Past Projects

A Virgin Crosses Over . . . Again.

The Virgin of Guadalupe appeared in Mexico at a time when the indigenous people had been defeated, enslaved and ravaged by diseases brought from faraway lands. To these broken and marginalized people she brought the message of God’s love in their language, in the heart of their land, and in the symbols of their history and culture. In a sense, she “crossed over” from a foreign culture and became one with the people of the New World.
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Wisdom Without Walls

Wisdom without walls crossover occcoured on January 31, 2008 and focused on women 55 and older, the parole board, and the governor.
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Grace behind Bars

Four people who have been behind bars will share their stories of being touched by those on the “out-side”. Collectively, we will name and claim the Good News that comes from being with those in jails, prisons, immigration detention centers, transitions houses, and juvenile halls. Gathered as a community, we will find spiritual nourishment necessary to stay centered in the heart of the Gospel.
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An Interupted Life

“Interrupted Life” is a beautiful and dramatic show that invites viewers to pay attention to the facts and experiences of incarcerated mothers in the United States. “Interrupted Life” invites viewers to become educated, active community members, searchi8ng for further information and decent solutions to a major and growing problem in the United States.
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Prayers of the Disinherited

Prayers of the Disinherited is anew photography exhibition, which aims to give image and voice to communities which because of the world, society, or their own action, find themselves marginalized. This exhibit of over fifty images, text and audio documents alternative forms of spiritual expression in California, both within and outside of mainstream religion.
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CRJW has sponsored several “inside” projects designed to carry the gender-responsive agenda to the public through media coverage of the events. We were extremely fortunate to attract truly talented and in-demand speakers, performers and artists to participate in these cross-over experiences that were covered by local and national print and broadcast media.

The following is a listing of the events that took place at CIW during the last several years:

  • A “book club” reading presented by award-winning Latina novelist Maria Amparo Escandon. She read from her currently released book Gonzalez & Daughter Trucking. Women participating in the book club each received a complimentary copy of the book from the publisher. This event received national media coverage on National Public Radio and in Publishers Weekly. Maria returned for a second reading with her award winning book A Box of Saints. The book club has continued and the participants selected the name “Wings of the Soul” for their group. Ms. Escandon enjoyed her experience so much, that when on her book tour in Spain she again went into a women’s prison with free books and gave a reading.
  • The Medea Project: Theater for Incarcerated Women” a one act play written and performed by Rhodessa Jones was presented in October, 2005. This was an extremely moving and passionate performance that touched participants deeply.
  • An Interrupted Life” an art exhibit portraying women’s prison experiences opened AT CIW—the first time in history that anything remotely close to that had ever happened. This presented an enormous collaboration with the prison in that they had to bend many rules to allow the pieces to be hung and the installations to be displayed, as well as to grant visitor’s passes to dozens of people and members of the press who attended the opening night exhibit. Following a two-week exhibition at CIW, the exhibit embarked upon a year long tour to college campuses around the country.
  • Edwina Gately” internationally known poet, founder of the Volunteer Missionary Movement and Genesis House and social justice activist, Ms. Gately spoke at CIW to a group of women from the inside and outside in March. Women reported that they felt intensely listened to and that she exquisitely gave voice to their experience in a beautiful, affirming and feminine way. Many prisoners indicated that this was their favorite event of the year.