Largest GLEN exchange yet explores mass incarceration

Apr 29, 2022

Now in his seventeenth year of imprisonment, Steven Clark often sees fear, hatred, and despair go viral among the incarcerated. He co-created The Awakening, a personal development program for and by incarcerated people, to seed positive states he hopes will also be contagious.  A graduate student of positive psychology, Clark envisions expanding this grassroots program to support individual and systemic transformation in the American prison system.  

Last Friday, at the largest GLEN exchange yet, Steven engaged in a horizontal dialogue exploring key challenges related to his work. In small and large groups, we explored questions like: 

  • What does unconscious bias against incarcerated people look like, and how can we address it? 
  • How do we bring humanity to dehumanizing systems? 

Participants included government officials, prison administrators, nonprofit leaders, a professor, a graduate student, facilitators, and incarcerated advocates whose personal stories highlighted program impact as well as systemic dysfunctions. Lively conversations ignited collective wisdom and creativity. At program’s end, Maine District Attorney Natasha Irving pledged to support The Awakening program and amplify the voices of the incarcerated. 

The GLEN’s commitment is to continue to host important exchanges like these, and to support change agents like Steven collaborating on the front lines to address society’s most urgent and complex challenges.  

For feedback or more information contact GLEN's program director Krista Bremer.