Ebony Underwood

New York, New York

Ebony Underwood is the founder/CEO of WE GOT US NOW.  A visionary leader, social entrepreneur, content creator, and daughter who experienced firsthand the devastation of decades of separation from her incarcerated father, Ebony was determined to center the lived expertise of children impacted by parental incarceration. In 2018, she launched, WE GOT US NOW, a digital platform that has evolved into the nation’s leading nonprofit organization advocating for the well-being of children and young adults impacted by parental incarceration. Prior to founding WE GOT US NOW, she received a Proclamation from the City of NY and was awarded the Soros Justice Fellowship. Her thought leadership has been cited by the National Academies of Science, Engineering & Medicine and a featured guest speaker at Yale Law School, Columbia Law School, NYU Law School, American Law School, John Jay School of Criminal Justice, Howard University, Google, SXSW and has been invited to the White House several times as a herald voice for children with incarcerated parents. She co-authored a chapter in the 2nd Edition Handbook on Children with Incarcerated Parents and published op-ed articles in USA Today,, The Appeal, Vibe and .Mic. She was awarded the Arizona State University’s Champion of Child Well-Being, DREAM CORPS Justice Next Step to Justice Award, the SALUTE HER Community Activist Award and currently sits on the Board of Directors at The Sentencing Project. 

My Truth

My ability to be bold and courageous enough to wear my heart on my sleeve and reveal to the world that my dad was incarcerated with a life sentence. In the process, I learned how extremely harsh his sentence actually was, how deeply traumatized I had been due to his physical absence, and how necessary it is to engage, educate, elevate and empower the vast population of children and young adults longing for the transformative experience of a community filled with understanding, trust, advocacy, justice and love ~ #WEGOTUSNOW.

Stories featuring Ebony Underwood

Group photo in Aspen, CO
am delighted to share a love note in the form of Ascend’s 2023 Impact and Inspiration Report. In it, you will see how by making the most of the ca...
PublicationFebruary 14, 2024
We’ve selected four projects from the 2021 Class of Fellows that show impressive potential in both their scope and capacity to address timely issues...
Ascend FellowshipMay 25, 2023
Text over a landscape of South Africa
Tiana C. McCoy – Senior Associate, Operations and Convenings at Ascend – provides an inside look at the experience of a Fellows Forum.
BlogMay 2, 2023
I started off the 2022 Aspen Ideas Festival at Aspen Words Book Ball, a passion project of Isa Catto and Daniel Shaw.
Ascend FellowshipJune 25, 2022
This year, the Aspen Idea Festival returns to in-person programming at our campus in the Rocky Mountains June 25 - July 1, 2022.
Ascend FellowshipJune 15, 2022
Poverty is the result of poor policy choices. These choices reflect our national values and decide who deserves access to opportunity to achieve their...
Ascend FellowshipJanuary 21, 2022

Convenings Featuring Ebony Underwood

Location: Aspen Meadows, 845 Meadows Rd, Aspen, CO 81611
At Aspen VisionXChange, we aimed to:...
ConveningJuly 31, 2023
– August 1, 2023
Location: Aspen, CO (in-person) & Live Webcast (virtual)
What dreams do we all have for our children? What do we do differently when we recognize everyone is deserving, that parents do the best they can in challenging circumstances, and that children thrive when they’re with those who love them? ...
ConveningAugust 1, 2023
Location: Aspen, CO
For over a decade, Ascend at the Aspen Institute has lifted up parents’ voices and experiences to inform bold solutions for economic mobility in the United States. How does lived expertise influence the way programs and policies are created? What...
ConveningJune 27, 2022