Launch of Raising My Voice-Kin!

In less than one week Circles of Support is launching its newest program, Raising My Voice-Kin. This initiative was inspired by the Raising My Voice program and the work Circles of Support does with the women of Talk 2 Me. Raising My Voice-Kin is a public speaking and leadership training program for individuals with a loved one that is currently or formerly incarcerated.

Elizabeth Gaynes, CEO of the Osborne Association, said in an op-ed recently, “we need to talk about the individuals, families and communities that are being destroyed by our current prison system, both those who are incarcerated and those who are not.”

Men and women who are formerly incarcerated are leading the conversation about criminal justice reform. The impacts of incarceration go far beyond the individual and effects friends, families and communities. Circles of Support wants to bring the family members into that conversation by empowering them to raise awareness through their own personal narrative.

During this four-week training, participants will focus on a moment in time that their loved one’s incarceration has impacted them the most. On the fifth week, there will be a graduation ceremony for the participants, their families and friends of Circles of Support. Church of the Epiphany, located on York Ave., will host Raising My Voice-Kin on Saturday afternoons starting July 15th.  The training will be facilitated by COS Program Coordinator, Linda Steele, with the help of Church of the Epiphany parishioners as volunteer coaches.

After graduation, participants will have the opportunity to become members of the Raising My Voice Speaker’s Bureau where speakers are booked at schools, churches, offices and more to share their story. To learn more about Raising My Voice-Kin or how to book a member of the Speaker’s Bureau please contact Lisa Cito at lisa@circlesofsupport.org or 646-543-3472.

Lisa Cito