Alaska Public Media hosted a community conversation on August 29th called “COMMUNITY IN UNITY Building Community Connections” within the walls of Anvil Mountain Correctional Center joining inmates, staff, former inmates and community members together for honest talk about prison life and challenges faced within and outside of the prison walls once individuals become a part of the system.

Kawerak staff joined many other concerned community members and representatives from local organization to listen and hear how people in prison are connecting with their communities and preparing for release. Anne Hillman of Alaska Public Media shared the mic amplifying brave stories from inmates. The dialogue provoked tears, concerns, possible solutions and most importantly a palpable connection between everyone in the room.  The circle created a safe space for dialogue, to which many ears and hearts were opened. Starting the conversation is the catalyst for change in the future to strengthen supports and address injustices in our systems and communities.

Many thanks to Alaska Public Media, Anvil Mountain Correctional Facility and the inmates for creating the space and opportunity for this dialogue.