Tracy McKeithen and Lisa R. D'Angelo, co-founders of Women Initiating New Directions (WIND), will talk about the amazing women who are trying to make better lives for themselves after interactions with the criminal justice system. WIND's mission is to inspire women with a history of incarceration, or those at risk of being incarcerated, to design a thriving life journey using newly learned tools and strategies for success.
WIND was created after meeting men and women in jail or after their release. We chose to focus on women because far fewer funds are designated to help re-entry for women versus men. Almost 80% of these women have children and their success translates into the health and well-being of their family and their communities. We believe that by giving women the confidence and knowledge to lead productive lives, they can make better choices because they will have more choices.
You might have a notion of who ends up in prison. And we're guessing you might be mistaken. Every year thousands of women return to incarceration because they don't have a way to address the root causes that sent them there in the first place: trauma and low self-esteem that lead to substance abuse (no way to get therapeutic support), and/or lack of education that prevents them from earning a living wage. The reasons are complicated. WIND is here to help change their path so they can positively influence their community and families.
We created a customized curriculum that was designed by a team with a broad professional skill set. Our content includes financial literacy, planning and life skills, and Writing for Empowerment and Healing. Each week, our team of facilitators goes to a transition home on Chicago's west side and sends content to the Cook County jail (CCDOC) that is reviewed by co-facilitators who provide personalized feedback. We will expand to a third site shortly. The need is enormous.
Come learn more about the inspiration for WIND, stories of these terrific women, how they struggle to overcome challenges, and the difference that WIND makes in their lives. We hope to see you there.