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‘Voices Carry’ Benefit to Share the Writing of Incarcerated Women

SPRINGFIELD — On Thursday, June 9, Voices from Inside (VFI) will host “Voices Carry,” a fund-raiser to share the writing of incarcerated women of Hampden County and inform guests about the work of the organization.

VFI invites the community to the Springfield Marriott, 2 Boland Way, to enjoy a free continental breakfast starting at 7:30 a.m. From 8 to 9 a.m., local community leaders will read the poetry of women who are currently incarcerated at the Women’s Correctional Center in Chicopee.

Readers include Adrienne Osborn, program manager, Western Massachusetts Regional Women’s Correctional Center; Jennifer Gallant, chief financial officer, Polish National Credit Union; and Vanessa Martinez-Renuncio, associate professor of Anthropology and Honors Program coordinator, Holyoke Community College. Also, formerly incarcerated women from Hampden County who participate in VFI’s community-based program will share their personal stories and read their writing. Donations will be requested.

VFI will also recognize community leaders Moana Rawlins and Christina Hall-Ruest with the inaugural Voices Carry: She Roars award, and longtime board member Marion VanArsdell for her many years of service upon her retirement.

The event will be co-emceed by Brenda Garton-Sjoberg, former WWLP-TV evening news anchor and director of Western New England University’s Institute for Media and Non-Profit Communication, and Sonia Mendez of Voices from Inside.

“Being here today with Voices from Inside, hearing the powerful stories of women who really had some challenges in their lives on overcoming through support from other wonderful women — it’s a great way to start your morning. I am so inspired,” state Rep. Jose Tosado said at the 2015 Voices Carry event.

VFI is a local organization that provides writing groups and leadership training for women and adolescents who are incarcerated or have been incarcerated to find their voices and return to their communities with success.

To find out more about the breakfast and reserve a seat or a table, visit www.voicesfrominside.org or call (413) 586-3906.

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