It Changed Me Forever: Renee and John Grisham Fighting For Justice

Interview by Billy Shore

Wednesday, March 10, 2021

When is philanthropic giving the most meaningful? Bestselling author John Grisham and Share Our Strength Board member Renee Grisham join Billy Shore to discuss their partnership, philanthropy, and how they choose to support issues that are personal to them. “There is plenty of food in this country… but the framework isn’t always there to get the food on the table for these hungry kids. You have convinced us that this is one problem that can be solved in this country,” John says. “It takes all of us. Who’s going to look at a hungry kid and tell him you’re not going to feed him? We all want to feed children, and I see that as a huge bridge builder in a time when we need it,” agrees Renee.

The Grishams personally support needs that are close to their hearts, like hungry kids and wrongfully convicted people, without a formal foundation as intermediary. “Holding that grandson for the first time and thinking about young mothers without a support system, it makes you really start to think about how to get involved,” Renee shares. “Once I realized the scope of the problem and how many thousands of innocent people are in prison, it changed me forever,” says John about his work with the Innocence Project.

Join us for a moving conversation with an influential couple who is making a real difference on important social issues.

Resources and Mentions:

Renee and John Grisham

Renee Grisham

Renee Grisham is well known for her philanthropic support for women, education, and the environment through her family’s foundation. She has led efforts to feed, house, educate, and provide healthcare, in addition to protecting the environment in places such as Virginia, Costa Rica, Haiti, and Peru. Appointed by Governor McAuliffe, Grisham serves on the Virginia Foundation for the Humanities as well as the UNC Board of Visitors, the UNC Press Advancement Council, and Carolina Performing Arts. She is a graduate of the University of North Carolina.
Renee and John Grisham

John Grisham

John Grisham is an American novelist, attorney, politician, and activist, best known for his popular legal thrillers. Since first publishing A Time to Kill in 1988, Grisham has written one novel a year and all of them have become international bestsellers. His follow-up novel The Firm spent 47 weeks on the New York Times bestseller list. The successes of The Pelican Brief, which hit number one on the New York Times bestseller list, and The Client, which debuted at number one, confirmed Grisham’s reputation as the master of the legal thriller. There are currently over 300 million John Grisham books in print worldwide, which have been translated into 40 languages. Nine of his novels have been turned into films. Grisham graduated from law school at the University of Mississippi in 1981 and went on to practice law for nearly a decade in Southaven, Mississippi, specializing in criminal defense and personal injury litigation. In 1983, he was elected to the state House of Representatives and served until 1990.