JDPP’s New Beginnings program is a unique 10-week arts engagement with women and men who have returned to the community from carceral settings joining Trinity College students enrolled in a course in Human Rights Studies. The program is also in collaboration with Community Partners in Action. This semester we have the largest group of participants ever, including Karen. Karen is the longest participating community member in New Beginnings and has been involved with the program since 2016. This week Karen shared her thoughts and insights on the group as well as sharing the benefits she received from participating and working with the students for so many years.
New Beginnings is a part of me…there is a bond that will never be broken…Judy brought me back from a darkness that totally overwhelmed me.
The Program made me reach back to situations that I had buried…I had to face my fears before I could move on. The prompts Judy had us write guided me to start on the road to recover myself.
I am a stronger person…I can look back and see how my actions hurt others…now, however, I can take full responsibility for my actions. Before New Beginnings that was not part of my mindset. Judy showed me how to face myself with the truth.
I now live my life in Service to others…through my Church or my practice of Yoga, I have a positive and harmonious connection with colleagues, friends and my loved ones.
The students have given me hope that we can have the prospect of a better world. They are not afraid to make their voices heard.
The Program is so diverse…it not only comprises the written word, but song and dance, as well. To hear the voices of the men and women and watch the dance…both adhering to the prompt is magical. It brings the whole ensemble together.
There is a connection between New Beginnings and myself…a connection with my spirit that brings me deep peace and joy…I am not alone.