Faces of Women Imprisoned
In 2018, we envisioned, developed, and launched a first-of-its-kind training program to prepare women and girls to be professional public speakers. We are a national leader in the conversation about how systemic racism, state-sanctioned violence, systems policing, and incarceration affect women and girls.
FOWI offers the tools, training, and resources for women to elevate their stories and change the narrative about who they are and what they can contribute to the world. It is an essential humanizing project that has the dual benefit of offering insight into individual lived experiences and providing directly affected women with a platform and entrepreneurial pathway to tell their stories and support themselves after incarceration.
The program is grounded in the understanding that women and girls offer a vital perspective on the overlapping systems that radically impact their lives. At the intersection of racism, sexual violence, and the criminal legal system, women and girls face outsized consequences, system involvement, and trauma.
FOWI is a storytelling project—#RewritingHerStory—that aims to affect multiple systems and systemic failures: housing, juvenile justice, family wellbeing, sexual violence, criminal justice, employment and education, and opportunity. Specific objective(s):
To change the narrative about women and girls most affected by the criminal justice system.
To transform the systems and policies that affect women by developing a cadre of professional public speakers who can use their lived experience to increase access to education, housing, and job opportunities for formerly incarcerated women.
To build robust monitoring, evaluation, and learning program to track activities, capture wins, evaluate and adjust training and learning and report progress publicly and vocally.
It is essential to address trauma. The FOWI speakers have intergenerational trauma, but they also have intergenerational wisdom and power that they bring to this work. Current curricula and training emphasize their full power that builds through full self-expression and the ability to channel that trauma and pain for the purpose.
Developing & Fostering Entrepreneurship
At its core, FOWI is a training ground for entrepreneurs. Our LOHM Global Speakers Bureau is an entrepreneur support system. When we nurture entrepreneurship and pair it with support, we build self-sufficiency and illuminate pathways to independence and success. This shows up in their willingness to launch projects like standalone nonprofits, understand their role as independent, powerful women, and create businesses.