“I am a therapist with the Department of Corrections. I love my job. I’m a huge fan of connecting with people, and a huge believer in building rapport and establishing shared commonalities that we have, despite the fact that they are 30-something year old black men. I think it’s really interesting to be able to connect with them and figure out what’s important to them. I’ve met some really, really cool people over the years.
It’s a really weird mix of compassion and holding really high expectations for my guys. Sometimes I joke that as a therapist, I’m a little mean. It’s tough love.”
“I’ve recently been fueled by this concept of oppressed peoples trying to come together. I hope that I can get to a point that I can use my disability and the oppression that I’ve faced in life to connect to others that have faced different oppression, whether it’s poverty or racial injustices. I hope to be able to communicate with them on a level that we can both be strengthened by.
As much we think we know, we don’t know the half of it. We need to try to keep listening and genuinely understand where people are coming from in their life. We need to stay humble.”
“My guys are constantly coming into class, talking about how their brother got killed this weekend, or their cousin got killed last weekend. That’s not something we can just ignore…that’s not something we should ignore. Just because we are in our quaint little bubbles away from the city, we can’t ignore that. It’s real.
I wish I could tell them, “I’m sorry you were arrested. I’m sorry you’re a young black man in Milwaukee. I’m sorry that you have an addiction that no one helped you treat. I’m sorry that you have a mental health illness that has never been treated. I’m sorry I’m a tiny white chick telling you how to think.”
I don’t like to use the word worried, because it’s kind of succumbing. I think any time is the right time to be pissed off and fight for something, but I think even more so right now.
It’s very important to stand up for those who do not have someone to stand up for them.”