylvania, it wasn't for me. And I went for the hippie street vendors at Boston University, a much lower echelon of school. But it never mattered to me, like, the prestige. And there I was in the school of fine Arts. I was most creative in my high school, and I was creating and doing, and then dad got sick, and all of a sudden, it hit me that, wait a know, being a fine artist might not get me through the next three years of college, not to mention the rest of my life. So I moved into the school of communications and got into another creative sort of moment in advertising. But I shortly discovered you can't learn advertising from books. And so I became this sort of rebel, working three jobs to keep my tuition and keep myself in school and live in an apartment. And that was, like, really the first kind of what I call life quake, okay. Where I had to face that this nice little privileged picket fence life was not going to be what I thought it was. And now I want you to fast forward to graduating college and getting this fabulous advertising agency job. And being like this graduated early was, like, moving and shaking in the New York ad scene. And got married to my childhood sweetheart because women, in a way, were to be seen and not heard. And I was, like, operating in this very blue chip agency where there were no female executives. This is the early 70s. You were a secretary. And I had broken that ceiling and married. I didn't want to be an old maid at the ripe old age of 23 or four. So I married somebody I thought I knew that had issues, but I loved him and thought I could fix this. And the second quake came a few years later when pregnant with our second child, in a kind of crack smoking frenzy. While I was at the first pediatrician visit, he went to our home that I was not at because I was with the baby at the doctor, and he emptied out all semblance of life as we knew it. I came home to greet the four year olds, our first child, my son's school bus. He proudly walked his sister up to the front door, and we opened it, and it was like a blank slate. It would be taking a beautiful five bedroom house and, like, whitewashing it in a few hours. [00:05:25] Speaker A: Oh, my goodness. [00:05:27] Speaker B: So there I was. I found out I was going to become homeless and a penniless, and he was disappeared. And I had a newborn and a four year old, and I went to try to save the house, and that led to getting into the mortgage and real estate world. So now fast forward. I get in through a friend's husband. I work locally. I take the baby to work with me. I have a lot of flexibility. I move into a small two family house. My father has another health episode. I'm really on my own and really, like, I mean, talk about life. Quakes. This was a tsunami, okay. [00:06:12] Speaker A: Yeah, absolutely. [00:06:13] Speaker B: And I'm looking at these two beautiful little munchkins thinking, I got to make this work. And so now fast forward. The guy I'm working for, I've got this advertising marketing expertise, and we're building, and he dies of a brain tumor. [00:06:35] Speaker A: Oh, my gosh. [00:06:36] Speaker B: Okay. Another hurricane, and I find out he's decided to leave me the business. And I merged with another company. And to make a long, very long story short, that was not the right move. And it was right around the time that, without realizing it, I met my second husband, and he had custody of his two kids. And we merged our families over a four year period, moved in with one another, and I, with another employee of that company that I merged with, decided we could go off on our own. I had a home now. I was the mom of four kids. At the ripe old age, 32, they changed from two, six to nine, and eleven. With six, we got egg roll. I loved my husband. He was in the music business. From all outward appearances, I was finally on the right track. [00:07:39] Speaker A: Wow. [00:07:40] Speaker B: Now fast forward 20 years and the biggest tsunami, earthquake, whatever you want to call it, hit. Okay? We see, my partner and I, we've had a turbulent 20 years, but we've had some success. We've spent a year anticipating that the market is going to crash in 2007 or eight. This is July of 2007. We're two weeks away from consummating a year's worth of due diligence with a large hedge fund, where we're going to have unlimited sources of money as the market crashes to buy up all the undervalued and distressed real estate, which was our business model. Refurbish it and refi or sell it off. And my kids are the older ones. My bonus children are off in their young lives, starting their careers, and the younger ones are finishing college and starting grad school. And we have a celebration party because the young ones are launching, and I go to bed, and at 530 in the morning, there's a knock on my door that changed the trajectory of my life forever. [00:08:55] Speaker A: Okay. [00:08:56] Speaker B: Behind that door, drew, were 21 FBI agents at gunpoint. [00:09:01] Speaker A: Oh, my gosh. [00:09:02] Speaker B: As they dragged me up the stairs and chained me to my toilet while they read me my rights and ransacked my bedroom, all I could think was that women are to be seen and not heard. They've made a mistake. Just stay quiet. It's going to be okay. And as they brought me downstairs and stuffed me into a squad car through the bowels of New York, what they called the tombs, and locked me in a cold marble holding cell, there was a part of me that thought, oh, my God, I just want to die. Like, what's going on? Fortunately, my son was smart enough to call an old high school friend of mine who had had some problems. And the next thing I knew, like you see in the movies, that little window opened and a voice said, I'm here to represent you. We're going to get you home tonight. Hopefully. Just hang in there. I had no idea what was going on. I didn't know why, how, what went wrong. All I knew was that my partner of 20 years had been abusive, had been rough and gruff, and I was living for this deal to close. Because from the outside, right, I looked like the epitome of success. The house, the kids, the life, the style. But inside, I was miserable. And there was always this thing, okay, just close the deal. Send the kids, finish school, take your parents into old age. You're going to walk away with gazillions of dollars, and you'll be free. Okay? So if you have this, you could do that, and then you'll be. [00:10:55] Speaker A: And you were going to be free of the partner you wanted to get. [00:10:57] Speaker B: Rid of, because the partner of. [00:10:59] Speaker A: That's what you really needed this deal to go through, right? [00:11:01] Speaker B: I needed this deal to go through. And it wasn't just him. It was the dirty, underhanded real estate industry. It was duplicitous and grimy and so far from who I am and what I value. And the way that I got around it was fixing it. Like, I'd speak in homeless shelters and be on the board of the real estate women of New York and Rebnie. And I would be the ivy that I really. [00:11:32] Speaker A: Right. [00:11:32] Speaker B: And I'd have to be in the horror of it. I hated it. And I just kept seeing the finish line, and I was right there. Had the deal closed, I would have been worth over $300 million, something around there. And sailed off with a management agreement six months later for cents on the dollar, maybe I would have been worth 10 million. It would have been more than I ever dreamed possible that day. I lost everything that I work for. All the money, my business, my reputation. But most importantly, I lost my place as the matriarch of my family because took my home, they put liens on everything, and I was left literally fighting for my life. [00:12:18] Speaker A: Jeez. [00:12:19] Speaker B: Now, I want you to fast forward to 2009. I'm sentenced to five years in federal prison. My partner, who knew everything, was made in our wonderful, as I'll call injustice system, the cooperator. He got a much lesser sentence, and I'll never know how. What? Whether that was a prosecutor pulling a notch in his belt, whether it was my partner throwing me under the bus because unfortunately, the man for 20 years who said he was the brother from another mother and who. I fell, and I totally own this, okay? It was like I fell into, out of my own lack of worth, self esteem conditioning. I fell into an abused woman syndrome. It's like he'd yell, he'd threaten, and then he'd make it up and leave a Birkin bag on my desk saying, I couldn't do it without you. It was like a constant fear of repercussion, but not being able to stand up for myself and really own. And I'll tell you, while all this was going on, as if the following things were not enough. Had uterine cancer, lost my second husband, who was the love of my life, to an accident, who couldn't handle any of himself or me anymore, by the way, we're best friends to this day, and we're still coparenting all these adult children. But then my father died, who was the best friend, the love of my life. And there I am with this guy saying he's the brother from another mother, and this all happens, and I've never heard from him since. That was 2009. [00:14:07] Speaker A: What got you and him in trouble? Why did they arrest you guys? [00:14:11] Speaker B: That's a story for another day. But we were convicted on conspiracy. [00:14:16] Speaker A: Oh, jeez. [00:14:17] Speaker B: Mail and wire fraud. Now, if you know anything about the criminal legal system for which I've become a major advocate and have spoken out all over the world, from schools to the White House, conspiracy usually means that they can't really figure out. They just know something's gone wrong, and they have enough to convict. Okay. [00:14:43] Speaker A: Wow. [00:14:43] Speaker B: So, I have found out what was really wrong. There were signs along the way. There were things I knew. There were things I didn't. I own it. Okay? I really own it. But not enough. Had they let that deal go through, every investor would have gotten their money, and they sued us civilly for things that should have happened that didn't. There were things, okay. But to upend this in the way that I've now experienced, not only for myself, having lived it, but for thousands of others, that I act as a consultant for whatever I can tell you, this is broken. 80% of the women I served with were mothers ripped from their kids, way less fortunate than me, without support and privilege and education. And all I can say is, there was a part of me that wished I could die. I didn't want to kill myself because I would never do that to my kids. But you want to talk about hitting bottom? [00:15:58] Speaker A: Sure. [00:15:59] Speaker B: It was the lowest ebb, the most shame filled, embarrassed, horrific, frightening moment of my life. And what I can say to you now is that while I was there, the first year was really tough, okay? Remaining the matriarch of my family through letters, through limited resources, limited freedom, and limited movement, was really hard. I was depressed. I was scared. But what started to happen was that there was nowhere to look outside to define success, believe I could fix or have any agency over. And the only place left was to. [00:16:45] Speaker A: Look with it within. Right. [00:16:48] Speaker B: And who I found is the ivy that had been there all along. I just had forgotten about her. I just had forgotten who that was. I started to find the riches, the creativity, the heart led being the genuine person. And just when that started to happen, I received a package from my attorneys saying that I had lost my appeal, which was devastating, because that meant going to have four more years. And there was a packet of letters that they had requested from. They had asked me for a list of people that might attest to my character at some point, if needed. So they got a list from the most intimate, like my kids, my family, all the way to my hairdresser and anybody who had known me from childhood to then. And they sent me this packet. I never knew. They never told me that they requested these letters. And they sent me this packet with a note that said, in case you forget who you are, read these. And I could cry right now, because, gosh, I'm in the midst of writing a book called the Handwritten Life, which is the only way that I could communicate with my children and they with me. And these letters are now in the fore all these years later, and I'm reading about the ivy that all these people knew and loved that I forgotten about. Okay. [00:18:33] Speaker A: Unbelievable. [00:18:34] Speaker B: So now fast forward. It's three years in. I break my ankle. That's a whole other story. I'm living in. The whole groundhog day of counts and horrific, or practically no medical attention, horrible food, suffering, strangers all around me. Yet there was sort of a sacred sisterhood there, because what I was noticing was past age or race or socioeconomic background. What had led us all, despite what separated us, what it looked like, right. Common denominator. And that was a lack of self worth, esteem, agency. And so the breaking of the leg forced me not to be in my construction job anymore, and they gave me a job as a GEd English teacher. [00:19:29] Speaker A: Okay, interesting. [00:19:31] Speaker B: I got a classroom, and I walked in, and there was 62 women there who didn't want to be getting their high school diploma. They were shamed. I can't do this. They were defeated before they began. And they had two like, what do you think you're going to teach me? And that began an exploration like, nothing. I'm not an expert on your life, but I know that you are. And my job is to help you uncover what gets in the way or what got in the way when you were 13 and pregnant and kicked out of your house from getting the high school diploma. That when you get out of here, you're going to need to start the life you dare to dream, if you even know what that is. Now, I don't even know where that came out of my mouth, but, wow, to say it. And that began adding to this curriculum, the things that had brought me to find the riches in me. Journaling, yoga, meditation, walking on the track, all these things. And I brought this, and I created this part of the curriculum called your right to heal. I love that, the GED curriculum. And I'm proud to tell you that 61 out of the 62 women graduated with their high school diploma. The one that didn't was because she was released early before she could take the exams. And people thought, is she working for the feds? Like, what happened to her? All of a sudden, she's gone from weeping willow to dancing around as if she's sparkling. Well, I wasn't working for the feds. I just had found my purpose. And my purpose was to take a life of experience and transmute it into a life of service. [00:21:31] Speaker A: Oh, my gosh. [00:21:31] Speaker B: And I got the fateful letter from my sentencing judge that said that there had been some sort of civil suit and some forensic whatevers, and I was being released early. And so, after almost four years, homeless, penniless, destitute, surprised, I had way more than most women did leaving a prison. But I had nowhere to live. I had love of those four kids and my ex husband and a whole host of friends. [00:22:09] Speaker A: All those letters, too. [00:22:11] Speaker B: Nowhere for me to live. [00:22:13] Speaker A: No. Right? [00:22:14] Speaker B: So I had to go to a halfway house, and that was a whole new layer of shame and degradation and isolation. And although I had managed thousands of multifamily units, nobody would rent me an apartment. And although I had a degree from Boston University and all these credentials and privilege, nobody would hire me and give me a job I had found written on my forehead in neon. And then I got mugged. Day one, they send you out in the Bronx, okay, where this halfway house was. They send you out to buy toothpaste and whatever. And I fortunately, had kids who gave me a purse and clothing to wear my sweats from prison. And to start my life a buy toothpaste and shampoo and essentials. And I found myself on the ground on Fordham Road with a dislocated shoulder. Although I thought it had been ripped off my body, I didn't know it was just dislocated. And people were stepping over me like ants. And all I could think was, as a real estate developer, you disenfranchised so many people and marginalized so many people while you were gentrifying neighborhoods in Brooklyn, in Harlem, Bronx, and now you've become one of them. [00:23:34] Speaker A: Oh, my God. [00:23:35] Speaker B: What are you going to do, Ivy? What about if you can't make it out here on day one? White, privileged, educated. What about your sacred sisters you left behind? And that was the day I knew I needed a credential other than felon. [00:23:53] Speaker A: Yes. [00:23:54] Speaker B: And I crawled back. Some man helped me up. The shoulder popped into place. I was scared to tell them what happened to me because they would have sent me back because I had no medical anything. I just decided, I'm going to tough this out, and I'm going to campaign to go back to school. And I went to every reentry program there was in New York asking for help, asking for scholarships, and nobody could help me. They all said, you'll be fine. We have pancake mix. And it was like, really? I just hungry. And I live in a halfway house. Where am I going to cook pancake? And, like, I left all these places who were collecting people and taking risk and need assessments, and I went, Ivy, you don't only have to learn to advocate for yourself and figure out how to teach others how to advocate for themselves, but you've got to advocate for how broken the system is. [00:24:51] Speaker A: Oh, yes, absolutely. [00:24:53] Speaker B: I, you know, started to get involved. We created the National Council of formerly incarcerated and incarcerated women. I started speaking in law schools around the country, hoping to influence future lawyers and prosecutors on the injustices and the indignities for women. One thing led to another. So I got out prematurely in November of 2013. By November of 2014, I had graduated a year's worth with a certification as a certified professional coach. I was cleaning other people's houses, working in a furniture showroom, driving a cab, doing anything. [00:25:31] Speaker A: I. Oh, my goodness. [00:25:33] Speaker B: To stay alive and to not be a burden on my children and spend whatever moments I had, becoming the mom that they knew who was their be all single parent person. And that started to really gel. My daughter moved out of the apartment I had put her in when we took the house. I moved into this little studio I had a stick lamp, a blow up mattress, and our dog. And basically, I started my life. That was 2014, right? 2015, I had taken the program that I began to create in prison. I added coaching to it, and I got a grant and I took it to the one organization in New York City that works with women, specifically called the Women's Prison association. And for a year, with 100 women in two of their homeless shelters that had come home from prison, I tried this on with them. I watched 100 women find permanent housing, get jobs, kick baby, that were beating them to the curb. And then with all that success, created speaking gigs with the International Coaching Federation and with the women's Forum. And on the day anniversary where we were going to do our budgets for year two, they fired me. [00:26:59] Speaker A: What? [00:27:00] Speaker B: They kicked one of their own to the curb, knowing I was on probation, that that could mean me being sent back to prison and that nobody would believe me. And they kept the money, hundreds of thousands of dollars. And I had to call my probation officer, which is something. You get a parking ticket, you've got to call it in and say you've had a problem, right? And went, wolf Turk, be here at 08:00 a.m. Tomorrow morning. And I thought the marshals were going to take me back. That's the level. Despite how good my life was, that's the level of post traumatic stress I now, in looking back, realize that I had, right? And I went to that meeting and he sat know, like superfly and said, so, wolf Turk, you got huh? And I'm thinking, yay. And he goes, well, today's your lucky day. We're cutting you loose. I went, you're sending me back? And he no, no. Didn't you hear me, wolf Turk, we're cutting you loose. And I said, well, what does that mean, sir? And he said, it means that you don't realize. But many of the women that went to the homeless shelter at WPA came through probation first. They came out of federal prison. We've been following them and therefore following you. We see what you've done. We cutting you loose. We want you to go and do it on your own. It's time. We're cutting all your financial restrictions. Go get yourself a place, find the women, and good luck, and we'll send you as many referrals as we can. And I sat there, Drew, whoa. Frozen because I didn't know how I was going to pay my rent next week with no paycheck. I didn't know how I was going to get my intellectual property back. I didn't know how I was going to advertise to get the women to know about me. I was freaked out. And two days later, I had the first speech, my first public appearance ever, not about how broken prison was in a law school, but to an audience called the women's forum. Okay, which women at the top of their careers, a lot of money to belong to this elite thing. And the name of the talk was, this could have been you. [00:29:29] Speaker A: Oh, I love that. [00:29:30] Speaker B: And from the arts to the judiciary, there was a waiting list. There were 100 women signed up for this sunken Park Avenue living room experience with me as the guest speaker, with a moderator. And I called the moderator, and I said, I've been fired. I can't do this. And she went, ivy, there's a waiting list of, like, 50 women. We already have 100 confirmed. The show must go on. And so, Drew, this was a finding moment. Another one? I mean, I know I've given you way more than the. [00:30:09] Speaker A: This is great. Wow. You got so many of, you know. [00:30:12] Speaker B: These are all, like. And there's so many little ones in between, but this was a biggie. Okay. I was practically puking in the bathroom before I had to sit in the chair in front of this well healed audience. And she asked a lot of great questions, and I made it through. I kind of, like, grew my confidence because the passion was there. Okay. The one thing that we had agreed was she would not say I'd been fired. And we just sort of gloss over what I was doing. Okay. [00:30:46] Speaker A: Yeah. [00:30:47] Speaker B: We get to the end, and there were a few women in the audience that weren't so nice. Like, so how'd you keep that red hair in prison? And by now, I was feeling my thing, and I said, well, I stole beets from the mess hall, and I bought jolly ranchers on the commissary, and I melted them down for the red dye five. And, of course, they got the message, because you can buy dye if you have money, which many don't, and I did because my kids hopped their lives to make sure I had toothpaste and hair dye so I didn't lose my dignity. I mean, that's a whole other conversation. But bottom line, I found a way to dye my own hair in the slop sink. So when they saw me, they weren't scared, which they were more than scared for other reasons. To see me looking like Dorian Gray or any other woman there, for that know, the prison doesn't think about how they strip you of your dignity in every way. So it's the women that come together and support each other. [00:31:49] Speaker A: Right. [00:31:50] Speaker B: And so I was very glib at this point. And then there were a few intelligent questions, and the moderator said, okay, we've gone over an hour, and we've got to let our gracious host here in this townhouse clean up and go to sleep. One more question. And this very austere, sort of gray, short haired lady with, like, little pearl earrings and a pinstripe suit stands up and says, hello, ivy dear. My name is Judge Loretta Presca. And I went like this. I thought the marshals again were coming out of the closet. She was the chief justice of the southern district of New York. The boss of my sentencing judge had just revealed the ills of the system. My experience with the no medical and the. [00:32:44] Speaker A: That's right. And she's in the audience. Yeah. [00:32:47] Speaker B: And I'm thinking, oh, my God. And I literally fainted. [00:32:51] Speaker A: Oh, no, you did. [00:32:53] Speaker B: Okay. The next thing I know, I'm being lifted, and, like, the room is spinning. I think they're going to haul me off this. And it's Judge Prescott saying, young lady, she's got her arms around me, like, holding my shoulders. She says, young lady, I have three things to say to you. I commend your courage. I'm really interested in these common denominators and specific pathways that lead women different than men to criminal legal involvement. But more so. I want to help you. Wow, what you're doing is amazing. And I don't know how many. Sorry, that's my dog barking. I don't know how many of the women stood up. It was like a sea of women, and I do, too. And that night, about twelve of them took me across the street and took me out for dinner. And drew, I was liberated. [00:33:59] Speaker A: That's awesome. [00:34:00] Speaker B: I was liberated. Project liberation was born. I know we're running out of time, so I'm just going to give you the highlights. I was liberated. One woman became my lawyer and incorporated project Liberation the next day. One gave me workshop space. One became my accountant, another one, XFBI, became my first board member. All these women came together to lift me up and say, you go, girl, we've got you. And I started project liberation with the curriculum that I got away, my intellectual property. It was called the Blackbird Project. It became project Liberation. So that was February of 2016. Okay. To date, over 500 women have gone through that program. Zero have gone back to prison. [00:34:54] Speaker A: I love it. [00:34:55] Speaker B: Citivism rate of over 50% in the country. So that means they all go back, right? None of the project liberation ladies have gone back. The relationships have been unbelievable. I've created community and I've built. So there are four buckets to me. There's my private practice, where it shouldn't take a stint in federal prison for a woman or a man to find their worth, right? Okay, so my private practice is resiliency coaching for people who are imprisoned, or as I like to say, stuck or in transition in a moment in their lives that has nothing to do with the criminal legal system, right? [00:35:37] Speaker A: It's just stuck in their life, their. [00:35:39] Speaker B: Careers, their children, whatever it is. So that has really grown over time as I've been out into the world number two, which is as a public inspirational speaker, speaking of my trajectory and how adversity has constantly become my greatest teacher, my greatest curriculum for growth. And then there's my project liberation. Work with marginalized women who have been or have been affected by the criminal legal system. And now what I'm doing, being that post Covid, my partners know, the New York City Department of Health, everything shut down and funding became crazy. So I went on and did it for free and realized this is not sustainable. This is all connected. There are people in the world that have never been to prison, and people who have been, and these people all need the same work on building from the life they have to the life they maybe haven't yet dared to dream. And so in the process of creating what I am calling a liberated life, and for every person that invests in themselves by being involved in this community, which will include masterminds and workshops and individual coaching, 15% of whatever comes in from those investments, to me, as the facilitator, as the coach, is going to go to a woman who gets it for free. And instead of depending on conditions and money going to Ukraine, or money going to climate change, or women are low on the philanthropic ladder and ad formally incarcerated, I'm just going to fund it myself. And whatever donors I've been fortunate to have, will continue to add, and I'll continue to speak, and I will continue, hopefully one day, to take the women and men from a liberated life and introduce them to the women and men of project liberation and let the twains meet, because they will have way more that combines them and is similar than what separates them. [00:38:01] Speaker A: Absolutely. What an amazing story. Oh, my gosh. Well, thank you for, you brought it all together and I thank you so much for being so vulnerable and you are helping so many people. There's a ton of questions I want to ask you. [00:38:19] Speaker B: I just say one thing before you. The questions. I just want to say the thing that is most near and dear to me, that has nothing to do with any of these life quakes, except the fact that they are the most important people to me. Because coming home, as I've been developing, this November, will be ten years. This is 23, so 2013 to 2023. The most important thing to me this whole time, even though it sounds like I've been uber industrious, I have. But the thing that's mattered to me most as a human being, was becoming a matriarch with a dining room table so I could once again regain my place. And it makes me really emotional when I say this. I could really have my place, my solid place, with those kids and their significant others. And in time, I've become a grandmother of two. [00:39:19] Speaker A: Congratulations. [00:39:20] Speaker B: I can only say that the relationships that we have are the most potent, beautiful, heart led, authentic relationships. And right now, two of them. One has moved to Mexico City, and the family with the grandkids has moved to Berlin temporarily. And I've crafted a life where not only is what's important to me, but what's important to my clients and the people I speak with, is now possible, because I can do what I do from anywhere in the world. And as long as I'm near and proximate to them, I'm good. And I still only have a dining room table, but my hope is it'll be theirs. It doesn't necessarily have to be mine. It has to just be our hearts that stay together. And that for anybody who's suffering or in a really tough moment of their lives, you got to really figure out what's really important. Because when you give, it's like, where your attention goes, your energy flows. And when my attention is really in the things that are important. No, I don't have a fancy car, and I don't have a big house or a dining room table that fits more than six. Okay. But I'm rich. [00:40:44] Speaker A: Yes. [00:40:45] Speaker B: Anyone can be rich if they just get in touch and follow what they value. So I just needed to say that. [00:40:54] Speaker A: Thank you for doing that. And be grateful for and never underestimate your dining room table. There are people who don't have one. And so that's a very awesome message. Ivy, two final questions. Ivy, I want to give you an opportunity to sit down with your younger self. You're sitting down with seven to ten year old Ivy, and you want to give her advice about life. What are you going to tell her? [00:41:18] Speaker B: Don't fix everybody else at the expense of yourself, because you're scared that if you don't, the bottom is going to fall out. Trust that you matter. [00:41:28] Speaker A: Love that. All right, switching hats now you have an opportunity to sit with young Ivy, the young businesswoman entrepreneur. You want to give her advice on business. What are you going to tell her? [00:41:43] Speaker B: Don't chase people, places and things because you think you should or have to figure out what you want to and design your life, that of those near and dear to you and that for your business and your constituencies, based on a design that first works for you and then design the experience from that place for love that. [00:42:10] Speaker A: Well, Ivy, thank you. And the audience certainly captured the essence of Ivy. Wolf, Turk, and audience, I want you to know what Ivy is granting for anyone who wants to take the opportunity to have a free discovery call with Ivy to help you turn an adversity and your experience into a great curriculum for growth like Ivy did. Anybody who reaches out to Ivy. Ivy, where do you want them to reach you? Email or you want to do? [00:42:46] Speaker B: They can reach me at [email protected] [email protected] great. [00:42:57] Speaker A: So anybody who wants to email Ivy and say you heard this, heard on this episode, she will grant you a free discovery call. You can discuss with her your adversities and that you want to experience the same kind of turnaround that she has and turn your life into a great curriculum for growth. Please do so. Ivy, thank you so much for being here. I'm grateful you're in my life and that we're friends and this will certainly be the second of many times that we talk to each other. [00:43:29] Speaker B: Drew, thank you. So really, it's been really beautiful to be here and to feel the alignment not only in what I'm doing, but what you're doing. So thank you. [00:43:40] Speaker A: You're welcome. Thank you so much, Ivy. Hey, take care of yourself, everybody. Be well. Thanks so much for listening. If you enjoyed the episode, please subscribe and give us a review to help others find it. If you find yourself immersed in adversity and would like to find support from other men in times of struggle, please become a member of my men's supporting men collaboration Tribe by emailing me at [email protected] express your interest and I'll get in touch with you. Speak to you soon.

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