The Humans Beyond Boxes Block Party builds builds off of Civic Engagement work done by Willina Cain ’16, Allison Kennedy ’15 and others through the Michigan Prisoner Reentry Initiative. That work has evolved into a summer-long creative writing workshop where people craft their personal stories around their experiences with incarceration and reentry. Workshop participants have shared those stories with one another, and now it’s time to bring those stories to the larger Kalamazoo community, “both to those who can relate, and those who need to listen,” says Willina.
The venue for that sharing will be the Humans Beyond Boxes Block Party, which will occur Saturday, August 29, from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. in LaCrone Park (corner of Paterson and Cobb Streets, about a 15-minute walk from campus). Plan to attend. Or, better yet, help organize the event.
“We will have food, games and of course, our core team of storytellers will share their experiences about incarceration,” says Willina. “We will also have petitions, as well as direct Public Commitment asks for current City Commissioners and candidates running for positions in November. Those petitions and asks will focus on how to support gainful employment opportunities for folks with criminal records.”