TBT empowers women behind bars to transform into gifted contributors to society. I was an inmate in TDCJ at the Lockhart Unit. I am so blessed to have been sent there. Early on in my sentence I determined to make the time count. TBT taught me to embrace the truth of my story and to recognize patterns, triggers etc. I signed up for every TBT class and special event. Particularly meaningful to me was graduation day when free world people came to.hear our stories. My, my! An amazing experience! TBT brought a drum circle out to the prison! I carried the joy of participating in that circle for months! I wrote everyone I know about the drum circle experience! So spiritual! There is not a day goes by that I don't reflect on my TBT experience.
There is a level of honesty and safety that supports every aspect of this life-changing program, and is fully modeled by the facilitators and volunteers. There is no "other," and the women in the prison system can recognize this authenticity and let their guard down enough to fully engage in the phenomenal programming. These women exhibit more courage and raw honesty than most of us in the "outside" ever do...and move into a place of healing I would not have thought possible. I have attended two graduation ceremonies as a "respectful witness" and emerge humbled and inspired. The program itself itself is transformative and the people who engage with the "offenders" are attuned to the needs of the women, smart and creative, and filled with respect and love for the women they serve. Stellar on all levels.
Listening to women tell the stories of their lives leading up to their time in prison and hearing about the deep life changing healing which they experienced through their small groups facilitated by Truth Be Told volunteers was also life changing for me. It made me realize that these are simply women who have been through a huge dose of the same loss, grief, abuse, and family trauma that all women experience. Now I could understand clearly what they need and could go back home to advocate and vote accordingly. I was inspired to appreciate the value of my own life experiences and to want to make a difference in others' lives!
Attending a Truth-Be-Told event where I got to meet some participants of this program, totally changed my ignorant opinion of women who have been incarcerated. Listening to their stories, meeting members of their families and seeing how they have been empowered by this program made me realize I had to become a financial donor in order to make a real impact in the lives of these women and their families which in turn makes a huge impact on our communities
From my perspective, Truth Be Told is about the "little things" that are larger than life to these women. It gives them a safe platform and environment to tell and express their story in a raw and honest way that has deprived them all their lives. Before experiencing a graduation, I never imagined how empowering Truth Be Told could be by giving these women the tools and skills to open up and allow healing to begin. It is such a beautiful, moving and successful program.
Truth be Told is an amazing group of people doing outstanding work. Everyone knows that we need better resources to help the incarcerated and formerly incarcerated, but Truth be Told makes it happen. They meet people where they're at and provide what is really needed to be successful upon re-entry. They're almost entirely volunteer-run and put all of the focus on the women they serve. It's an honor to be able to support this very deserving cause.