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The Awakening Program: Transforming Prisons from the Inside Out

Jan 7, 2022

9:00 — 11:00 am PT and 18:00 — 20:00 CET on Zoom

Intention

Steven Matthew Clark, an incarcerated citizen in Maine State Prison (Warren, ME), is co-creating The Awakening Program together with fellow residents to transform the prison community from the inside out. This session will give an overview of this program and some background on the urgent need for transformational initiatives, what we’re doing, and what’s needed. Steven will be joined by Michael Alexa Pitts who has partnered with Steven to create opportunities for incarcerated residents as well as underserved members of our communities to participate in holistic and educational opportunities that otherwise may not receive.

The journey we are on to create a transformation container is unique in that the creators and trainers for much of the content are incarcerated residents themselves. The number of people showing up to support already has been a miracle. People like Bruce Lipton PhD (Biology of Belief), Gregg Braden (Author, Scientist, and Pioneer of Human Potential), IONS Consciousness Research Labs, Dr. Mike Amos (Renovatio Coaching), Life University Students and Professors, and Shinzen Young (Unified Mindfulness). The Awakening program will draw from sources like this and intends to launch in 2022.

We have the opportunity to see an amazing process in its budding says David Sibbet. “It’s alive, growing, and changing and we will inevitably adapt and develop it.” says Michael Alexa Pitts. “We hope to bring out a broader awareness,” says Steven. “What is possible within our own imprisonment. Bottom line we could absolutely and positively change the whole consciousness within incarceration, creating so much healing that people can find their place back in the world. If we can learn to use what put us in the prison as a gift, we can learn to give back.” “There is this idea that we are all connected and share non-temporal connection. When one-part changes it pulls out the others.” Michael.

Overview

After 15 years of incarceration, I watched a high percentage of those released return to back prison. The reasons for such shocking recidivism rates are many, and one of the most commonly-cited contributing factors is the absence of rehabilitative programming and healing opportunities. There is great of negative contagion, dehumanization, rampant stigma, a lack of mindfulness, and a lack of awareness for the human potential that exists. 

The urgent need is to support the transformation of the traumatic experience of incarceration into a growth opportunity by assisting self-realization, a rise in consciousness, mindfulness awareness of the psychology of possibility, self-empowerment, and the optimization of narrative change while creating opportunities that present purpose and meaning in the incarcerated resident’s life. This is what the Awakening program is all about.  

This program is unique in that the creators and trainers for much of the content are prisoners themselves. We have a lot to learn about their theory of change and early successes.

Key Questions for Exploration

  1. How do we grow the program?
  2. How do we find altruistic support for the Awakening and the Compassionate Lovingkindness Project?
  3. How can we use Steven and Michael’s story to create a change in consciousness as to what is possible while an individual serves their time? 

Exchange Design 

  1. Introduction and background of the Program
  2. Current state of the corrections environment
  3. Current state of available rehabilitation/social programs
  4. Summary of what’s needed
  5. Presentation of the Awakening Program

This initial session will determine followthrough Exchange and design of same. 

Takeaways

Participants will:

  • Gain an understanding of the human potential of incarcerated residents
  • Gain awareness of how to humanize incarcerated residents
  • Gain an understanding of the importance of changing consciousness
  • See what’s involved in creating a program designed and conducted by an individual who lives on the inside