Profile | Alumni News

Celebrating the launch of The Lilac House

The program, part of A New Way of Life’s SAFE Housing Network, will bring needed resources to formerly incarcerated women in Westchester, NY.


I founded The Lilac House project in April of 2022. The organization will address the lack of transitional housing for formerly incarcerated women in Westchester County by giving residents access to housing in a safe and supportive community and connecting them with area resources.

As someone who is formerly incarcerated, I know all too well the difficulties women face when reentering the community. I also know how a single opportunity can be the ripple for a better future. I earned a degree through the Bard Prison Initiative while incarcerated at Taconic Correctional Facility. Shortly after my release, I applied and was selected for a fellowship opportunity offered through a collaboration between BPI and the Ford Foundation.

The fellowship helped to open doors for me that in turn made it possible for me to found The Lilac House project. It was while working at the Ford Foundation that a colleague introduced me to Susan Burton and A New Way of Life (ANWOL). ANWOL’s SAFE Housing Network is a nationwide network of residences for formerly incarcerated women. The Lilac House project is one of its newest members.

For more information, contact Pamela Zimba at or visit

Pamela Zimba graduated from Bard College through the Bard Prison Initiative in 2017 with an Associate’s Degree in Liberal Arts. After her release from incarceration in 2018, she was selected for a fellowship position at the Ford Foundation. In 2020, Pamela was hired directly by the Ford Foundation and is now a Program Assistant within the Gender, Racial, Ethnic Justice department. Her current areas of focus are Reproductive Justice and Mass Incarceration. Pamela’s personal experience has inspired her to advocate for criminal justice reform and to be a voice for all formerly and currently incarcerated women. Pamela has since founded and operates as Executive Director of The Lilac House, a transitional housing program for formerly incarcerated women. Her future plans include more direct advocacy and policy change.

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