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Amplifying the Voices of Truth Be Told

When the women in our programs find their voices, they are so powerful that they spread throughout the community. All Saints Church wanted to learn more about Truth Be Told, so we showed up there in force on Sunday and had a wonderful reception. An All Saints women’s group has been supporting Brenda, one of our program graduates, since she was released from prison last year. We showed our video and described our programs, but the highlight was when our two graduates, Brenda and Kimberly, spoke.

Brenda talked about how finding Truth Be Told classes changed her life, and how those blessings multiplied when the All Saints women began helping with her reentry. Brenda was determined not to return to the area where she had been at her lowest before going to prison and starting over with no resources in a new city would have been an enormous challenge on her own.

Sue Ellen Crossfield, Kimberly and Donna Snyder

Sue Ellen, Kimberly and Donna

Kimberly walked out of prison just three months ago and she is already focused on how she can give back and help other women. When Kimberly took the Talk To Me – Speaking class, her classmates chose her to be one of the graduation speakers. On Sunday, she once again courageously shared her life story with the empathetic audience.

The facilitators who worked with Kimberly and Brenda behind bars already knew they were stars. Donna, Sue Ellen, Katie, Joanne, and Carol came to reconnect with the women they were anxious to see outside of prison dressed in something other prison garb.

If you are a member of an organization that would like to learn more about Truth Be Told and the women we serve, contact us about making a presentation at

Kimberly, Katie Ford and Brenda

Kimberly, Katie and Brenda

Graduates’ Amplify Austin Fundraising Pages

The work the women in our classes do is inspiring. We get to witness the power of their journeys even more when they are released. Some of our graduates have created personal fundraising pages for our Amplify Austin effort. Consider donating to one of their pages to support their desire for Truth Be Told to reach more women behind bars.

Cara is a leader in our Beyond Bars activities. Visit Cara’s Amplify Austin page.

cara“I am one of those Women! I went into prison a girl, lost, afraid and without my voice. I didn’t have any idea who I was or how I got to into the mess I was in. One day I chose to get out of my prison cell and go to a class. Having no clue that I was walking into a classroom that would forever change ME! I don’t think I even knew how to tell the truth, let alone MY TRUTH. The facilitator gave me a journal, a tool to let it all out. A tool that I could use to tell my truth. I quickly found that I HAD A LOT TO LET OUT! I started writing and hardly stopped! I learned to use my body to express feelings I could not name. Through the tools of journaling, moving, trusting my community, vulnerability (yes that’s a tool) and truth telling I learned all about me.”

Dara graduated from ACC in December. She had a 3.8 GPA, received the ACC Presidential Student Achievement Award, and spoke at graduation at the Erwin Center. Visit Dara’s Amplify Austin page.

dara2014graduation“HATE, CHAOS and ANGER that was my truth for 32 years. TRUTH BE TOLD created a place for me to admit that truth…admitting that part of me that wasn’t so pretty helped me to get underneath all that and realize I really didn’t hate, I HURT. Being vulnerable, exposing ALL those secrets, telling MY TRUTH about everything…started the process of RENOVATING my life…TRUTH BE TOLD helped start that process.”

PRISON doesn’t teach telling the truth; in fact PRISON enforces “silence”.

PRISON doesn’t renovate lives; in fact PRISON tears down lives.

PRISON doesn’t give tools on how to stay out; in fact PRISON wants you to come back.

TRUTH BE TOLD helps break the silence by telling your truth.

TRUTH BE TOLD says you never have to come back…here’s how…

TRUTH BE TOLD gives you tools and teaches you how to really use them.

TRUTH BE TOLD says you are worth it.

TRUTH BE TOLD says we believe in you.



About Shelley Seale

I'm Shelley, a journeyer and learner of the world, freelance journalist and author, yoga chick and dog lover. I pound the keyboard from home barefoot every day, and while my boss is demanding she also occasionally lets me have the early afternoon cocktail. I think not going into an office or collecting corporate paychecks are very good ideas, though not always profitable. I have written for National Geographic, USA Today, The Guardian, Texas Monthly and CNN, among others. Neither the New York Times nor Johnny Depp have answered my letters yet. I love yoga, indie movies, wine, and books, though not necessarily in that order. I believe in karma. Mean people suck. If I could have any dream job I would like to be a superhero. I have performed a catch on the flying trapeze, boarded down a live volcano and was once robbed by a monkey in Nepal. But, I don't know how to whistle. My mantra is "travel with a purpose."

One response »

  1. this is such a good posting Shelley, and I love seeing our graduates AND our volunteer facilitators connecting and showing up for each other. Thanks so much for keeping on as a volunteer, whose voice and editing skills have created a blog to be proud of … without your direct involvement, the dream Carol had for so long may still be a dream. Now you and she both work along with a great team, including Kathleen, our ED and Mary Ann Reynolds (who was a cherished hard working Board member when Truth be Told wouldn’t have had a newsletter except she created it and kept it going as long as she could volunteer.) Please forgive me for not mentioning everyone who does Blog work … but know I am deeply and truly grateful to be able to keep up with what everyone says and does through these excellent posts. GRATEFULLY! Nathalie


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