What We Do
Heart-to-Heart comes out of a 25-year history of success in empowering incarcerated men and women to live increasingly free and fruitful lives.Our work grows out of Dr. Marshall Rosenberg’s Nonviolent Communication (www.cnvc.org). Strongly influenced by Gandhi, Dr. Rosenberg’s approach offers a powerful framework for communicating in a way that meets both parties’ needs with awareness of oneself and others.
Our work is effective and efficient because we combine professional staff with skilled volunteers. Our staff and volunteers lead mindfulness practices such as yoga, meditation, and t’ai chi, offer Nonviolent Communication training, educate on healing trauma, and more.We support learners, both within correctional institutions and in local communities, in developing the skills and awareness needed to thrive.
We focus on learning that develops five skills which greatly increase people’s chances of maintaining their freedom upon release. These same five skills help all of us live our lives to the full:
Why Our Work Matters
The U.S. incarcerates a higher percentage of its own population than any other nation on the planet; 1 in every 100 Americans is a prisoner. People of color are disproportionately incarcerated: Among African American men age 20 to 34, one in 9 is incarcerated. Over 58% of all prisoners are parents of minor children. Children, spouses, families and entire neighborhoods are suffering along with our incarcerated brothers and sisters.It is a culture of punishment that gives rise to a system of mass incarceration. This culture of punishment shows up not only in our criminal justice systembut also in our families, educational systems and how we treat ourselves. There is a powerful alternative to this culture of punishment. It is a culture of relationship, a culture built on relating heart-to-heart. We offering training in the essential skills which make heart-to-heart relating and heart-drive lives more possible.