Stories

DAY 1 of $40,000 in 7 Days: Hear Lainey’s Truth

While incarcerated, Lainey graduated from Truth Be Told’s Talk to Me Writing program, in which participants write and share the story of what they believe put them on a path to prison. She also participated in Living Deeper and Freer and Pay It Forward, two programs that Truth Be Told offers to Talk to Me graduates serving lengthier sentences.

TBT: You were incarcerated as a teenager and spent 30 years in prison. This week, you celebrate one year and three months of freedom. What are you most proud of over these past 15 months?

DAY 2 of $40,000 in 7 Days: Hear Arianna’s Truth

Arianna graduated from Truth Be Told’s “healing through storytelling” program called Talk to Me at Bryan Federal Prison Camp. Just last month, she celebrated one year of freedom from incarceration. In that short time, she completed a city health department community reentry network program and received special recognition among her peers at graduation. She now works as a youth peer specialist at a mental health services center and began school this month to become a licensed chemical dependency counselor.

Of her peer specialist role, Arianna says: “I work with youth, ages 10 to 20, drawing upon my own experience to help them navigate the behavioral health system by building trust, support and validation. The goal is to enhance wellness and create strategies for self-empowerment.”

DAY 3 of $40,000 in 7 Days: Hear Leslie’s Truth

Leslie participated in our Talk to Me Movement program. Using the improvisational, body-centered practice of authentic movement, Talk to Me Movement invites women to write and embody the story of what they believe put them on a path to prison. She is one of seven Truth Be Told graduates performing and hosting a workshop during the New Story Festival half-day virtual retreat this Saturday. For schedule and registration, visit here.

TBT: You’ve said, “We don’t heal from what we don’t talk about.” Will you elaborate on what you mean by this and how it applies to your personal healing journey?

Leslie: I spent most of my life trying to hide my flaws and shortcomings, trying to hide my drug addiction. I felt that as long as my image was bright and shiny, it didn’t matter what I was doing in the dark.

DAY 4 of $40,000 in 7 Days: Hear DJ’s Truth

While incarcerated, DJ participated in Truth Be Told’s Talk to Me Movement program. Using the improvisational, body-centered practice of authentic movement, Talk to Me Movement invites women to write and embody the story of what they believe put them on a path to prison.

TBT: Describe a typical day in your life these days.

DJ: A typical day in my life consists of morning meditation, going to work (I love my job), bettering myself through my education, and providing myself with much-needed self-care and love.