Thankful

This Thanksgiving, I have so many things to be thankful for. One of these is the experience I have had with Motherhood Beyond Bars over the past year-and-a-half. When I first became involved with Motherhood Beyond Bars, I was excited by the opportunity to gain...

Helping Each Other

In my experience teaching with Motherhood Beyond Bars, I have seen that while the women we work with face many challenges, one of their greatest strengths comes from each other. In our classes for new and expectant mothers, we encourage participants to speak up about...

Saying hello, saying goodbye

I never cease to be amazed at the coexistence, sometimes in the same moment, of joy and sadness during our work at the prison. Children’s Center events are a time when this is especially true. One Saturday of every month about forty children come from across the...

It takes a village

I’m sure you’ve heard someone say “it takes a village to raise a child.” Before Hillary Clinton used the phrase, it was a proverb present in many African cultures. I won’t debate Bob Dole on the truth of this proverb as it pertains to...

5 struggles of incarcerated parents

Prison is something you can’t truly understand until you live it. Our program participants have spent their pregnancy, childbirth, and often the first few years of their child’s life in prison. It’s so hard for us, me writing this post, and you...

The invisible safety net

It was a Saturday morning in the mid-1990s. My brother and I, about 5 and 7 years old respectively, were watching television when an infomercial came on. We were amazed, transfixed, as a smiling man dipped stained clothes in a bowl of liquid and pulled them out, white...

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