Freedom Project interrupts the cycle of incarceration with programs that provide healing connection and restorative communities for participants both inside and outside prison. Our programs support incarcerated individuals and those recently released through the practice of Nonviolent Communication, mindfulness and equity. These three practices define who we are, how we work with the communities we serve, and how we train our volunteers.
Nonviolent Communication (NVC) has been used worldwide for over four decades to help people transform blame, anger and criticism into understanding, effective communication and peaceful resolution of conflict. NVC inspires teamwork, authentic expression, and empathic listening.
Mindfulness is an evidence-based practice that reverses the negative psychological effects of imprisonment and nurtures freedom, inner peace, and human kindness, in places where there is little.
Equity is the intentional practice of re-centering power, resources, and voice to those most impacted by systemic oppression and trauma. We move away from traditional teacher/student methods and embrace a co-learning model in which all have insights to share.
We also support incarcerated individuals to become workshop facilitators and mentors. In 2017, people who are currently incarcerated facilitated 463 hours of class time. Furthermore, we continually work with facilitators who are currently incarcerated and those recently released from prison to develop and revise our curriculum. This collaborative practice supports our values of accountability, equity, and authenticity.
Volunteers lead all of Freedom Project programs, both inside and outside of prison. This enables us to continue to meet the demand for programs inside and outside prison, and reach more participants without depending on paid staff.
We dream of a world where each person is held in the circle of humanity, where every individual experiences a deep knowing that all members of the human family belong to and are connected to each other. We dream of communities and nations dedicated to nonviolence as a soul force for the healing of all relationships fractured by injury, violence, anger, and mistrust. Freedom Project offers a new vision of what is possible.
Connection and Community
Freedom Project believes that community created through authentic connection engenders genuine safety. We are grounded in the belief that all human beings are precious and have a place at the table.
Freedom Project believes in the power of compassion as a healing force on the planet. We believe that through empathy we can connect with the essential beauty within ourselves and others and in this way serve the world.
Freedom Project values mindfulness as a way of living so that we act with intention and care.
Freedom Project believes in creating a sustainable organization which manifests in the way we handle and care for our material and human resources.
Freedom Project values and asks for commitment and contribution with the idea that it is through giving to something beyond ourselves that we create meaning in our lives and express the fullness of our humanity.
Freedom Project is committed to integrity in all dealings and will make decisions based on principles rather than personalities.
Freedom Project is guided by the belief that it is our differences — such as race, class, gender, sexual orientation, faith, or whether or not we have served time in prison — that make us strong. It is this ability to hold differences with compassion and understanding that defines us most deeply as an organization.
Freedom Project is committed to addressing Institutional Racism and other forms of oppression. We promote Racial Equity, and oppose the systemic distribution of resources, power, services, and opportunities that benefit People who are White at the expense of People of Color.