On Friday, August 4, the members of the first-ever Healing Trauma class at Lockhart prison graduated. It was a simple ceremony, held in the classroom. I asked the women to gather and stand at one side of the room, while I stood at the lectern and gave a little speech. I explained that together as a community, we planted seeds for hope and healing, and now it was their responsibility to continue watering and nurturing those seeds with the wisdom and tools they had gained.
One by one, I called each woman forward by her full name to receive her certificate. Through smiles and tears, the women cheered for one another as each name was called. It was a very sweet evening. Many expressed a desire for our little group to keep meeting. They wanted to continue learning and growing together. I reminded them that their Healing Trauma workbooks contain all the knowledge and tools we learned together, and they now can share that knowledge with other women on the unit. Many said they were already doing just that, practicing the self-regulation and visualization techniques with their bunkies or with friends in the rec yard.
Many women submitted thank-you notes for the Healing Trauma donors. The fact that this program is entirely funded by people in the free world made a huge impression on them.
This coming Tuesday, I'll meet a new group of 12 women, and we'll start planting those seeds all over again.
One graduation down, another eight to go!
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