Ta’Isha Gist is a leader and change agent who helped define the movement to end gun violence and homicides in New York State from 2015-2022. Today, her life’s passion is to serve historically marginalized populations as a motivational speaker, executive coach, and social entrepreneur.
In 2017, Ta’Isha founded Embrace Your Hand, Inc., a nonprofit in New York City that offered intervention and mentorship programs to youth in poverty and at risk of juvenile detention, incarceration, and gun violence.
She has also held leadership roles with the New York Department of Criminal Justice as a part of the SNUG Initiative. SNUG – guns, spelled backward – enlists credible messengers to work with youth who are accustomed to violence as a means of survival. Ta’Isha served as a program manager in the Hempstead and Wyandanch SNUG cites for three and four years, respectively. From 2017 through 2022, she trained SNUG supervisors, program managers and social workers throughout the state to identify trauma and violent behavior, provide conflict resolution assistance, teach crisis management and pro-social life skills, and make agency referrals.
Known as “the face of gun violence reform in New York,” Ta’Isha has received more than 180 honors and awards for her work. Most recently, she was featured in a one-hour tribute to the life and legacy of Martin Luther King, Jr., which aired on PBS in 2022.
Today, trained through Co-Active Leadership Institute, Ta’Isha coaches and supports professionals working in the foster care system, government agencies, and nonprofits. She has assisted coaching trainings with the International Trading Administration, Co-Active Leadership Institute, and Whole Mind Leadership.
As a motivational speaker, she addresses churches, schools, community groups, and prisons. As a social entrepreneur, she is currently building a company to bring fresh juices to neighborhoods that are food insecure in North Carolina.