Kemba Smith Pradia

Advocate and Author

Kemba Smith Pradia is a wife, mother, public speaker, advocate, consultant, and author of Poster Child: The Kemba Smith Story. In 1994, Kemba was sentenced to 24.5 years in federal prison for a first-time drug charge. President Clinton commuted her sentence in December 2000 after she had served 6.5 years in prison. Her story has been featured on BET, CNN, and Nightline and in several publications such as JET, Essence, Glamour, People magazines, The Washington Post, and The New York Times.

Kemba is the founder of The Kemba Smith Foundation, a 501(c)(3) that works to eliminate injustices, prejudice and discrimination. She has worked with senior officials at The White House, the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland, members of Congress, and has led training for Federal and State Probation organizations across the country. She has received numerous awards and recognitions for her courage and determination as a motivational speaker and advocate. In 2019, Kemba was appointed to the Virginia Parole Board by Governor Ralph Northam, and she continues to serve on the Virginia Criminal Sentencing Commission. Prior to her appointment, she held the position of State Advocacy Campaigns Director with the ACLU of Virginia.

A young woman holds a sign that says "End the Drug War."

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