Tuesday, February 08, 2011

Beyond FUNDRAISING: The UnPrison Project

beauty in captivity
Activist, author, and public speaker Deborah Jiang Stein has launched The UnPrison Project so she may continue to reach out to female prisoners across the country. Deborah speaks to women about her birth and first year of life in the Aldersen Federal Prison for women in West Virginia as a heroin-addicted infant, multiple overdoses later in life, and eventual drug rehab.

When Deborah visits women in prisons, she does much more than present herself as an example of resilience: “I share my story as proof that the past does not always define the future,” she states, adding that her workshops and presentations to female prisoners have helped her turn her personal “shame and secrets inside out.” And while her efforts impact countless women and help them turn their own shame and secrets inside out in order to finally triumph over them, Deborah’s also determined to help inmates’ children. As The UnPrison Project video notes:

· In the last ten years, the population of women incarcerated in U.S. prisons has risen by at least 800%
· 80% of female prisoners are mothers
· Most of these women are jailed for non-violent, drug-related crimes
· Most of them are victims of abuse
· Thousands of their babies are born in prisons every year
· Many thousands of American children, most under the age of 10, have a mother in prison

When we help these women, we help their children, and we help strengthen the foundation of our country’s future. Through The UnPrison Project, Deborah promotes education, drug rehab, and mental health services as well the hope for personal transformation that can make success in each of these areas possible.

But to do all this, Deborah needs your help. She’s been invited to speak to thousands of women in facilities in New York, California, South Dakota, Wyoming, Washington, and Illinois. Aldersen in West Virginia would also like her to return. Let’s send Deborah to prison. Please follow this link and donate to help fund her life-changing—and potentially life-saving—efforts.

Photo © sansgluten via flickr


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