On a day filled with hope, laughter, and empowerment, the Blossoming Beyond Bars Wellness event emerged as a beacon of light for women recently released from incarceration. This event was held at The Connecticut Women’s Consortium on Friday, September 29, 2023. I am both humbled and proud to share a recap of this transformative event.
Our primary focus was to empower these resilient women, equipping them with essential resources and introducing them to the therapeutic world of yoga as a means to manage stress and find relaxation. Participants had the unique opportunity to immerse themselves in a 45-minute seated yoga session, expertly guided by Nikki Adams of Beauty For Ashes Wellness Cultivation. Nikki, a Transformational Leader, Trauma-informed Yoga teacher, and Mindfulness Facilitator, brought a sense of calm and healing to the event.
This event was a collaborative effort of Winning Ways, Kevnesha Boyd, the esteemed owner of Quality Counseling, and Dr. Janet Garcia-Hallett of the University of New Haven. Their dedication and collective endeavors have been the driving force behind this event. The harmony and synergy of our collaboration have transformed our shared vision into a tangible reality.
We extend our heartfelt gratitude to our generous sponsors, Connecticut Women’s Consortium and The Tow Institute – University of New Haven. Their unwavering support has been instrumental in making this event a success.
A special acknowledgment to Stop&Shop, ShopRite, and Big Y for their generous donations. We are equally grateful to Tangie McDougald, Alisha Crutchfield-McLean, and Kebra Smith-Bolden for their invaluable contributions.
Several esteemed organizations graced the event by setting up resource tables, including the Greater New Haven NAACP, The Workplace, Stop Solitary CT, Community Action Agency of New Haven, Project Access, and New Haven Legal Assist. Assoc. Their presence played a pivotal role in connecting these women with resources spanning employment, legal aid, therapy, healthcare, housing, and so much more.
A highlight of the event was the giveaway of 50 purses filled with cosmetics, meticulously packed and prepared at the Cheshire Library. Kudos to Buy Nothing Cheshire, CT, and The Diaper Bank of Connecticut (DBCT) for their generous contributions.
The raffle segment was a hit, with gift certificates generously donated by Kate Burton Salon Spa in Milford. We also raffled enlightening books like “Invisible Mothers: Unseen Yet Hypervisible after Incarceration” by Dr. Janet Garcia-Hallett and “The ABC’s of Wealth Building” by Tanisha Adjokatcher and Chyanne Adjokatcher.
The event was further elevated by a powerful panel of expert women: Tanisha Adjokatcher, Dr. Janet Garcia-Hallett, Tiheba Bain, Rebekah Lyas, and Kevnesha Boyd. The insightful discussions, moderated by the brilliant LaReese Harvey, left us all inspired and invigorated.
In conclusion, the Blossoming Beyond Bars Wellness event was a whirlwind of emotions – from laughter to tears, from the tranquility of yoga to introspection. It was a celebration of womanhood, resilience, and community spirit. We look forward to many more such empowering events in the future!