Memphis woman who spent 21 years behind bars to attend conference that empowers women and girls

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — A movement is headed to Memphis.

'Beauty Behind Bars' is bringing mental wellness to the forefront and pushing negativity out.

Tiffany Love Harden, the first black Miss Tennessee, is the founder of the movement.

She partnered with her pageant sister, Traci Pangonas, to bring the conference to Andy B's in Bartlett in hopes of releasing those bound to their own mental confinement.

"It's all about being a better you," conference host Pangonas said. "She was Miss Tennessee, and I was Miss Tennessee. So it was through pageantry that we become good friends."

But that title isn't what it seems.

There will be no beauty tips for keeping yourself up behind bars at the conference.

It's all about breaking out of misery and busting down the walls of pretending.

"It doesn't matter who you are, your socioeconomic status, your race or your religion. You can be behind bars of your own mental thinking," Love-Harden said.

She says she hit a low point fighting for a marriage that didn't last, and found herself searching for a boost to her self-esteem everywhere but within.

One day things clicked.

Even though the message wasn't created for those who are physically locked up, the message has reached prisons too.

What started as a women's movement is now a global movement with men as well.

The warden at the notorious St. Quentin Prison in California heard of the movement in 2017 and flew Love-Harden in to speak to more then 4,000 male inmates.

Some were on death row.

"I began to spread the message inside that prison, and everything just went from there," Love-Harden said.

Alice Johnson, the Memphis woman who spent 21 years in prison before being granted clemency by President Trump, will share her story on Saturday.

"She said, 'I've turned down all public speaking engagements. You all will be the first." the fonder said. "She's going to be right here in Memphis and will share her raw feelings, unscripted."

The event is free to attend, and you can register here.

You can also sign up at the door once you arrive,

It starts at 10 a.m.