Telling our Stories29 August 2017
During the past year, Osborne partnered with StoryCorps, the national oral history project and radio program, to record, preserve and share the unique and important stories of our staff and participant community. StoryCorps’ mission is to preserve and share humanity’s stories in order to build connections between people and create a more just and compassionate world.
Over the course of two days, twelve Osborne participants gathered at our Bronx office to record their stories through uninterrupted 40-minute conversations. Participants were interviewed by a close friend, family member, or an Osborne staff member and were free to share any piece of their story they wanted.
Osborne participants’ stories will become part of the StoryCorps Justice Project, a project that preserves and amplifies the stories of people who have been directly impacted by mass incarceration. These stories will be archived in the Library of Congress, where they will be preserved for generations to come.
T Haywood, Osborne staff member, said "I didn't know what to expect before I did it, but I am proud to have shared my story with my co-worker Samantha Robinson. Sharing my story made me feel closer to her, and we know each other more genuinely."
Jamal Faison, a former Osborne staff member and participant, and his uncle Born own a special bond. Jamal’s story was shared nationally on June 3, 2016. Listen to Jamal and Born talk about Jamal’s incarceration at Rikers Island:
Through partnerships like this one with StoryCorps, Osborne participants and staff who have been affected by the criminal justice system gain the opportunity to authentically share their stories. These stories can contribute to advancements in just policy, influence public perception of people who are incarcerated, and inspire other people affected by the system. Storytelling is also a means for our participants and staff to have agency over their own stories, boost their confidence, and gain practical public speaking skills.
During his interview, Osborne participant Jack Russell reflected on how the support he received from his grandma during his incarceration encouraged him to transform his life. A clip of his conversation with his friend Miguel Delgado is featured on the StoryCorps website.
In coming months, we’ll share more stories and reflections gathered from Osborne staff and participants during our partnership with StoryCorps.