Truth Be Told was fortunate to participate in the 2014 Reel Change Film Frenzy put on by Lights. Camera. Help., a nonprofit organization that is dedicated to encouraging other nonprofit and cause-driven organizations to use film and video to tell their stories. You know Truth Be Told has stories to tell!
This is the second year for the event, and ten nonprofits were matched with ten filmmakers who had a week to produce a video supporting the organization’s mission. We were fortunate that when Matt Copper of Firelight Films saw our entry, he knew our story was the one he wanted to produce.
After getting permission and release forms signed, he and his production crew followed Katie Ford and Carol Waid out to the GEO Lockhart prison to capture a Talk to Me Circle class. He combined that footage with testimonials from the warden, chaplain, four Beyond Bars graduates, and co-founders Nathalie Sorrell and Carol Waid.
Thanks to this project, we have a high-quality, five-minute video that beautifully communicates our program and values. As in most classes, there are tears and laughter, respectful listening ,and authentic sharing. The interviews focus on how women heal through telling their story in the safety of the circle and use the tools they learn to rebuild their lives and their communities.
The screening of all ten films was on February 23 at Alamo Drafthouse Slaughter. The theater sold out the day the tickets went on sale. The graduates in the film and some of our facilitators snapped up a few of the sought-after seats and got to celebrate with the Firelight Films crew.
One of our graduates, LW, described the spirit of the evening so well.
“What an emotional evening… There was a point we were all holding hands and a picture came on the screen of one of our Truth Be Told circles in Lockhart, and it felt to me like we were all holding hands with them too. It is so easy to get caught up in the world’s business. But we all started in a circle. We still have sisters in the circle, and we have future sisters in the circles to come. When life overwhelms me, I think I just need to hold on to that picture of one moment when Behind Bars and Beyond Bars held hands, take a breath, and know there is work to be done because I never know when a sister may need any one of us. Just think — they have no idea who we are and just like sitting in a circle for the first time they will sit in our Beyond Bars circle one day. I truly love each one of you!”
The video has been posted on our Amplify Austin site. (To view it, please click go to Amplify Austin. To find our page, enter “truth be told” in the search field by the magnifying glass icon. Click to enter our page. View the slide show and when the video appears, click to view.)
Amplify Austin is an I Live Here, I Give Here Program, a 24-hour marathon online fundraising effort to show that Austinites support the difference nonprofits make in our community.
Amplify Austin starts at 6 p.m. on March 20th and runs until 6 p.m. on March 21st. This energetic event gives small nonprofits the opportunity to raise awareness and funds by networking with their supporters, so there is a lot to do before the day of the event.
Please consider supporting our effort in one of the following ways:
- Become a matching donor by contacting Truth Be Told so we can list your name as a supporter and inspire others.
- Set up your own fundraiser. This is quick and easy to do. It is similar to runners getting pledges for a race. It lets you tell your friends and family why you care about TBT and set your own goal. We can give you a link to our video to add to your fundraiser. Check out our first individual fundraiser: https://amplifyatx.ilivehereigivehere.org/friendsoftbt. Click here for detailed instructions on creating your own: https://amplifyatx.ilivehereigivehere.org/fundraisers.
- Share the Amplify Austin link on Facebook, Twitter, and other social media.
- Send an email to your contacts with your own appeal and an Amplify Austin link.
- Send us a few sentences on why you support Truth Be Told that we can use for this and/or future fundraisers.
The event is still three weeks away, but donations can be entered at any time, and you’ll be hearing more from us about this event on our blog. We are having fun collecting quotes from our many distinguished supporters, facilitators, and graduates. Over the next few weeks, we’ll be sharing sentiments like this one from Paula D’Arcy, author, speaker, and president and founder of Red Bird Foundation, whose work seeks to further inner and worldwide peace.
“Unless you’ve worked or volunteered in a prison, there aren’t words to capture the power and importance of the work done by Truth Be Told. Imagine women, most of whom have never had much of a chance in life, little education, separated from their children, low self-esteem, addictions, very low on hope…and then imagine a sincere transformation in their lives because of a program that delivers not only truth, but the means and encouragement to make different choices.
“Imagine healing, education about what a woman can be (and how she can comport herself and care for her own body and for her children), the redemptive power of learning to tell your story — not as a victim, but as a radiant woman — beginning to believe that you have a meaningful place in this world because you’ve finally experienced someone believing in you — these are huge gifts anywhere, but inside a prison they are rare. The work is raw, it is emotional, it is exhausting, and month after month the teachers show up and give everything they’ve got. It is the ultimate reaching a hand back into the dark to help someone else. Support for this work reaches far beyond the women fortunate enough to take these classes. Heart by heart, this is how we’ll all awaken.”