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  • The Connect Conversations - Meet Charles Carson aka CC Dove creator of Tacoma's Late Night YMCA program

    Charles Lamont Carson a.k.a. C.C. Dove is a locally and nationally recognized community leader/mobilizer, mentor, and role-model. He created and implemented dozens of community projects, notably the “Late Nite” Youth Outreach Program at the Tacoma Center YMCA, which has remained active for over 30 years. These projects/programs have changed the landscape of Tacoma/Pierce County. He is the Owner and Director of the Foster/Adoption agency, Beautiful Birds Family Services, Dove In Flight Music and Film Productions, and founder of the non-profit “Live 4 Love Human Outreach”. He is a self-taught musician, producer, composer, and writer. In 2022, Charles produced his first documentary film, “Chronicles of My Soul: The Life, Death, and Rebirth of a Native Son. He is currently developing an Intervention, prevention and life coaching curriculum called “The Rebirth Effect” and is partnering with the Tacoma Public Library Archives and Collections producing a documentary titled, Take Me With U: Gifts from the Elders, which will be showcased in late Spring 2023. Listen to the full episode HERE.

  • The Connect Conversations - Meet Ms. Susan Burton, Founder of A New Way Of Life (ANWOL) of Los Angeles

    Susan Burton is a visionary, inspirational leader of the criminal justice reform movement, and author of award-winning memoir, Becoming Ms. Burton. Her lived experience through prison to recovery serves as her motivation to continue leading the fight against mass incarceration. The impact of her work and leadership has been recognized through numerous awards. In 2010, she was named a CNN Top Ten Hero and received the prestigious Citizen Activist Award from the Harvard Kennedy School of Government. She is also the recipient of the Encore Purpose Prize (2012) and the James Irvine Foundation Leadership Award (2014) among many more. Ms. Burton struggled to rise above a life of poverty, violence, and loss. After being released from prison for the sixth time, she was finally able to access recovery services in an affluent area of Los Angeles. There, she discovered and embraced opportunities that were never offered before. Determined to bring those resources to areas plagued by poverty and over-incarceration, Burton founded A New Way of Life Reentry Project (ANWOL) in 1998.  Now, over two decades later, A New Way of Life is an internationally recognized non-profit organization that promotes healing, leadership development, and safety for formerly incarcerated women.  ANWOL has supported the reentry of over 5,500 individuals through safe housing, pro bono legal services and leadership development to date. Listen to the full episode HERE.

  • The Connect Conversations - Meet Dr. Felisa Bryant of The If Project

    We are thrilled to share our FB Live conversation with Dr. Felisa Bryant. Dr. Felisa Bryant brings extensive experience in effective nonprofit management, strategic planning, DE&I, and Board development. Felisa has always been a fighter for individuals whose voice has been lost, ignored, or simply just not heard, and endeavors to manage and broaden community resources and support offered to formerly incarcerated individuals returning to the community after incarceration. As a formerly incarcerated individual herself, Felisa knows firsthand that the needs of previously incarcerated women often go unacknowledged and unmet and stands in a position of responsibility for those coming after her. Felisa is skilled in program development and implementation in communities that are the least resourced and most stigmatized, providing direct service to those living within the intersections of homelessness, incarceration, addiction, acute crises, and trauma. Dr. Bryant currently serves as the Director of Programs for the IF Project, a nonprofit that that works alongside justice-impacted individuals, law enforcement, and members of the community in the belief that sharing personal stories brings about change and healing. Dr. Bryant received her PhD from Grand Canyon University and completed her dissertation in June 2021 titled: Formerly Incarcerated Females Perceptions on Their Reentry Transitions Back into Society: A Phenomenological Study. Listen to the full episode HERE.

  • The Connect Conversations - Meet LeShawn Gamble of Renaissance 21 and Project L.O.V.E.

    Join us as we sit down with LeShawn Gamble. LeShawn Gamble is a community minded, US Army Veteran. He's currently a graduate student of psychology, sociology, and medicine at the University of Washington. As LeShawn would put it, he's also a former casualty of the disproportionate policing and prosecution practices of the American judicial system. Instead of succumbing to such an experience, he's instead fusing his artistic abilities with his desire to see true change in under-served communities. He embodies his personal and professional mission to empower at-risk youth in the Greater Puget Sound area with Project L.O.V.E. With a focus on social justice, LeShawn's art as well as his work center on a better future for communities of color. Listen to the full episode HERE.

  • The Connect Conversations is back! Check out Episode 1 as we sit down with Ms. Avon Curtis!

    In the first episode of Season 2, we sit down with Avon Curtis, Executive Director of Arms Around You. When single mother Avon Curtis founded Arms Around You (AAY), establishing a reentry resource program for individuals facing an array of personal obstacles post-incarceration was a personal undertaking. A long-time advocate of the rights of incarcerated individuals, Avon founded AAY to assist people re-entering into society from corrections and homelessness. With many years experience in the fields of project and case management, the Seattle native has firsthand knowledge of the obstacles individuals with criminal records face with reintegration into society, including issues related to employment, education, housing, family reunification, and eligibility for social service benefits. Listen in on this conversation HERE.

  • Testif-i Storytelling - Hamdiya speaks

    Hamdiya reflects on the 20 years she spent in prison; the women she fought for behind bars and the milestones she missed with her family.

  • LFO Clinic sign-ups were offered in Pierce County!

    A nonprofit is signing people up for clinics throughout the year to help with a streamlined process to seek relief from Pierce County court debt. “One thing we have noticed with LFO work, we have started doing weekly outreach directly into homeless camps, and what we’re seeing is that so many people, so many unhoused individuals that we meet on the street, have legal financial obligations ...,” said Carly Roberts, executive director of Tacoma ProBono Community Lawyers. Read the full article here.

  • All In WA - Emergency Flexible Financial Assistance Grantees

    We’re thrilled to have the support of @AllInWA2020 and our donors as we continue to help impacted WA workers & families within the formerly incarcerated community. This grant will help us address their urgent needs through flexible financial assistance. If you’d like to contribute, please visit Details from "All In WA is announcing $7.8M in grant awards from the All In WA COVID-19 Relief Fund. Across the state, we’re seeing record-breaking unemployment, housing and food insecurity, growing mental health challenges, loss of access to childcare, and a growing digital divide. Historic, systemic inequities make these challenges even harder for our Black, Indigenous, Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander, Asian, and Latinx communities, as well as rural and remote residents. While this year has brought unprecedented loss and hardship, we’ve also seen Washingtonians support each other in incredible ways. The grants have been awarded to community-based organizations working hard to support disproportionately impacted WA workers and families. These organizations – the vast majority of which are led by and serve Black, Indigenous, and people of color – will use grants to provide flexible, emergency financial assistance for urgent needs such as rental assistance, food, utilities, and more. The awards span the state in terms of regional distribution, with 17% of funding to Central WA, 11% to Eastern WA, 20% to NW/West and Peninsula counties, 43% to Puget Sound (King/Pierce/Snohomish), and 8% to Southwest WA. Our grant recipients understand the urgent needs of their communities better than anyone. These organizations have deep relationships with the communities they serve and have been instrumental in providing critically needed services to individuals and families who are struggling with basic needs as a result of the pandemic." View Full List HERE. Thank you again, All In WA!

  • In episode 7, meet Jessica Means serving women transitioning from incarceration...

    Jessica is someone who was handpicked by our Executive Director, Avon, as someone to highlight because of her tremendous impact in the reentry community. Jessica also is a formerly justice involved individual who has used her journey to allow her to make positive change in the reentry community. She wears many hats in the reentry community. Listen to this conversation HERE! Remember to share, comment and give us feedback on these conversations.

  • Meet Gerald Bradford in this Connect Conversation. Episode 6 is LIVE on July 26th!

    We had the opportunity to catch up with Gerald Bradford and not only hear about the amazing work he is doing, but also his journey that led to the reentry work he does at Renton Technical College and his non-profit, Fresh Start PS.  Listen to this conversation HERE!

  • The Connect Conversations episode 5 discusses recovery and reinvention. Check it out today!

    Check out Mrs. Nicquelle Jones' story of recovery and transformation. It was such a pleasure to hear her journey and how it played out in career, but also her emphasis on mental health support was tremendous. She is an amazing change agent and advocate! Listen to this conversation today on Spotify - HERE. #AAY206#rehabilitation#reunification#resilience#determination#success#StrongerTogether#support#reentry#returningcitizen#recovery#12steps#success#resources#advocacy#advocate #transformation #journey

  • The Connect Conversations drops latest episode...

    This much anticipated conversation is so juicy, we had to split it into 2 parts. Part 1 and 2 are available of the conversation with Mr. Franklyn Smith and is a great conversation about his reentry journey, mentorship and what lead to his current work with the Department of Corrections. Check out both episodes HERE, give us feedback, subscribe and share!

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