Nathalie Sorrell is a “show and tell” woman, commissioned minister to women, and a passionate personal and spiritual growth advocate. In February 2000, a prison warden’s desire to have female inmates tell their stories to juveniles on probation resulted in Nathalie designing the first Talk to Me Speaking class. Her husband of 40 years, Jim Walsh, became the first supporter of Truth Be Told and has continued to support the organization as a donor. Nathalie has a daughter, Sarah Orman, whose family lives in Austin, and a son, Devin Walsh, whose family lives in Asheville, NC.
From 2000-2010, Nathalie shifted her focus as a commissioned minister and retreat leader for church ladies like herself to creating healing and truth-telling programs for incarcerated women. She exercised her “take charge” qualities as the visionary leader of Truth Be Told when it became a nonprofit in 2003. From 2003 to 2010, she was the organization’s behind bars coordinator, serving as the liaison with prison officials, overseeing the program calendar, driving carpools of volunteers to the prison, and emceeing program orientations and graduations. Meanwhile, as a natural networker, she invited everyone who seemed interested in what she was doing to come participate at Lockhart prison. With Carol Waid, a writing buddy who shared Nathalie’s respect for 12-step spirituality, Truth Be Told’s program offerings increased from one Talk to Me class to three, as well as the addition of Exploring Creativity workshops and the God in Human Form annual performance (now known as Miracles in Human Form). In the fall of 2010, Carol and Nathalie took the Talk To Me program to TDCJ’s Hilltop women’s unit in Gatesville.
In 2016, Nathalie retired from her active role in Truth Be Told’s daily operations, but she remains committed to the organization as a donor and volunteer. In retirement, she enjoys her role as grandmother, is active in her radical little church, Journey of Imperfect Faith, and practices her own 12-step spirituality in all aspects of this beautiful, full life.
Though never incarcerated, Carol Waid believes there was a time when she was serving a “life sentence,” imprisoned by chaos, addiction and domestic violence. She found her way to freedom through 12-step programs and an 18-year journey as a co-founder, facilitator and program director of Truth Be Told.
This shy, curious woman — a mother of two adult children, a gifted writer and a seeker who was looking for meaningful work — had no idea that meeting women in prison would be the threshold she needed to step over. As Truth Be Told’s program director and a facilitator of programs behind and beyond prison walls for nearly two decades, she became a woman with purpose, passion and healing gifts who was willing and able to give back what had been given to her.
Carol was the first facilitator of the Talk to Me Writing program at Lockhart in 2002. At the invitation of a programs warden, she designed a re-entry class called Let’s Get Real for incarcerated women who had been given a release date. Carol also created the Living Deeper & Freer program for Talk to Me graduates serving long sentences.
Under Carol’s leadership as program director, Truth Be Told grew to serving approximately 1,000 justice-involved women every year across five correctional facilities and in the free world.
Aryanna “Suzanne” Armistead — a dance artist and life coach — was invited to lead an Exploring Creativity workshop at Lockhart prison in late 2001. Aryanna encouraged Carol to create Talk to Me Writing and then went on to develop Talk To Me Movement, the third class in the Talk To Me program. In 2003, Aryanna enlisted the certified public accountant who helped the three founders complete the paperwork to transform their work behind prison walls into a 501(c)3 organization. In November 2003, Truth Be Told officially became a nonprofit. Aryanna retired from her prison work in 2004, but her legacy lives on in Talk to Me Movement and Exploring Creativity, two programs which are still offered today.