COLUMBUS, Ohio — Gaylisa Carr appreciates the journey life has taken her on. She said it’s made her the person she is today and accepts all the highs and the lows.
"We're making differences because now we're knowledgeable," she said.
Carr grew up in a single-parent home in Dayton. She said she went to college to play basketball but got hurt. When she came home, she immediately transitioned to the streets.
Carr told 10TV about the day that changed her life’s course forever.
"Unfortunately, I took the life of my victim in 1990. Involuntary manslaughter,” she said.
Carr said it was in self-defense. She spent nearly 14 years in prison, which is where she said she found her purpose.
Since she was released in 2004, she’s been going back to coach women who are still inside, working to prevent recidivism through her programs. Programs like Spreading Love Unapologetically.
Most importantly, Carr said she mentors women and young girls in an effort to prevent them from turning to a life of violence and crime.
"There was one girl who said, 'Give me a shirt I’ll put my gun down.' And then what she further went on to say was, 'The only reason I had a gun was because my brother got killed around the corner,'” she said.
Carr said she sees the crime that’s happening in the city. On Monday, she attended the End the Violence Walk in Linden, urging people to put down guns and pick up love instead.
Carr believes in the Black community, violence can stem from generational trauma.
"We don't feel like we have any control and like we don't have any power, so we act out,” she said.
Carr believes the work she and others are doing will end violence one day. Her latest movement is through an organization called the Unapologetic12. It’s a group of formerly incarcerated women that share their stories, hoping to prevent someone else from walking down that path.