In the Spring of 2016, Gayle and I attended a conference called, “Cause Camp” in Lincoln, NE. Cause Camp is about all things nonprofit – fundraising, social media, mid-level donors etc. On our last day, on our way out I noticed a table where this man was representing some organization that I didn’t take note of. All I noticed was that he had Milk Duds in a bowl on his table. That golden yellow box was calling me name.
When I walked over to grab myself a Dud, just to be polite I asked the fellow representing the table, “What do you do?” in a forced, nice way. He casually mentioned that he hires prisoners to make metal work and wood work such as benches in Nebraska. My jaw dropped and I said, “We teach dance in women’s prisons!” He casually said, “Let me give you the warden’s number and email for the only women’s prison in NE.”
Wardens are hard to reach – getting a number and email is like gold! We had been teaching in Denver for the past year and a half and barely knew the warden’s name.
If I had zipped on by that table we maybe wouldn’t have ended up in Nebraska’s Correctional Center for Women. If my mama had’t taught me manners or I didn’t have a sweet tooth – that moment may have been missed.
We call this MILK DUD MAGIC!
Serendipity, grace, luck – what ever you want to call – it was magic. And, working with NCCW has been magic from the start. From meeting the open minded, progressive, Warden, Denise Skrobecki to being given permission to film – NCCW has allowed our program to be seen and experienced like no other prison!