TEDx Event Comes To WCCW

TEDx Event Comes to Washington Corrections Center for Women

Correctional Industries (CI) supported a TEDx event at the Washington Corrections Center for Women (WCCW). This independently organized TED event was themed, “does gender matter?” TED is a nonprofit organization, dedicated to sharing ideas, typically in the form of short, powerful talks. This was the second CI-supported TEDx event. The first took place in March 2014 at the Monroe Correctional Complex (MCC) in Monroe, Wash. CI will support the next TEDx event hosted by the Washington State Penitentiary in Walla Walla, Wash, in March 2016.

Working with a representative from TED, offenders at WCCW, facility staff and CI staff prepared for this event for nearly a year. Guest speakers included Washington Supreme Court Justice Mary Yu, King County Prosecutor Dan Satterberg and broadcast journalist Soledad O’Brien, along with several offenders, Department of Corrections (DOC) staff and other speakers from the community. Attendance for this all-day event included 18 speakers, 250 guests and more than 30 volunteer event staff.

CI staff across the state participated in the design and manufacturing of items for the TEDx event. Marketing items included: coasters manufactured at MCC; coaster stands manufactured at Stafford Creek Corrections Center; event programs, tablets, invitations, thank you cards, name tags, and signage designed by staff at CI headquarters and printed at MCC; lanyards produced and screen printed at Airway Heights Corrections Center (AHCC); bags screen printed at AHCC; and the food for the event was manufactured in CI food factories located at AHCC and Coyote Ridge Corrections Center.

Powerful messages were shared about gender within the justice and correctional system. The events of the day brought many tears and many laughs. Overall, this event was a huge success. Attendees left with an understanding that gender does matter and Washington State DOC is responding to the needs of women while they are incarcerated and as they transition back into the community.