I introduce to you Alisha Coleman, our new staff at the California Coalition for Women Prisoners. Alisha was introduced to CCWP through the FiredUp! Group that is offered in the San Francisco County jail. At first Alisha was hesitant about the group, until she met the women of CCWP. According to Alisha there was a genuineness to the women representing CCWP that she had yet to see in the many different outside facilitated groups. Alisha is a published author of The Fire Inside having had a poem she had written published during the time of Occupy San Quentin. Once Alisha was released in 2012, it seemed that fate was on her side; she was reunited with the ladies at CCWP. It was a happenstance kind of thing where a friend she meets at the program was getting a visit from the women at CCWP. Alisha is also a member of our Spitfire Speakers Bureau, representing CCWP at community events.
Now that Alisha is a member of our staff her main focus is to be a voice to the voiceless. Her outlook on the work she does here at CCWP is that it is ongoing, each day that she makes it in to respond to the women’s letters and be an advocating force for those who have no one to turn to is an accomplishment. For Alisha, the process of letter writing is not a task or a job. Alisha approaches each letter with compassion, understanding, and hopefulness, even at times becoming emotionally attached to the plight of her sisters in bondage. Being a formerly incarcerated person, Alisha knows the hurt, pain, and despair that is embodied in the experience of prison. For Alisha, this work is never-ending, and is a passion and connection that will continue through her life. Her hope is that once she is gone someone else will see how much she cared and continue the work. Alisha Coleman is a fighter in this ongoing, never-ending cycle of incarceration. She is a voice for those who have been silenced and an advocate for those who need her most.