“I am no longer accepting the things I cannot change. I am changing the things I cannot accept” - Angela Davis.
This quote illustrates the passionate leaders that manage the Petey Greene Program (PGP) and their resilience in the face of injustice. As an organization, we strive to find new ways we can support students incarcerated, and one way we do that is through our quarterly All Staff meetings! All Staff meetings bring together teammates from all regions, giving those who do not often have in-person time together with some valuable interactions.
This past July, the Greene team traveled to Providence, RI for our All Staff meeting. The meeting was held at the Center for Public Humanities-Brown University. The retreat aimed to acclimate new staff members into the PGP family, provide updates on each region for the upcoming school year, review workshops for professional development and continuing education within the criminal justice system. This was a collaborative effort, allowing us to bring minds together that were driven by passion, advocacy, and simply humanity.
Over the course of 3 days, brilliant ideas, unique stories, and diverse perspectives broke down boundaries between and within the criminal justice system. On day one, we reviewed our regional presentations to discuss the recent changes, important updates, challenges and opportunities for the coming semester.
Day two consisted of presentations on adult learning theories in confined settings, national criminal justice policies, elevating racial justice work at the PGP through readings, guided discussions and a workshop at the Center for Reconciliation facilitated by Elon Cook Lee. Elon educated the PGP staff on 300 years of history in under 2 hours, explaining how Rhode Island became one of the US’s largest contributions to the international slave trade. Not only was this a great history lesson on the complicity and resistance from a variety of viewpoints on the slave trade, but the biggest takeaway was the importance of uplifting voices of the untold stories behind prison walls.
On day three, we finalized our expectations for the upcoming semester and left feeling inspired, motivated, and recharged, ready to reconnect back to our work within our regions in the fall!
All in all , we’re grateful to be able to be part of important and transformative work, and are humbled to know that our volunteers served 2,324 students who are incarcerated this year! The Greene Team is made up of extraordinary people who come from all walks of life for one mission: to shift our culture to a place in which all incarcerated people have access to high-quality academic programs. We’re excited about this fall semester as we prepare to provide academic support across 44 prisons and jails. Stay tuned for updates!
Division Manager/ Social Media Manager,
Washington, DC Region