creating a life where the strength of love leaves no room for shame

creating a life where the strength of love leaves no room for shame

Changing the world…

Bonus Episode: Catching Up With Toby Dorr

Criminal Podcast is on the final stops of our 10th anniversary tour!

Lauren and Phoebe catch up backstage in D.C. with Toby Dorr, the subject of one of our favorite episodes – Off Leash.

Plus, Louisville Sluggers, a collection of Phoebe Judge impressions, and reports from the flight to Dublin.

Listen Here…

Second Definitions

I collect words. Each letter has a distinct personality and putting a string of them together to form a word is almost magic. 

So, of course, I’m also a book collector. I am happiest with a book in my hand, on my Kindle, or playing in my headphones. I read two to three books a week, but I have been known to read a book a day. Hard-bound books are my favorite, worming the shelves, aching for my hands, smelling like paper and ink, delivering rainbows, sirens, hugs and heartaches, creations from the vortices of women, some, souls sickened with the disease of life, others lifted by it.  Books bubble my brain, brewing deeper, richer meaning, leading my thoughts beyond the impulsive reactions of initial definitions by Webster. I’ve come to love the beauty of second definitions – like the word, fierce… showing a heartfelt and powerful intensity. Or conviction… an unshakable belief. And unleashed… letting go of emotions that hold you back.

Second definitions require the patience to nurture understanding, they are investments in time and effort to identify the value of redefinition, like the warmth of a hand-me-down sweater, like the blessings of relationships with extended family, or the harvesting of crops planted, revelations of diversities explored… benefits gained by resisting ego and fiercely plunging into someone else’s ideas. Special people see beyond the derogatory of first impressions. I am a felon, but the second definition of conviction is a firmly held belief. I hold firmly to the belief that my past has rendered me a wiser person and the pain ensures that I do not forget.

Since my crime and punishment, I earned two Masters’ degrees, one in the arts of graphic design, the other in the science of Internet marketing. I’ve authored a memoir which reached #1 on Amazon. Also published in 2022 were my journal of prison poems and a series of workbooks to help disadvantaged women, like me, to rebuild. Articles I’ve written and published appear in Newsweek,, and Authority Magazine. I’ve been a featured speaker at multiple publishing summits, Brain Injury Alliance of Arizona, personal development conferences for women, Boston College, and online book clubs. I’ve done live radio shows in Kansas City and interviews on NPR. Join me on my own podcast… Fierce Conversations with Toby.

My story has been featured in the Wall Street Journal, The Atlantic, Dateline, Inside Edition, Whitney Reynolds television show in Chicago, 20/20, Daily Mail, BBC, Anderson Cooper live, Oxygen, New York Daily News, South Florida Insider, UK’s Bella magazine, various local newspapers and news stations. In July of 2022, Lifetime released a feature film of my story and I am currently working on a full length documentary release date to be determined.

After moving to the Washington D.C. metro, I advocate for prison reform and reintegration programs. Today, I find myself pushing a dirty snow ball to the top of a reluctant hill of acceptance. To my doubters, I say…

Kaleidoscope Voices

Stories from women in our community

You are not your worst mistake…

Surviving cancer, Toby realized she had yet to do something that would change the world. So, she started a prison dog program, taking dogs from... Read More "You are not your worst mistake…"

Use your time to find out who you really are…

Proof that felons come from all walks of life, Gina was raised in a good home, but each of us deals with temptation and shame... Read More "Use your time to find out who you really are…"

Don’t be afraid to take risks…

Indra indicated that her parents were lying, stealing drug-addicts. Ironic that Indra, in the same breath said that her mother ruled with an “iron fist”,... Read More "Don’t be afraid to take risks…"

It all started with one step…

Gabby, a single mother of five, came to our office in tears. She had just been released from prison, was about to lose permanent custody... Read More "It all started with one step…"

Our Movement

Creating a world where love leaves no room for shame.

Being there for others is always the right thing to do even in – or maybe especially in – the face of public scrutiny. I loved my friend, Lisa, no matter her crime. Embracing those who are broken permits them to heal.

The word ‘fierce’ has been dancing around in my head for more than a year. I used it in the name of my podcast, Fierce Conversations with Toby.

Some people thought fierce was too strong, too unkind, too bold. But fierce is EXACTLY what’s needed.

But fierce wasn’t done with me…

The word ‘grace’ has been a key to my story. Grace has been by my side since I started this journey and I couldn’t have made it without her…
So, what if I put these two words together?

When you fill a space with enough love, there is no longer any room for shame.

And that’s the definition of fierce grace.

Mission Statement:

Uplifting women to embrace a space where love’s strength leaves no room for shame.

Vision Statement:

By celebrating the value we each hold inside, Fierce Grace is building a world community where everyone is loved and worthy, regardless of background.

Learn more…

Newest Blog Posts

Continuing to live with conviction!

The Smallness of Our World

Spring eases into summer and the world seems to come alive. This... Read More "The Smallness of Our World"

When Time Stood Still

I intended this blog post to be about the recent total eclipse,... Read More "When Time Stood Still"

April comes softly…

Treading softly, April comes whispering. It dispels the sharp March winds and... Read More "April comes softly…"


My sweet little girl. This photo was taken in the NICU on... Read More "Emily"

From Prison to Purpose

My story…

The year I became a number and a face everyone recognized but nobody knew, not even me…


Check out my new podcast, Fierce Conversations with Toby, where we talk about silver linings.


Unleashed is a roadmap to redemption with a series of products lovingly designed for women.

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