Transformative Leadership Program

More than just a summer program. We are committed to reclaiming our truths and setting ourselves free from the stigma around incarceration.

About our Transformative Leadership Program

The Transformative Leadership Program is divided into three intensives that occur during the summer, fall, and spring. Each intensive brings together cohorts of 12-15 young women with incarcerated parents to focus on inner healing, personal development, education and organizing community-action projects. The curriculum aims to improve mental health, develop political and self-awareness and foster artistic expression through visual arts, poetry, digital media, and other mediums for creative outlets.


Participants gain a deeper understanding of the history of the prison system, including how policies and practices have led to a system that has shaped their individual and collective experience. We facilitate a series of workshops on processing the challenges, grief, trauma and compassion that may come with having an incarcerated parent. During and after these intensives, youth facilitate workshops and lead collaborations with community-based organizations. We also provide mentoring, weekly after school drop in space, and support with higher education or creating a plan for after graduating high school. The summer, fall, and spring intensives are all paid opportunities for youth.

Here are a few goals/highlights of The Transformative Leadership Program curriculum:

  1. A deepened understanding and critical analysis of the prison industrial complex, including how systems of incarceration have shaped our individual and collective experiences, especially as women of color.
  2. Support individual journeys towards healing and personal transformation.
  3. Study historical and present movements led by Black people, and people of color.
  4. Explore multiple mediums of art and creative expression.
  5. Become involved/take leadership in Sisters Unchained campaigns and advocacy.

The Transformative Leadership Program is specifically for young women and girls, ages 14-18, with an incarcerated or formerly incarcerated parent. Participants must live in the Boston or Cambridge area. We hire 8-10 youth to join our summer intensive, every year from July to August.


More about our curriculum:

Sisters Unchained facilitates political education workshops that teaches about the prison industrial complex, centers the voices of Black and Brown freedom fighters, and is rooted in principles of transformative justice. We educate youth about different liberation movements throughout the country led by Black, Brown, and Indigenous communities. Our internal education during programming strengthens our actions of solidarity in our communities. We aim to support the leadership of daughters affected by parental incarceration to engage in art, advocacy and organizing.

Above all, we support our sisters/siblings by identifying tools for emotional wellness and creating intentional space to process losing or loving an incarcerated parent. Often, parental incarceration is just one out of many traumatic experiences that young people are forced to endure. Thus, our curriculum has a significant focus on self-love, mental health, and exploring various mediums of artistic expression. The objective of our curriculum is to collectively engage one another through the exchange of historical and cultural knowledge, skills, stories and lived experiences that will honor multiple paths towards healing, empowerment, and self-determination.

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Sisters Unchained
PO Box 300902
Jamaica Plain, MA 02130
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