Inspire Incarcerated Women

Dear  Friend,

In a prison, the body is confined for a period of time and then it returns to the freedom of society. But if the mind is also imprisoned, what can we expect from these new members?

Our organization frees the minds of inmates and gives them the motivation to be better.

We sometimes feel helpless to affect the security of our communities. Finally, we have this unique opportunity to decide whether former inmates become predators or ambassadors of good will.

Our message is simple: Don't look back on what you have done - Look at the Stars and believe in what you are still capable of.

 ABOUT

 We are the ‘Looking at the Stars Foundation ‘- a Canadian registered federal charity (Registration No. 77958 5298 RR0001) - that means every dollar you donate is tax deductible. We inspire and create hope and optimism about the future in the hearts and minds of  residents of long-term care institutions and inmates  of correctional institutions (http://lookingatthestars.org).

We are honored to have Bob Rae - the former Premier of Ontario - as our board chair. 

WE ARE NOT JUST ENTERTAINING - we are creating an environment of respectful interaction enabling inmates to self-reflect, heal and create hope for the future. Their testimonials clearly demonstrate that our work is on target.

Inmate (Anonymous), Medium Security Institution
"I’m doing Life/25. I’ve spent 17 years at Kingston Pen, 2 years in Bath, 2 in Millhaven , and I’ve been here for six months. That’s this bit. I’ll probably die here, in XXX Institution (confidential info) , as I have little hope of ever getting out. Consequently: my paradigm is limited to what’s within these walls, or in this case: fences.

For the purposes of survival, we all blunt out senses and feelings, a great deal. Some more than others, and some with artificial aid (drugs). I’ve been clean for many years. Mostly, because the price of a joint is ridiculous. This may be the first time you’ve heard of a financially responsible druggie. Anyway; the night of your event here, shook me up significantly.

The beauty of the music, the sight of fingers dancing masterfully across the strings, the richness of the whole environment and the caliber of the experience as a whole was profound! It tore away my emotional armor and left ne defenceless. It was hard to leave. I have not felt so raw, and subsequently devoid of meaningful stimulus, since then. I’m having to reapply all of my emotional buffering. There is a price to pay for the uplift, and it takes time to desensitize once again. Worth it nonetheless….."

 Chairman, Lifers Group (Anonymous), Medium Security Institution
"…Lukas Geniusas performance was amazing. The informational exchanges were unique, affording us the opportunity ask questions and feel a sense of participation instead of just being an audience member. A full week later a group of men sat in the Lifer’s office and discussed what we have experienced; what was for many of us truly once in a lifetime experience. About 30 minutes into the discussion I pointed out to the men that we have just been engaged in a meaningful, intelligent and inspirational conversation for the past half an hour. I challenged everyone present to think of the last time they had actually done that in a penitentiary setting. Collectively no one could recall having been moved in that manner and then being open and honest enough to share it with a group of men…. "

Inmate (Anonymous), Minimum Security Institution
"… The recital you presented removed my shackles for a moment and took me to Roy Thomson Hall in another life. I had dreamed of this moment for decades and have often thought how healing it would be to hear music you presented to all of us – staff and inmates, and the lasting impact it would have.   I cannot tell you how many times I have tried to advance the idea of having live classical performance in the various institutions that I have lived in, only to be met with silence and the word IMPOSSIBLE. Mr. Kanovich, you made the impossible possible bringing light to a very dark small corner of the world!"



ACCOMPLISHED

Since our inception in late December 2015 we have organized and implemented 11 such Events.

The results have exceeded our expectations - it is reflected in many deeply emotional testimonials and letters from inmates, wardens, family members and CSC staff, who are unanimous in acknowledging the positive impact on the mental health, healing, reintegration, repeat crime prevention, general atmosphere and other critical restorative justice processes.

Our efforts have been also acknowledged by ministers and politicians, most recently in the House of Commons: (https://www.facebook.com/roboliphantdvw/videos/10155865362384198/).

Our next Event is at the Grand Valley Minimum Security Institution for Women in Kitchener. Please give us your support.

Please, donate generously and help us improve the security of our communities. Even the smallest gift makes a difference!

As a Federally incorporated charitable organization, we have the capability to issue tax receipts for donations. Please contact us when you make a donation, if you require a tax receipt.

 Sincerely,
Dmitri Kanovich
On behalf of the Board of Looking at the Stars.

Organizer

Dmitri Kanovich 
Organizer
North York, ON

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