We are pleased to introduce you to LowCountry RISE, a non-profit grassroots organization established by Shavonne Martinez and LaShea Birds.

"With over 20 years of combined experience working with men involved in the criminal justice system, we noticed that there are specific themes leading up to their involvement in the legal system. The majority of the men come from communities where the value of education, the importance of family and the need for self-respect and respect for others is not emphasized. Over and over again, we have heard stories of hardship because of poor education, poverty, drug use, drug dealing and lack of parental guidance. We knew that if something didn’t change with these men while they were incarcerated, then nothing would change with them once they were released. Thus the cycle of a destructive lifestyle would continue for themselves, their families and our communities.

Years ago, we started brainstorming effective ways we could educate these men about a healthier, more productive way of living. Out of their testimonies, we realized that the education could not stop there. It is imperative that they and their families receive support, encouragement and resources which are essential to long term lifestyle change."


The vision of RISE is to evoke change, provide opportunity and ignite hope within Lowcountry communities.


Our mission is to use education, mentoring and the creative arts to reach the incarcerated, the recently released and the community in an effort to strengthen families and break the cycle of a destructive lifestyle.