Friday evening April 12 found a crowd abuzz with excitement and anticipation moving through pre-reading refreshments and answering questions about self-care. And then came the readings.
Conducted like any traditional read-around, in Women Writing for (a) Change parlance, we made a few introductory remarks followed by a series of readings from the newly-released book, “LifeLines: Re-Writing Lives from Inside Out.” After two readings from each of 8 writers, the floor was opened to questions and discussion.
But the final proof that this book has already achieved its stated purpose – to stimulate community action and advocacy on behalf of the outdated criminal justice system with particular emphasis on women – came as folks filed out for refreshments and the opportunity to purchase the book to be signed by one of the writers or editors.
We have a practice of asking a question of our listeners after they have had a chance to absorb the words swirling about them for the previous half hour. This time, the question was ‘On hearing these words, how are you personally motivated to respond?’ Responses are far too numerous to list here, but can be found on the page about LifeLines on this site. To whet your curiosity, here are just a few:
- I am curious to learn more about current legislative efforts and how my senators and representatives are contributing.
- I see parallel needs in the halls of local schools that act as pipelines channeling youth who see no other example and feel no strong anchor at the other end of their lifelines. How do we halt this self-perpetuating cycle?
- Advocacy work – calling legislators and staying aware of the changes that are happening so I can offer input and speak on behalf of the women inside. More education and better physical and mental health treatment.
- I wish these readings were presented more often and in different cities and venues, including the State House. So valuable, enlightening, and inspiring.
- I’m reminded of the power of good teaching, learning, and listening. I’m inspired to create a learning environment that has unleashed the power of the human spirit as this program (these people) have.
- Get the right people at the table to design a new system.