Ginger Taylor (Erin Mumford)
In what ways has your attitude toward your social issue changed over the course of the project?
When I first got together with my group, we weren’t sure which issue we wanted to focus on. We all shared the values of justice and equality; therefore, we knew we wanted to focus on the justice system. When we started looking at different statistics regarding incarceration, I’ll admit I was a little nervous about going to meet people who work with ex-convicts, and possibly ex-cons themselves. I wasn’t sure whether it was a great idea because my mind immediately linked the work “convict” with “murderer” or “danger”. But after more research was done, and after we found Fortune Society, I knew my previous thoughts were wrong. I learned the struggle families and partners shared when a loved one became incarcerated. I learned about racial discrimination and the problems it causes within a household. I could see recidivism was a problem that could be fixed, and we could help. People who have done their time in jail shouldn’t be discriminated, they should be commended for the responsibly they’ve taken, and they should be treated like other human beings. This was not something I initially realized.
What aspect of the project did you find most challenging? rewarding?
What I found most challenging was getting in touch with our organization, and creating a date for the visit. This is because we had to switch organizations twice because we did not: 1) feel as though the original organizations cared about the grant as much as they should, or 2) they organization simply wouldn’t get back to us. One of the most rewarding moments of the whole project was just getting on the phone with Sherry, the president of Fortune Society, and hearing her enthusiasm and passion. It was great to hear how excited she was to meet us, and much she had helped prevent recidivism.