WellBeing New York
September 13, 2023

WellBeing makes a special trip to New York

By Sherrie Frank

“Go and love someone exactly as they are. And then watch how quickly they transform into the greatest, truest version of themselves. When one feels seen and appreciated in their own essence, one is instantly empowered.” —Wes Angelozzi

This April, a team of volunteers and I flew to New York to facilitate the WellBeing workshop for a group of women who had been previously incarcerated. I’ve wanted to share the experience with you and wondered how to do it. Then, I received this video.

It feels right to have the experience shared by the participants’ words. I believe it takes courage and vulnerability to look at our lives with honesty and compassion. I have witnessed and experienced the strength and humility it takes to restore trust in ourselves when we’ve lost our way. By sharing their stories in this video, these women show bravery and commitment to their own hopes and dreams and honor the women who are still behind bars. I hope you’ll take the time to watch the video and honor their good work.

So many hands and hearts made New York WellBeing possible. Many are still supporting this incredible work now. A special thanks to Jennifer Mancuso whose fierce love made this happen. She is continuing to raise funds to continue our work with these women and open the doors for more to attend WellBeing. She even heard back from Gloria Steinem, whose Ms. Foundation helped fund this workshop. Ms. Steinem watched this video and wants to share it with others! How cool is that? You can help, too. There is information at the end of the video and this post to donate.

I also want to acknowledge Shelby Wanser, my co-facilitator, and our team of volunteers: Danielle Mancuso, Bryon Lambert, Cassie Trujillo, Vanessa Fields, Salem Smith, and Gricelda Enriquez. They are the kind facilitators the women talk about in the video. I watched and listened as these facilitators opened their hearts to learning and shared their own lives. Their vulnerability allowed for equity and developed a deep connection and sense of belonging that is necessary to do brave work.

And to the courageous leadership of Brenda Johnson, CEO of La Clinica. If you look closely, you’ll find that she is often the one holding the beginning of these incredible threads. A thread that weaves people, structures, and visions together to support opportunities that empower lives and bring healing to those who need it most. ♥️

Lastly, and most importantly, my heartfelt gratitude and thanks to the brave and resilient women who attended the workshop. You are my model for courage and forgiveness and doing hard things while it seems everyone is watching and waiting to see if you succeed or fail. And thank you for reminding me that it’s not a break if there’s homework. You cracked me up and open in all the best ways, and I love how you love.  xo- s

Click here for more information about the Rockland Prison Justice Program and to donate.

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  1. Amazing! I love that you are reaching out to this segment of our population. These women are amazing. So impressed by your hard work.