Shuja Moore and Sydia Bagley spoke to the St. Joe’s community about trauma and post-prison rehabilitation following a screening of “Healed People, Heal People,” the third episode of “Walkies,” a digital series telling the stories of people who have found success after incarceration.
The event, titled “Back to School and Redemption: Screening and Q&A of ‘Walkies’ Films,” was held on November 9 at the Forum Theater at Campion Student Center.
Moore, the creator and executive producer of “Walkies,” started the series to highlight the voices of those who have been in jail and to help those who may be at risk. After being incarcerated for 12 years, Moore returned to West Philadelphia after his release to support the community by providing economic advice and support.
Moore and the “Walkies” team are hosting national screenings of the series, both virtually and in person. “In our criminal and legal system – and I am intentionally without saying the justice system because I have not known justice after going through this – it is designed to make entry very easy and very difficult to exit,” he said. Moore said at the event. “Once you are released there are only barriers. “
The event was sponsored by the Center for Inclusion and Diversity (CID), the Beautiful Social Research Collaborative and the Pedro Arrupé Center for Business. Down North Pizza, a company that hires people who have been in prison, hosted the event.
The main event coordinator was Imani Briscoe ’17, Program Specialist for Experiential Programming for Inclusion and Diversity (IDEP). Briscoe met Moore through personal contact and wanted to bring Moore’s “Walkies” series to St. Joe’s to show the intersection of incarceration and trauma and to provide space for this conversation on campus.
“We are able to see that they paid more than enough time,” Briscoe said. “[We are] by ensuring that they are given that second chance and a fair space.
Nicole R. Stokes, Ph.D., assistant vice-president of diversity, equity and inclusion, said the event sparked an important discussion about second chances and rehabilitation for people who have already been incarcerated.
“Our system, often in many cases, is designed so that people have made previous mistakes or paid for their mistakes and are not always able to redeem, take back their lives and have economic independence to enter. specifically in the job market, ”Stokes said. . “There is a clear correlation between someone finding a job when they return and not reoffending.”
In “Healed People, Heal People,” Moore talks with Bagley about her history of being in prison and finding herself during her struggles to return to her life and her family.
Bagley, after serving a prison sentence, began to deal with a past sexual assault and started a successful restaurant business and ‘Locked Down Love’, an annual event held to celebrate the reintegration of ex-offenders into the community. society and the fight against adversity and stigma.
“It’s therapeutic for me. It makes me relive everything. I went through a note and I’m on the right track. I do what I’m supposed to do, ”Bagley said at the event. “It just makes me want to do more than what I’m doing. That’s why I decided to turn “Locked Down Love” into a non-profit organization. Just watching this movie always reminds me that there is so much more to do.
Deanna Smith ’22, a major in criminal justice, attended the event for her Sociology, Gender, Crime and Criminal Justice class. Smith said hearing Moore and Bagley’s individual experiences was different from learning about incarceration in the classroom.
“In our courses, we usually learn about the system as a whole and the characteristics of people run through the system as a whole,” Smith said. “Knowing more about an individual’s history is really different because it really humanizes the process by which people live. “
The third episode of “Walkies”, titled “Healed People, Heal People” is available on YouTube.