Raising My Voice


A local Harlem reentry partnership that cultivates leadership among the formerly incarcerated, their families, and faith leaders to strengthen our communities.


Raising My Voice is a leadership training program for formerly incarcerated individuals that helps participants develop public speaking skills, prepares them to serve as advocates for effective, humane reentry policies and practices, and fosters civic engagement. By sharing their stories with diverse audiences, our speakers are also expanding the Circles of Support community.


speakers bureau

The Speaker's Bureau invites graduates of the Raising My Voice program to share their compelling personal narratives with new audiences.


Program Details

The RMV training has four primary components:


For an individual to be eligible for Raising My Voice, they must be able to demonstrate a commitment to transforming their lives post incarceration and be able to commit to 12 weeks of training that takes place once a week. If you or someone you know is interested in applying, contact Linda Steele at linda@circlesofsupport.org . 

training activities

Training occurs once a week for the entirety of the RMV program cycle. A newly crafted curriculum specific to the group of formerly incarcerated individuals is utilized for each  cycle. The training is typically held in a local faith center. A fellowship dinner opens each training session for trainees and faith volunteers. Training activities include trauma awareness, public speaking practice, and facilitation of civic engagement activities.


Upon completion of the training our Circles of Support community celebrates the accomplishments of all members of the cycle. Our Circles of Support staff, host church, family friends and community members all come together for a graduation ceremony. 

volunteer engagement

Volunteers have the opportunity to follow the trainees through their journey to find their voice and tell their story. Volunteers are responsible for attending the weekly sessions, offering useful and directed suggestions to improve the quality of trainees' storytelling, guiding and motivating trainees while they rewrite their stories during sessions and supporting the facilitator when needed by assisting with classroom tasks. We welcome volunteers of all ages and backgrounds! Sign up here to be a volunteer!