We’ve had an incredible year at The Insight Alliance. With your help we’ve been able to touch more people’s lives.

Here are a few highlights:

  • Started our program in MacLaren Youth Prison 6 months ago.
  • Completed our first year of research with Pacific Uni at Coffee Creek women’s prison.
  • On to our second round of teacher training, which includes some past participants from prison.
  • Partnering with OJRC (Oregon Justice Resource Center) to offer our program at Oregon State Correctional Institution to support the youth who age out of the youth system into adult prison.
  • We developed a robust curriculum with our partners in Florida and the UK to train more teachers to meet the demand for our program in prison and the community.
  • We’ve served 210 people in prison this year and supported several more in the community.
  • We had an incredible Fundraiser and doubled our goal!
  • We had the unique opportunity to share this work in a Ted talk at Tedx Portland.
  • We were on OPB’s Think Out Loud radio show in November.  Our show was one of five –  ‘Producers choice – best conversations of 2019. Tess Novotny speaks about her experience in prison with us.  Scroll down to listen to the 3 minute clip.Here’s what Ms Novotny says in the article about our program:

“Certain moments of clarity come when we’re drowning and reaching out to catch our breath. Others arrive silently from all different directions at once. A dozen weather-worn cargo ships uniting at the same dock.

I had never been to a prison before Coffee Creek. On the drive over, I read personal descriptions of each of the dozen inmates we were meeting. The interview, produced by Allison Frost, centered around a mental health class they all took in prison.

In the windowless classroom where we met, a trans man described navigating life in a women’s prison. A wife said she used to cry herself to sleep because she didn’t know if her victim could forgive her. A childhood trauma survivor explained her dissociative disorder, which puts her “up into a bubble” when things get bad. The microphone got hot when the conversation turned to what they learned in class: “You did the best you could with what you knew at the time;” “Thoughts are like weather clouds;” “Feelings are not germs.” When host Dave Miller asked who might not be incarcerated if they took the class earlier, a dozen hands shot up.

On the drive back, I realized the inmates redefined how I understood freedom. In many ways, freedom is a state of mind — not a place, decision or lifestyle. Freedom is self-reflection, accountability and letting go.

A dozen quiet ships.”

Link here to the full Think Out Loud show in Coffee Creek.

Thank you to everyone who is supporting the work we’re doing in prison and in the community. And thank you to our amazing team. We couldn’t do this without all of you.

Wishing everyone a very Happy and PEACEFUL 2020!