Beyond the Bars Goes to Kenya!

December 20, 2023

In partnership with Clean Start Africa, V-Day, and Classical Theatre of Harlem, CfJ staff and Right/Write to Heal participants brought the Beyond the Bars Conference to Kenya. 

At the beginning of this month, we partnered with Clean Start Africa, V-day, and the Classical Theatre of Harlem to bring the Beyond the Bars conference to Nairobi, Kenya! The two-day conference on November 30-December 1 featured speakers from around the country, as well as CfJ staff and members of our Right/Write to Heal Initiative. 400 formerly incarcerated women in Kenya were bussed in for the conference. There was singing, dancing, and sharing of culture and wisdom. The conference theme was “Movement Building Towards a Just Africa” and speakers from the Center for Justice spoke about their experiences of incarceration and how they have continued advocating for incarcerated and formerly incarcerated women since they have been home.

Two women dancing together

Watch a video of Cheryl Wilkins sharing her thoughts on why women end up in prison in the first place.

During the trip, the team also visited the United States International University-Africa to speak with leadership, faculty, and students about including formerly incarcerated women in higher education. 

Group of women standing outside of the United States International University-Africa

Right/Write to Heal Program Manager Roslyn Smith said, “The trip was life-changing for me. Hearing about the experiences of women who are incarcerated there was heartbreaking, and renewed my commitment to supporting and freeing women all across the world.”

Three women sitting together and smiling for the photo wearing black Beyond the Bars t-shirts

The trip was sponsored by IIE as well as a few other generous donors. 

Watch livestreams and more videos of the conference here