About the Project

From the Numbers is a storytelling project that lifts up the voices of formerly incarcerated people. Our storytellers’ lived experiences transformed them, and they now make positive contributions to their communities every day. 

In Michigan, the dominant narrative holds that long prison sentences provide the severe, long-term punishment that is deserved. The narrative reinforces an us vs them mentality and creates a caste of “others” that law-abiding citizens need protection from. 

One in three people in America has some sort of a criminal record, whether it is a traffic misdemeanor or a serious felony. Even so, many people have never met someone who has been to prison – much less seen the inside of a prison themselves. The U.S. has the largest incarcerated population in the country – both in terms of raw numbers and per capita, but for many people, all they know about prisons and incarcerated people is what they see in movies and on television. 

Watch and share the project trailer below!

From the Numbers elevates the voices of those impacted by the criminal justice system and strives to change the narrative about people who have been incarcerated. The stories you will hear show that redemption is possible and people impacted by our justice system are capable of change. 

Through this work, we hope to change hearts and minds and dismantle the dominant narrative about justice-impacted people. Join us in listening and sharing the stories below.

About the Partnership

In 2020, in response to the pandemic, Fresh Coast Alliance (FCA) and Safe & Just Michigan (SJM) launched the Criminal Justice CAFE, a weekly conversation hosted on Facebook Live. Hosted by two formerly incarcerated leaders, the CAFE features guests working on criminal justice reform issues in Michigan and across the state. The majority of the guests are justice-impacted leaders.

Moved by the stories shared on the CAFE, FCA and SJM wanted to do more. Working in partnership again, From the Numbers was born. The project could not have happened without the storytelling training offered by Lester Young, of Path2Redemption. Over a series of several weeks, Lester trained our storytellers to be effective and confident communicators.

The Episodes

LaWanda Hollister

Terry Johnson

Nate Johnson

E.B. Jordan

Rick Speck

Ramon Berrera

Melanise Patterson

Michael Duthler

Lorenzo Garrett

Call to Action

Help us change hearts and minds! Use the social media tool kit below to share the From the Numbers project with your personal and professional networks!

Download>> From the Numbers Tool Kit

Watch and share our video promotional videos with your friends, family and co-workers!

Help us spread the word about “From the Numbers”. Share these graphics on social media!

For posting on Twitter

For posting on Twitter

For posting on Facebook

For posting on Facebook

Visit other resources below!

Download>> From the Numbers Talking Points