Story+ Project

50 Days of Kindness: Sharing Wisdom Learned During Incarceration


Overview: 50 Days of Kindness is a public storytelling project that highlights the creativity and wisdom of people who have experienced incarceration. Difficult experiences often lead to the greatest wisdom; people experiencing incarceration can be profound wisdom teachers. This project celebrates the collective wisdom learned during incarceration, which is at the heart of Human Kindness Foundation’s work. For close to 50 years, Human Kindness Foundation has promoted spirituality, mindfulness, and wellness for people experiencing incarceration and their families. In the run-up to our 50th anniversary in December 2023, we will release 50 daily mindfulness reflections that draw from the wisdom and experiences of currently or formerly incarcerated people and their families. These will include mindfulness practices, short essays and quotes, poems, brief interviews and artwork. Much of this content already exists in our archive of five decades of books, newsletters, letters and artwork.

Six-week plan: Participants in this project will organize and theme written and visual archival material, curate and edit this material, design and test a series of templates for reflections and create drafts of at least 20 daily reflections. These reflections will focus on key themes that have emerged from previous archival analysis and in-person work with people experiencing incarceration and their families. Examples of possible reflection themes include: letting go and letting in, dealing with anger, sharing kindness, recognizing beauty, safety and vulnerability, connection and disconnection, change and acceptance, forgiveness and repair, and the meaning of freedom. These reflections will be posted on our website, social media and sent out in daily newsletters. They will also form the basis for a new book we are writing, called Together-Apart, that will feature a year of weekly reflections for people experiencing incarceration and their families. By the end of the Story+ project, we hope to have created high-quality meaningful multimedia content that promotes wellbeing for a variety of audiences, particularly those who have experienced incarceration and their family members.

Keywords: Incarceration, mindfulness, trauma and resilience, spirituality, art

Preferred skills/interests for undergraduates:

  • graphic design
  • writing
  • editing
  • qualitative research
  • experience with designing written and visual content for social media, newsletters and print
  • experience with Adobe InDesign and/or Canva
  • experience with video production

Preferred skills/interests for the graduate student mentor:

Experience with:

  • project management
  • qualitative research
  • writing
  • editing
  • graphic design
Project Sponsor(s): 

Dr. Erin Parish, Executive Director, Human Kindness Foundation


  • Arts
  • Incarceration
  • Resilience
  • Trauma