Funeral Service Live Stream
The funeral service will take place on Friday, January 27, 2023 at 11:00am EST at Nineteenth Street Baptist Church, located at 4606 16th St NW, Washington, DC 20011. For those unable to attend the service in-person, you can participate remotely by viewing the live stream of the service (please scroll up to see the video).
Lisa Renee Ransom was a coalition builder and tireless advocate for consumer and civil rights groups, educators, women, families, and vulnerable communities. Lisa was committed to improving lives in her community by establishing collaborative relationships with congressional members, thought leaders and influencers, faith-based organizations, labor unions and citizens on social and economic issues. But most of all, Lisa Renee Ransom was a friend, confidant, and a mentor who was able to provide guidance and unconditional love that made a difference in the many lives that she influenced across the country.
Lisa was born to Brenda (Stevenson) and Melvin Ransom on September 6, 1961 at Joint Base Andrews in Washington, DC. Lisa’s arrival was celebrated by her maternal (Benjamin Harrison Taylor and Elsie Taylor) and paternal (William and Mattie Ransom) grandparents as she was the first grandchild on her mother’s side and the first granddaughter on her father’s side. “They all fell in love with her and she had these beautiful long eyelashes,” recalled her mother.
Lisa began her education at Naylor Road Private School in Southeast Washington. Lisa’s early childhood was filled with dance lessons from Sheila Peters Dance Studio, Brownies and cultural activities. Lisa grew up with her cousin Stephanie Hammond. More like sisters than cousins, their parents would laugh at the memories of the girls scampering around in their red pajamas with the “trap door bottom,” as Stephanie’s father walked outside on the roof on Christmas Eve.
While Lisa claimed herself as a “DC girl,” her best shared memories were at her family’s beach home on Solomons Island. Lisa shared many stories about she and Stephanie’s crabbing adventures (they used their mother’s “good chicken breast” to catch crabs) making homemade ice cream, and spending Thanksgiving holidays on the waterfront.
Lisa attended Louis Charles Rabaut Junior High School where she met her lifelong friend Aretina Perry Jones. This friendship was the foundation that expanded four decades later into “Lisa’s Tight Tent,” an enduring permanent bond that carries on her legacy.
Following the family moving to Silver Spring, Lisa graduated from John F. Kennedy High School. It was during her teenage years that the political influence from her grandfather Representative Augustus F. Hawkins, a founding member of the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) came to light. Once the police were called to the apartment complex in which she lived because some boys were gathered. They were not breaking any law besides being young and black. As the police approached and began speaking harshly to them, Lisa jumped off her bicycle and told them they had no right to harass them without cause. When asked how she knew that, Lisa replied “my grandfather is a congressman, and I know the law.”
Raised in a family of public servants, the daughter of a WWII and Korean War veteran and a 40-year career civil servant, Lisa enrolled in the ROTC when she attended Howard University, following in what she described as “the family business of service.” Lisa remained on this career path for more than 40 years, addressing social and economic challenges and specific obstacles that hindered access to opportunities that built prosperity for African Americans.
Lisa began her legislative career as a congressional page where she learned to assist in the smooth functioning of the lawmaking process. Lisa immediately understood the strategic thinking, the relationship development, and the discretion that was needed to move legislation forward to bring about equitable changes in America. She was awarded for her political acumen serving on the Hill for 12 years, first as a congressional staffer on the House Education and Labor Committee and then as a legislative staffer in the offices of Congresswoman Maxine Waters (D-CA) and the Congressman John W. Olver. (D-MA)
Lisa was among the few Blacks working in a professional staff capacity on the Hill during the late 1980s-1990s. Lisa positioned herself as an advocate and mentor, sharing her knowledge and experience with others and then working to bring them on the Hill. She was a trailblazer who fought for diversity and inclusion and countless times said to the political establishment “this is someone that you will want to know,” as she introduced a new generation of talented young blacks.
Lisa recognized that she needed to expand her political knowledge to a new group of stakeholders who were working on equity and social justice issues and shared her skills with several state focused organizations. She served as an external relations manager for the National Congress for Community Economic Development. (NCCED) As their liaison to the White House Initiative for Empowerment Zones/Enterprise Communities, Lisa produced and directed NCCED’s federally funded documentary on the 30-year history of community economic development in America narrated by famed actor/producer/director Bill Duke. Later as the senior director of State Action Networks for the Center for Policy Alternatives, (CPA) Lisa worked on policy with state legislators around the country. As part of her tenure at CPA she became the second non-elected Fellow of the elite Arthur S. Flemming Leadership Institute for State Legislators.
Combining her national and state portfolios, Lisa was selected as the vice president of Federal Affairs and Senior Legislative Associate for State Affairs for the Center for Responsible Lending (CRL). She rounded out her reach as the director of public policy for the National Alliance for Partnerships in Equity (NAPE) where she addressed equity gaps in career and technical education and STEM programs for women, communities of color, and vulnerable communities. Thanks to Lisa’s influence and relationships, NAPE’s visibility increased on Capitol Hill, resulting in the organization incorporating meaningful and insightful policy conferences that were attractive to its members for the first time in its history.
But perhaps her capstone was her most recent work as director of outreach with the House Select Committee on Economic Disparities and Fairness in Growth. Created by U.S. House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Lisa was instrumental in conceptualizing and orchestrated targeted roundtables with national thought leaders, subject matter experts, and citizens from across the country to provide real time data on supporting American livelihood, delving into race and economic disparity, technological innovation and the future of work and the effects of globalization. Lisa successfully completed this year-long assignment while quietly battling cancer. She would have her laptop in bed and mobile phone in hand doing what she did best – developing alliances, cultivating relationships, strategizing on panel content, all while serving as a mentor to younger staff members on the committee. Her efforts lead to her being named as an associated producer of the committee’s end documentary product – Grit and Grace. Her colleagues acknowledged her contribution by tweeting “Grit & Grace: The Fight for the American Dream @GritandGrace Jan 19 Lisa Ransom wasn’t just our colleague. She was our beloved friend and sister. Her wisdom guided us, her strength moved us, and her legacy of public service and uplifting working Americans — especially people of color — will be felt for generations to come. Rest in power, Lisa.
Much of Lisa’s “power” was contributed to her “Grandpa” Hawkins for she wove the effects of his legislation and spirit into many everyday conversations. She would tell you about the importance of offering career technical education as a tactic for the re-careering older adults as well as an option to the younger student and finish by saying “you know how all of this came about, right…Grandpa.”
Determined to honor the legacy of her grandfather, Lisa took on the role of President and CEO of the Augustus F. Hawkins Foundation on Education and Workforce Development in a Global Economy. Under Lisa’s leadership, the Foundation served as a content provider and stakeholder partner with the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation, (CBCF) presenting insightful panel discussions with national policy officials and thought leaders around workforce development, during CBCF’s Annual Legislative Conference. (ALC) In addition she created the Silent Warrior Awards Ceremony in recognition of the strategic impacts of education on developing highly trained workers. Awardees included Virginia Senator Tim Kaine, U.S. Congressmen Steny Hoyer, (05 MD) Bobby Scott, (03 VA) Emanual Cleaver, (05 MO) former DC Public School Chancellor Kaya Henderson, and Linda Darling Hammond, founding president of the Learning Policy Institute.
Lisa was a prolific writer. Her “red pen” writing and editing skills were displayed in the Bridging the Divide Report from the House Select Committee on Economic Disparity and Fairness in Growth. Lisa created and edited Many Facets: America’s Women Commemorate the 100th Anniversary of the 19th Amendment profiling voices of 21st century women trailblazers who shared their own personal struggle related to access and equity. She also was responsible for the content in The Silent Warrior a bi-monthly publication of the Augustus F. Hawkins Foundation.
Lisa was a graduate of University of Maryland Global Campus, receiving a BS in Political Science and was a candidate for a Masters of Public Administration at the University of Baltimore.
Lisa’s professional affiliations included the Washington Government Relations Group, the Association for Career and Technical Education (ACTE), an Associate Member of the National Association of Black Veterans Prince George’s County, and a member of the Bowie Economic Development Committee. In addition, she was a member of the Georgiana Thomas Grand Chapter Order of the Eastern Star (Thrift Chapter No. 12) –Prince Hall Affiliate, Henry A. Dove Assembly No. 15 Order of the Golden Circle–Prince Hall Affiliate- District of Columbia Jurisdiction, the Continental Societies, Inc., the Silver Spring (MD) Chapter of The Links, Incorporated, and the American Political Science Association.
Lisa is survived by her mother Brenda Stevenson of Chevy Chase, MD; uncle, Alfred Hammond of Suitland, MD; and a host of cousins including Perri Thomas, Edward and Karen Nelson, and Pamela Ransom. Lisa will be deeply missed and always loved by her Godchildren, Lauren Elizabeth and Carl Raymond Jones and their mother, her lifelong best friend, Aretina Perry Jones, the members of Lisa’s Tight Tent, and a multitude of friends and colleagues. While so many hearts are heavy with sorrow, they are also filled with “Lisa love” that will never end.
Lisa’s famous 10 statements
Let me be clear. What we are not going to do. How can I help? Tell me what does that mean? Let me make a call. Be specific in your ask. My job is to protect you. I am just God’s vessel. My tight tent. I love you.