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Red Tent Women's Initiative


Directors / Governance



Remote Options

Hybrid (Some In-Person Required)

Cause Type

Crime & Legal-Related


About The Red Tent Women’s Initiative - The Red Tent Women’s Initiative is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that provides incarcerated women in the Pinellas County Jail skills to heal and improve their lives through trauma-informed programs. Qualified Red Tent instructors use research-based techniques to help these women implement positive coping skills to address issues such as unresolved trauma, addiction, and socioeconomic disadvantage. Through our program, these women are prepared to build better lives for themselves and their children, avoiding a return to jail and ultimately making our communities safer. Program History Red Tent was founded in 2012 by Barbara Rhode, Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist. Red Tent was inspired by Barbara’s clinical practice experiences while working for Goodwill’s Work Release Program given the tragic increase of female inmates. The number of women incarcerated has increased 700% since 1990 and now outpaces men 2:1. No less than 1/3 of the inmates behind bars in the Pinellas County Jail are female (approximately 800-900 women are incarcerated) and 80% of them are mothers of young children. To date, Red Tent has served over 1000 women inside the jail and in the City of St. Petersburg. In 2012, Barbara started volunteering at the Pinellas County Jail (PCJ) and within 6 months created a program for women inmates focused on trauma resolution and empowerment. Initially self-funded, she hired a part time teacher and a group facilitator to work 2 days per week, 4 hours a day with 15 female inmates. The PCJ provided a room, chairs, tables and sewing machines. Red Tent officially started. The program is now in its 9th year, with the Sheriff’s office funding the group facilitator, a part time case manager and part time sewing instructor to assist the women as they prepare for release. In 2017, with the help of the Sheriff’s office, Red Tent increased its class meetings from 2 to 3 days per week. During class, participants and staff share their stories, wisdom, hope, and pain fulfilling the tending and befriending instinct, which has been supported through research as the way women are best able to deal with stress, especially the aftereffects of trauma. The women work with their hands as part of the trauma informed programing to release oxytocin from the brain which is an important ingredient to resolving trauma. Barbara interpreted working with the hands through sewing and needlework. They also participate in trauma recovery groups, stress reduction exercises, and mindfulness trainings. Where We Are Now Throughout COVID-19 RTWI has been fortunate enough to take a step back and conduct thorough research surrounding our previous curriculum and the data collections of our program. We believe this will be a key piece to our overall vision aimed at serving woman in numerous counties in Florida and beyond. As part of our expansion, we are currently in discussions to provide services for Diversion, via Mitigation Advocacy and Treatment Diversionary Programs.

We serve

Incarcerated Women in county jails and prisons in the last 8 weeks of their sentence.. Currently serving Pinellas County

Our greatest accomplishment last year

We revamped and digitized our program during Covid along with adopting effectiveness measures and metrics using Qualtrics. We are currently piloting our revised program and working on expansion readiness.


View our most recent form 990

Reasons to serve on our board

We are a small grass roots organization that is committed to providing strong board governance and including dedication to diversity equity and inclusion efforts in our board and staff.  We are proactively seeking to ensure our board and staff is reflective of the populations we serve.Our values:


We maintain the highest standards of professional and ethical behavior, and value transparency, accountability, and honesty in our communications, relationships and actions.


We value and celebrate the unique and diverse talents, experiences and perspectives of everyone, and treat our participants, partners, donors, volunteers and each other with sensitivity and respect through our actions and our words.


Red Tent responsibly plans and manages resources (finances and relationships) building strong public trust.

Lifting Up Women

We support a woman to be her best self, moving beyond limits to become the person she has always hoped and dreamed of being.


Red Tent breaks down barriers by practicing equity, diversity and inclusion across all areas of our organization.


We embrace continuous improvement, incorporate science, and move forward into new frontiers. 

Our ideal candidate

Are you passionate about impacting systemic change in the lives of incarcerated women that will also improve the lives of their children and the communities in which they live?  Are you interested in supporting a grass roots organization with a 10-year history in improving the lives of incarcerated women that is looking to expand their impact and reach in our communities?

The Red Tent Women’s Initiative is looking for passionate potential Board Members, from the greater Tampa Bay Area, with a willingness to serve, to join our growing Non-Profit 501C 3 Organization.  The ideal candidate is an individual with a purposeful passion for our mission and skills in Finance, Fundraising, Human Resources/Communications, IT or Program Development.


Our current board size

7 with 4 open positions

Time commitment

4-6 hours a month which includes a bi monthly rotation of board meetings and participation in one of 3 committees: Governance, Internal Affairs and External Affairs. Can serve in up to two committees if desired.

Where we meet

How often we meet

Hybrid Board and Committee meetings supporting both virtual participation and in person in Downtown St Petersburg

Contact name

Joanne Wolf, Board Chair

Contact email,

Contact phone


Date posted

January 23, 2023