IFS and Masculinity and Jericho Circles with Steve Spitzer and Glenn Williams
On today's episode, I chat with Steve Spitzer and Glenn Williams. Steve, Emeritus Professor of Sociology at Suffolk University in Boston, has taught, researched, and written on crime, justice and social control for three decades.
He is Level 2 IFS trained and has presented his use of the IFS model inside prisons at multiple IFS annual conferences and has written articles in the IFS newsletter, The Outlook.
In 2002, he founded the Jericho Circle Project, a non-profit organization that seeks to 'bring down the walls' by creating men's support groups in correctional facilities.
Since the project began, almost 1000 incarcerated men have sat in Jericho Circles in county, state, and federal correctional institutions in Massachusetts, Maine, and Rhode Island.
Glenn participated in the Jericho groups when he was incarcerated for 21 years and later met Steve in a different context. Glenn now 'pays it forward' with his organization, Our House Boston.
Glenn is Level One IFS trained and is passionate about spreading the word about our True Essence, especially to black men in urban settings. Glenn is a reentry advocate and community investor who works with various individuals, families, organizations and businesses to raise awareness about and create solutions to the challenges of incarceration and prisoner reintegration.
This conversation is AMAZING. I cannot convey this in words. Here are some themes:
Men's work inside prisons, power of vulnerability, and speaking for parts
'Climbing out of the man box'/Taking off masks
The importance of power in manliness for Black Men
Glenn states, "Who I pretend to be (what my community and society says I need to be in order to survive) and my Essence are not the same thing."
And, "IFS offers the opportunity for Self Discovery and Self Exploration (inside and outside of prison). Discovering that my shame and guilt are parts of me and do not have to define who I am at my core."
To find more about Jericho circle go to https://jerichocircle.org/ Check out this 90 minute documentary on the nature of their group work that was filmed at California State Prison Sacramento. That film, produced by the group that initially mentored them in the work (Inside Circle), will give you a taste of the kind of work done (albeit at a somewhat higher level of intensity than is typical of Jericho Circle’s groups) on their weekends. Video is found here: https://www.topic.com/the-work
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