Coaching for Healing and Non-Violence
ABOUT THE PROJECT
Coaching skills, widely used in the corporate world and increasingly with nonprofit leaders have rarely, if ever, been taught to people incarcerated in prisons and jails. The core purpose of Coaching for Healing and Non-Violence is to bring the rigor of a Professional Coach Certification program to cohorts of men that are peer educators, teachers, facilitators and mentors on YARD A at CSP Lancaster, the only prison in Los Angeles County. Coaching is an asset-based approach that uses deep listening, empowering questions, visioning, accountability and somatic work to support people to break old habits, to develop new practices and embrace change.
When Damon and Amanda showed up at the California State Prison-Los Angeles County, I never imagined that this course would have such a profound effect on so many people, including myself. I certainly had no idea of the impact it would have on my own life. Since that first day in class, I became in touch with a powerful feeling, knowing I could help people in the same manner as Damon and Amanda. It’s a quality that evokes an overwhelmingly intense emotion of the heart.
Coaching Essentials is an inspirational avenue for men who have been lost in the prison system for decades….men who have no voice, and often fear expressing themselves in such a vulnerable manner. Coaching Essentials created a safe space for even the most hardened souls, those who rarely gave anyone a glimpse of their true selves.
Many of the prisoners shared with me that being involved in Coaching Essentials gave them a sense of worth. After completing the two-day seminar, my peers stated that they felt more accomplished than at any other point in their life. I feel so grateful to have been involved in this project and now that I have been released, I hope to continue my own coaching experience.
Jon Grobman, former prisoner, California State Men’s Prison in Lancaster
An Interview with Sheila Azad and Damon Azali-Rojas
about Coaching for Healing and Nonviolence