Lilly completed our teacher training in Oahu’s maximum facility in 2018. Here is a glimpse into her interview:

“So, in prison, a lot of women believe they have to have their guard up, but it doesn’t come from prison. It comes from a lifestyle that we lived outside of these gates. It’s a façade, because I survive in here and I’m guardless.

You know, so it’s, to me it’s a front. But it’s where they’re at in life because I have been there and to have a guard up is what kept us protected in our lifestyles and then we come in here and we are so used to being broken, and abused, and beaten down by others and ourselves, so it’s just expected and so we want to survive because that’s what 100% of women incarnated are survivors.

And so for us to be survivors, we have to wear our guard. Well, I’m at a point where I don’t wear one. I’m not afraid. I’m not going to hide who I am. I am sensitive, emotional, kind, and in prison you can be all of that – you don’t have to wear that guard. However, it’s coming to that point in life where you feel comfortable without that guard because outside that’s our survival.

For every person that is guarded, there is an unguarded human being and those unguarded human beings need to reach out and make contact with us who are guarded and show us that it is okay; that we can survive and show our true beings because there is no such thing as a human being who can’t be kind and a human being who can’t love because it is what we are created for.” Lilly O, inmate at WCCC