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“Going to prison saved my life.” I’ve come to understand what they mean.

IMG138-1Editor’s Note: Since 2010, Katie Ford has served as a volunteer facilitator for Truth Be Told at the Lockhart GEO unit in Lockhart, Texas. In March 2014, she was invited to present on her volunteer work at an Austin event called Pecha Kucha Night, which took place during South by Southwest. The format required 20 slides with 20 seconds of talk per slide. Katie worked hard on her presentation, which was very well received.

You can watch a video of her presentation below (please hang in there; the sound improves. Katie is the first presenter, so if you want to skip to just her section, it runs from 1:24 to 8:24).

You can also read Katie’s thoughts about the experience on her personal blog. Katie teaches writing in the prison, and it’s a good read, worth clicking over. (You’ll also meet Martha.)

Here are a few truths from Katie:

 Why is it so important to heal? Very simply put, healed people heal others, and hurt people hurt others.

These women who are locked away and invisible to most of us are also our neighbors. They are members of our communities. And one day, when their sentences max out or when they make parole, they will be back among us. Will they be safe, contributing members of our society, or will they continue in their old ways?

In a certain respect, going to prison, it saved my life too. In helping others to tell their stories, I’m learning the words to my own story. I’m discovering the power and the freedom in having a safe community, and I’m learning my role in helping to build that for others. And I’m helping to build that one story at a time.

Katie will also speak about her work with Truth Be Told on Creative Mornings Austin on Monday, May 16, at TOMS Cafe at 8 am. Click this link for details.

Thank you, Katie Ford!

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About MaryAnn Reynolds

Offering bodywork in the Austin, Texas, area at maryannreynolds.com. Blogging about wellness at The Well: bodymindheartspirit. Serving as a volunteer editor for the Truth Be Told Community blog.

2 responses »

  1. Emily Harris

    Katie,

    You have once again expressed the great joy and loving hard work of the women of Truth Be Told on both sides of the razor wire with clarity,grace and honesty. Every person in the Pecha Kucha audience is now aware of a segment of our population that can no longer be invisible to them. That’s a mighty big accomplishment with 20 slides and 6 minutes. What a reception – the applause was impressive! Beautifully done. Thank you.

    Emily

    On Fri, May 9, 2014 at 9:32 PM, Truth Be Told

    Reply
  2. Beautifully done, Katie! I was there to see you deliver your speech- a wonderful huge crowd of VARIED Austinites and some guests from other places. God only knows how your personal experience with Truth be Told in the prisons might be still buried or growing in other people’s consciousness. I believe that communities and cultures do change, slowly but surely, as information and inspiration are spread generously, like handfuls of seeds cast into the field. And every TBT graduate who has a genuine desire to be a part of the healing community will be aided by every enlightened person on the outside who can give her a hand up – a welcome instead of a fear induced glare, a genuine question instead of an automatic rejection from our own circles of friends and our own neighborhoods. You are doing a great job of casting out the seeds that we’ve all seen sprout and begin to bloom so beautifully. Keep up the great work!

    Reply

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