An Evening Celebration of Women – Through Shared Experience they Build Community

Building Bridges to Community, this year’s annual Wildcat event, supported The Women’s Project, an extraordinary community of shared experience whose collective work serves as an alternative to pre-trial detention and incarceration. Born out of conversations seeking ways to permanently decrease the number of women detained in city jails and state prisons, The Women’s Project is part of a larger partnership between Wildcat/The Fedcap Group, public defenders, and district attorney offices in Manhattan, Brooklyn and the Bronx.

“I am so happy you are here tonight to celebrate our joy and achievements,” said Valentina Morales, Senior Director of Justice Initiatives at Fedcap and Director of The Women’s Project. “Arrest and detention bring a cadre of consequences that make daily life increasingly difficult and can complicate our ability to fully participate in our defense and the process. It makes a real difference to have a community of support. Women who join our community make a commitment to take the best care of themselves so we, in turn, can take care of one another,”

“We seek to shift systems, create opportunities, for individuals and communities that have been impacted by the criminal legal system,” said Gene Waddy, Wildcat Board Chair. “We believe in the power of work and also the power of opportunity, not only to work but to heal, to grow, and to define and pursue individually-defined success.”

The heart of the event was the voices of the women who are part of this extraordinary community. Here are some of the comments offered by these phenomenal women of purpose, who believe deeply in the Power of Possible—

“I would describe The Women’s Project community as my sisters. We build relationships through supporting each other, and that is the best thing ever.”

“We are accountable to ourselves and our community. We come together and learn from each other, and share our collective wisdom.”

“I bring that smile, that kind-heartedness, and a little joy into people’s lives.”

“The Advocacy Group at Women’s Project taught me how to link to services, but the best thing it has given me is a voice to speak for myself.”

“Women here are always writing poetry and making art. You can be creative. We’re not being held back.”

“My favorite part of The Women’s Project is the communication, and the respect level. When you have nowhere to turn, you can come here for help and support.”

“It feels good to be back in the world. I promised to take myself as far as I can go, and with The Women’s Project, its happening. ”

View our Building Bridges to Community video >>