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Director of the Prison Project to Speak at TEDx Bakersfield

—“All human beings have potential to create value in the world,” Sabra Williams said about the Actors' Gang Prison Project.

At the upcoming TEDx Bakersfield conference, Williams will speak about her work on The Actors‘ Gang Prison Project, which was started in 2006 to address the recidivism rate of prisoners. She teaches prisoners to understand their reactions to real-life situations through acting workshops.

Prisoners are taught commedia dell’arte, a form of improv using a stock set of characters such as the fool, the lover, and the macho man. During this weeks-long workshop, prisoners are taught how to express their emotions and use it to expand their empathy in their current and future situations.

“They’re just human beings to us, so we meet on the same level,” Williams said in this video, https://vimeo.com/170044916, about the Prison Project.

According to the video, 82 percent fewer prisoners return to prison after taking this class.

TEDx Bakersfield will take place from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Spotlight (Ovation) Theatre, 1622 19th St., Bakersfield, CA 93301 and will be livestreamed for free through KERO 23ABC at tedxbakersfield.org. Tickets to attend the event cost $99 with only two dozen left at the time of this writing. The TEDx conference will be archived and available via www.ted.com.

TED is a nonprofit devoted to “ideas worth spreading,” usually in the form of short, powerful talks (18 minutes or less). TED began in 1984 as a conference where Technology, Entertainment and Design converged, and today covers almost all topics—from science to business to global issues—in more than 100 languages. Meanwhile, independently run TEDx events help share ideas in communities around the world. The TEDx program helps communities, organizations and individuals produce TED-style events at the local level. TEDx events are planned and coordinated independently, on a community-by-community basis, under a free license from TED.



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