Mend Collaborative designed the Day of Healing to provide the space and safety for survivors from the community and those currently incarcerated to share and process their experiences of grief, loss, harm, and resilience, as well as the opportunity to connect, build community, and share their wisdom learned through their personal experiences. At Salinas Valley State Prison — a maximum-security facility in California — survivors, incarcerated men participating in the ongoing Buddhist Pathways program, and facilitators from Mend Collaborative and Boundless Freedom Project joined together on April 11 for mindfulness and meditation practices, art making, group sharing, and a communal meal. Both survivors and offenders learn to lead by example through this impactful, restorative experience.
"I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart," shared one survivor after participating in the program. "The grieving for my husband was gaining ground on me. The only reason I felt I should go on is our dog he left behind. As strong as I am, I felt lost in a pool of pain...I can actually say I had physical and mental healing...I am so overwhelmed with the healing and my feelings."