Free

Testif-i Living Library

Event Information

Share this event

Date and Time

Location

Location

Edendale Branch Library

2011 Sunset Boulevard

Los Angeles, CA 90026

View Map

Event description

Description

This event is a “living library,” where participants can “check out” formerly incarcerated women and their children like a human book and ask them questions about their lives. The Testif-i living library will facilitate face-to-face encounters that allow participants to explore the lived experience of formerly incarcerated women and their children by means of a short conversation.

"It's important for the community and formerly incarcerated women to be able to engage with each other and dispel myths, so that people have a clear understanding of who formerly incarcerated women really are,” says Susan Burton, founder of A New Way of Life and Testif-i. “These women have dreams and hopes for their future, just like anyone else, and the purpose of Testif-i is to show that.”

Testif-i was founded in 2017 (originally as JustUS Voices) with the objective of giving voice to a population that has been largely overlooked in the national conversation on mass incarceration: women and children. The Testif-i website will update regularly videos and blog posts from formerly incarcerated women and the children they left behind when they went to prison. These stories will explore questions that often go unasked about how incarceration affects women and their children: How do mothers maintain communication with their children while they’re away? What is it like to give birth in prison? What are the challenges when a woman reenters society — both in terms of family reunification and finding jobs or housing? And what is the impact on children who are placed in the foster care system when their mother goes to prison? Each story highlights a woman or a child’s direct experience with one of three themes: child custody, excessive bail and/or barriers to reentry.

Testif-i.com provides resources for people who are interested in learning more about these themes and becoming involved in the movement to end mass incarceration. And formerly incarcerated women and their children are encouraged to give voice to their own experiences by submitting their own stories through the website. Testif-i strongly aligns with the website’s objective of truth-telling, and the “i” denotes the centrality of the storyteller and the power of a single person’s voice.“The name ‘Testif-i’ has strong legal connotations: after prison, we are now testifying about our lives — both the trauma and pain we’ve endured and the good things we are doing now,” says Susan Burton, executive director of A New Way of Life Reentry Project (ANWOL). “Testif-i shows the power and strength of women and the ways in which we are shaping a new narrative for ourselves.” Testif-i is funded by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation.

A New Way of Life was founded in 1998 by CNN Top 10 Hero Susan Burton, A New Way of Life provides housing and support to formerly incarcerated women for successful community re-entry, family reunification and individual healing. ANWOL also works to restore the civil rights of formerly incarcerated people and empowering, organizing and mobilizing advocates for social change, civic engagement and personal transformation.

Share with friends

Date and Time

Location

Edendale Branch Library

2011 Sunset Boulevard

Los Angeles, CA 90026

View Map

Save This Event

Event Saved