The unPrison Project: Freedom on the Inside

Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.” ~ Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

This is my journey now, to walk out of silence and secrecy and use my voice. Not always easy for one like myself who spent many years silent, sometimes mute, and always with a secret held from the world: my prison birth, one of many secrets, many stigmas which I thought made me less than others.

Not anymore though. I’ve come to believe we create other prisons for ourselves and my story just happens to be one of extremes. I’m hard at work on writing my memoir so I can share my journey with you.

Fast forward a few years. I’m now in high gear for another prison tour, but then, when aren’t I? I’ve named my prison tours The unPrison Project

If I don’t have 5-10 women’s prisons waiting for me to come and speak, then at least this many call every few months to say, “When can you visit? Our women want you here.”

When I get this call, my heart turns a flip. Yes, I love to go into prisons and work my hardest to offer any inspiration I’m able. I work hard to let the women know they are valuable human beings, who they are, just as they are. Then I suggest, why not consider making a few changes for betterment? I share my story as evidence of how a person such as myself can transform from a gun-toting angry con artist drug addict into… whatever I am today. Not the former, that’s for sure.

It took me a few years, more like all my life, to get the secret out that I was born in a prison. Then, it seems as soon as I admit this to the world — and myself, most of all — the calls start for me to speak about my journey, from prison birth into some years of Wild Mind, aka drugs, crime, and violence. Now my Wild Mind is all about creativity.

At long last I quit resisting what seemed like my destiny — to speak in prisons and other places and share my story and offer what I’ve learned, how I  overcame a multiple of challenges, some still with me today. More on this later.

Still once in a while, I think: is my life’s work really about going into prison after prison after prison?

It doesn’t seem to matter what I think.

This just in. I can resist all I want. The Universe doesn’t pay attention to my resistance.

I accept the calling. At least for today. In that, two prison requested I speak for Women’s History Month this March. Bedford Hills Prison in NY, and CIW ( the California Institution for Women.)

For more about this, you can watch this video, sort of Deborah-in-a-nutshell, more like a 5-minute memoir, a few references to the gory details, and more references to what’s hopeful and possible. I’m still at work on my memoir to get you the full palette of gory details and even  more about the climb up into this life of light that I’m so lucky to live today.

State and federal budgets rarely provide for a budget line item to bring in a speaker.

Please support The unPrison Project and donate what you are able. Any amount, and easy via Paypal. Thank you!

I’ll report here, on Facebook, and Twitter about my progress and also write while on the tour to keep everyone in the loop.

Thank you always for your words of encouragement, your support, and for your belief in my vision and work. ♥


18 thoughts on “The unPrison Project: Freedom on the Inside

  1. Kima

    Your message of resilience and possibilities for a better future must surely make a huge impact when you are speaking to women in prison. You are planting a seed of hope in their hearts. It may even be the first time some of these women have dared to dream of a better future for themselves…. by your own example, you are planting the roots of success.

    Reply
  2. muttslikeme Post author

    I hadn’t thought of this, Kim, where my story may be the first chance for some to dream of a better future. I love this idea that I can help. Wow, no wonder i feel like a gardener planting seeds. This’s my way now. Sprinkle and splash of seeds. Seeds of hope. :)

    Thanks for the comment!

    Reply
    1. muttslikeme Post author

      Liane, thanks for watching the video, and for your words of encouragement… and for your contribution!
      Also, I checked out your web. Love the music on your home page.
      ~Deborah

      Reply
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