Rodrick Dupree Connected with Jane Davis and HOPE-HOWSE in 1998 as an incarcerated youth. Rod has turned his life around and remains involved with HOPE-HOWSE today.
Hi,my name is Roderick Dupree and I just wanted say a couple of things about hope-howse and Jane.Well I became part of hope-howse in 1998.I was going through some things as a teenager you know, the gangs,jail,probation and all the above just getting into alot of trouble.Well during that time I met jane just sending a letter out into the world to some kind of human kindness foundation and got a letter from jane afterwards,I guess it was like a referral.She helped me deal with alot of issues I was going through being locked up and all so I was really down and out but she help me build myself up into the man I am today.It was times where I just needed a friend to talk to even in the early hours of the day like 4 in the morning and she was there.It was times where I just didn't know what to do and I was in a panic and she was there.I was introduced to a number of people through hope howse and had different experiences that really guided me out the street life to a normal life.I mean now I am a family man,a husband,and a father.And to be honest I really couldn't have done any of this without the support of Jane and hope howse.I mean the work was up to me but sometimes you just need some support around you through the trying times.I mean it's been some situations I've been in I really can't talk about but jane helped me through all of it.I couldn't turn to family nor could I turn to my friends all the odds were against me.But through it all even to this day Jane has been right there.It's alot of bad things in this world and alot of wrong going on but if there were more people like jane davis it would be a much better place.Like for real I consider her as a mother to me because it was some things my own mother just didn't understand but jane did.It's been like 12 years now that I've been involved in hope howse and I've helped a great deal of people especially out in the streets. But jane lead the way,I went from a person that just wanted to give up but hope howse turned me into a person that just wants to stand up and keep fighting because we all are one heart and we share something in common "life".I will never forget when jane flew me out to New Mexico that was the most exciting mind blowing adventure I had ever went on and that was my first time flying on a airplane and the things we did when I was there it was life changing for me.I came home and got married like 3 months later.It's alot of people in the world that just need a shoulder to cry on or need someone to talk you never know if someone has given up on life and end up taking there life because they have no hope nothing to live for .Well that's what hope howse is all about,even if the world give up on you we won't cause not only do we owe it to you but we also owe to ourselves nobody is perfect under the sun. I'm still living, I'm still breathing,I'm free,No more jail,No more probation in which I did 10 years of probation from the age of 16 to 26 and I am 27 now about to 28 in august.I have 2 beautiful kids,a beautiful wife,2 jobs,2 cars and I'm legit.All it take is one person to help turn someone around and it may save there life and Jane saved mines literally.
Thanks for your time,
Joseph Valverde -Served 20 years in the Atlanta Federal Penetentiary and was in one of the first HOPE-HOWSE groups. Joseph has been out for 5 years leading a successful life.
September 13, 2006
Have you read the scripture “Though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death I shall fear no evil”. You may feel like you're walking through the valley of the shadow of death when you visit prison. We the prisoners are in fact the inhabitants of the valley of death. There is a shadow in the valley because there is some light. You are in fact the light and the valley of the shadow of death. Without you the valley of the shadow of death would be nothing more than a black abyss.
Just you're walking through the prison gates gives us a ray of hope, joy, and peace. We prisoners, have basically, been abandoned by everyone. In most cases our friends, wives, and family, if they still speak with us, treat us as if we were dead men. What we say doesn't matter. We have suddenly become the dumbest individuals on the planet. And it seems, it would be easier for those who we love, to visit our gravesite rather than to have to put up with conversations on the telephone or letters from us.
From our perspective as prisoners, and my individual perspective as a prisoner, your walking through the gates and taking your valuable time to come see some broken down prisoners is truly amazing to us. It doesn't matter what you say. It doesn't matter what you do. Just your coming and taking the time to be with us gives us the hope we need to persevere. The act of caring which you do every time you enter a prison touches the lives of all the prisoners in a prison whether they see you in person or not. Your coming to prison tells us that someone cares.
I believe that loneliness comes not from being alone but rather from having no one who cares in one's life. You're coming to see us touches all of our hearts. Your caring causes us to care, and opens the door for us to continue to care for the rest of our lives.
Jane Davis came to visit me and the other prisoners in USP Atlanta for many years. She was a ray of light, hope, and love. We celebrated Shabbos together on Friday nights, and Passover meals during Passover. We didn't even have to be Jewish to attend. The little bit of grape juice and matzos we shared was the highlight of our week. Jane and I spoke at length over the years as she formulated the concept of HOPE-HOWSE. Just her being there week after week, dedicated to the mission of sharing loving concern for her fellow human beings, moved all of us prisoners to greater love in life.
I spent 19 years in prison for attempting to fly some marijuana into the country. During my stay in prison I was in two of the bloodiest prisons in America, USP Lewisburg and USA Atlanta. I could have left prison a bitter, angry, and very dangerous individual. Instead I left prison with a cheerful attitude looking at the whole experience as very beneficial to my spiritual growth. In fact, I look at the entire experience as if I was in a cloistered monastery for 19 years. I believe I was able to go through these hardships and come out the other end with a positive attitude because of the love of God which each of you brings to prison every time you visit. This love is greater than any of us as individuals, but it needs an individual to carry it into places where it doesn't normally reside. Your mission, just showing up, has a profound effect on all of us prisoners. I am sure it is difficult for you to realize the vast impact you have on us. I for one want to thank you for the vast impact you had on me.
Sincerely, a joyful monk,
Tony Enis Jane met Tony while he was living on Death Row in Illinois through one of his paintings which she purchased at an Amnesty International event. Tony has been a HOPE-HOWSE volunteer for a number of years.
My name is Tony Enis and I am on Death Row at Pontiac Correctional Center in Illinois. I feel privileged and honored for this opportunity to share my thoughts and a part of myself with all of you.
For the last 13 years, I have languished on the doorstep of death, and with every new sunrise of every new day of each of those 13 years, I have awakened with the same question resounding in my mind: Why? Why am I here? I have committed no crime, and yet, I stand branded as a criminal. Not just a criminal, but the worst of criminals --- a murderer, an animal. I could have easily succumbed to that label and become the animal that many, for the sake of their own consciences, probably wish I was. There was one thing, one unambiguous fact that kept me from succumbing to those labels, and that fact is that I am not a murderer or an animal. An animal does not have a hand in which to take a paintbrush and create something beautiful on what was once a blank piece of canvas. Nor can an animal pick up a pen and take a thought from its head and translate that thought into moving, touching poetic verse, but I can, therefore, I must be a human being.
Please, do understand that I am not unsympathetic to the victims of violent crime. How can any human being be anything other than sympathetic to something like that? In any society, especially a civilized one, crime certainly cannot go unpunished, however, what do we gain as a nation by taking a life? I cannot begin to imagine the pain of losing someone I love to a violent act, but neither can I imagine how the death of the perpetrator of that act would ease my pain or fill that hole of emptiness, that missing part of me. Nothing ever would. So, what would be the point
Still, I did not write this letter to open your eyes as to who I am or my plight, for my story is the same as many others. I wrote this letterbecause I want you to open your eyes, to look inward at yourselves. I do not seek your compassion; not even your understanding do I crave. I seek that which was bestowed upon all of us when we were deep in our mothers? wombs. I seek your humanity, that which is inherent in all of us regardless of race, gender, creed, or color. We have become a decadent nation, a selfish people, easily satisfied and committed to nothing. There are times when one must go above and beyond his or her own self-interest, and grab hold of the courage of their convictions and act. That time is upon us. We are on the threshold of a defining moment in the death penalty debate and a defining moment in the history of America.
Although I was born in the latter half of the sixties, I am a student of history, and yes, I do dare to compare this struggle to the Civil Rights struggle of the sixties. In those days of darkness, being on the side of integration was not the popular side to be on, being on the side of anti-discrimination was not the popular side to be on, but we, as a nation, beginning with a few and becoming many, rose up and took on that moral challenge, and did what was fair, did what was right, and did what was human.
Now, once again, this nation faces a moral crisis, and once again, many of the helpless are poor, black, and brown, and once again, the issue is more about politics than people. It is all well and good for those in power to call for tax cuts, to champion healthcare for all, or to preserve the environment, but when those in power call out for blood and death, then that power is running amok and must be checked before it can erode and eventually destroy the principles upon which this country was made great.
As I again allude to those dark days of the sixties, the words of three men come to mind, and I'd like to share their words with you, perhaps not verbatim, but I will try. Martin Luther King once said, "If a man hasn't found something worth dying for, he isn't living." J.F.K. once said, "Ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country." And Bobby Kennedy said, "Some men see things as they are and ask, why? I dream things that never were and ask, why not?" I say to you all, are you living? I ask you, what are you willing to do for your country? And I say to you, if you are not taking an active stand, why not? We may never see the likes of those men again, but their words did not stop inspiring us as a people or a nation. Their dreams need not be deferred, but they can never come to fruition in an America that kills its own.
In closing, I again ask you to look deep within yourselves, and to grab hold of the courage of your convictions. I ask you to please remember that part of you that makes us all special. Please, remember your humanity. God bless all of you.
With love and respect,
Jean Janu spent a year in the Federal penitentiary system.
I specifically want to comment on Jane's work with with me after I was released from Federal Prison Camp in Phoenix, Arizona. Maybe the experience of being incarcerated is equally trraumatic for everyone, but for me the shock of the whole experience with the Federal Criminal Justice System left me fragile and vulnerable in ways I had never experienced before. Jane reached out to me as a human being without judgment and with a kind of unconditional love never having known me before as a friend or a member of her family. I met her because of my interest in restorative justice and she is the epitome of restorative justice without the fanfare and without the labels. She helped me to begin to heal my trauma and to make sense of what happened to me. Jane accepted me completely into her heart and into her mind, understanding what happened to me perhaps better than I can understand it myself.
I am currently going to graduate school to earn a master's degree in counselling with a concentration in grief, loss and trauma. She has encouraged me in this endeavor. I have completed the first year of my program! I would be honored to work with Jane in the future if circumstances were to allow that. I would love to be able to help others in the way that she has helped me.
Jeff G. – Jeff spent much of his adult life (from age 22-38) incarcerated. He is out and working hard at turning his life around, with the help and support of others who believe in him. His path crossed with Jane Davis and HOPE-HOWSE years ago.
To Whom It May Concern:
My name is Jeff and I hope to express how helpful and wonderful Jane Davis has been since I first met her. I spent sixteen years in prison for first degree criminal sexual penetration, second degree murder, and other lesser felonies. Yes, those are gruesome charges, but I am moving forward and making the most out of this second chance in life.
As the years passed, I ended up being a leader in the Christian prison community and was appointed as the Pastor of our inmate church for the last two years of my sentence. Yes, a sex offender leading men in spiritual activities.
It was nearing the end of my prison experience when I met Jane Davis. I still remember meeting her for the first time. It was at an event (drum circle) in the prison given by a Native American Self-Help Group and sponsored by HOPE-HOWSE. HOPE-HOWSE volunteers had come into the prison with their Native American drums and allowed the inmates to join the circle and play their drums.
Jane mentioned something that caught my ear as she was talking about HOPE-HOWSE and her activism with prisoners. She explained to everyone present that she was an advocate for her belief in the goodness of every human being behind gruesome acts – including prisoners and sex-offenders. More specifically, she said that she believed in the “man behind the act.” Let’s put this in context. She openly admitted to being an advocate for not only prisoners, but for sex-offenders in a room full of hardened criminals who hate sex offenders. She exhibited no shame. It was just a fact. I thought, who admits such a thing in prison or in public? But a spark of hope entered my heart. You see, I was on my last two years of a fifteen year sentence for second degree murder and first degree sexual penetration. Except for those closest to me and those in my state-mandated sex offender therapy groups, few people knew about my crime. It was simply something you didn’t talk about inside prison walls.
But there’s Jane opening up to all of us and telling us how she believed in us and our ability to change for the good. After 13 years, I had finally found someone who didn’t see me, a sex offender, any different from a prisoner with a non-sex offense. She was saying what I had believed in my heart. I not only could change, but I had used the previous 13 years to reevaluate my life and HAD changed into a good person with great potential. Jane understood that possibility. When we did talk, I told Jane about my sex-offender history and she didn’t balk. I still remember her leveling her eyes to mine and letting me know that she was an advocate and would offer help if I was willing to be honest, accountable, and “willing to do the work” of growing as a person. I knew what she meant because I had used the previous 13 years to rehabilitate my own heart. Jane gave me a contact person and said she wanted to talk more.
This began a real and open relationship with Jane. I would visit with her each time she came to the prison for “Concerts in the Yard” that HOPE-HOWSE sponsored. When I got close to release, she began to offer suggestions for parole and was willing to provide me with housing and employment opportunities. This generosity continued to amaze me. Who offers a violent sex offender help after barely knowing them?
I enjoyed speaking with Jane because she saw me as a person and put labels (sex offender) aside. To her, I was a person who was deserving of a second chance. I also believe she saw the good in me. She explained that she’d like to have me as an example of successful reentry. In other words, society needs to see that sex offenders can succeed too, if given a chance. Jane knows that all people, including sex-offenders, make mistakes and can learn from them. She believes in second-chances. I did get released in February 2010 and contacted Jane about 6 weeks into my parole. She was so supportive and gave me great advice over a situation I had encountered. What I remember most was her saying, “Jeff, if you ever need to talk, day or night, please call me. If you are ever about to give up or feel like giving up, call me.” She knew I’d face challenges I wasn’t ready to face alone and she offered her support. Who does that? Who does that for a murderer/rapist? Very rare individuals can look past labels and see the good in someone and inspire hope. Even rarer is the person who puts themselves “out there” as a source of support for such people. How many people have that kind of heart?
After that, Jane and I continued to keep in touch. We had lunch together one time with my boss who is a father figure of mine. He wanted to see if Jane was “worth her salt” as an advocate. Needless to say, Jane made a lasting impression on my boss. She also shared the powerful story that birthed her “vision” of One Heart Ranch with my boss. My boss, who has very little free time, continues to remind me that he wants to drive 280 miles to see Jane’s “place.” I didn’t realize that Jane could be so captivating with her conversation. It’s not every day that a woman can get a 68 year old ex-Navy Seal to open up. Needless to say, she amazed me.
One meaningful time we met was during my introduction to her “vision,” One Heart Ranch. Jane and I drove together over the last two plus miles of rough road so we could mutually experience to One Heart Ranch. Her excitement over showing me place was visible. Think about it. She was showing One Heart Ranch with the type of person for which it was intended. We crossed clearly remember crossing the property line and Jane’s joy over entering the ranch. Her excitement quickly became mine. We drove through various parts of the land and I was impressed by the beauty and tranquility the land possessed. What better place than the peaceful One Heart Ranch to aid the recovery lost and hardened hearts? One of the highlights was having lunch “outside” while enjoying one another’s company and the gorgeous mountainous view in the New Mexico sun.
The treat came as we were about to leave. Jane had talked of a hike we would take ”on the land”. Here we were, walking on land hardly touched by humanity, and the first thing I see is a dry arroyo (ditch) with amazing rock formations and a water step of sorts where water would pool during a rain. It was beautiful and picturesque. We continued to hike and I couldn’t believe the beautiful rock formations that banked the arroyo. I live near this remote area and have never seen anything like it before. It’s a place I could have easily just taken a seat and been in bliss. There was something about the terrain and the rocks banking the arroyo. It just added soul to the land.
Jane also led me to a fire circle that had been there for a long time. Who had arranged the rocks in a circle like that? Jane supposed the Native Americans had made the circle. I didn’t doubt that possibility one bit. This just added to the spirit of the place and its lure grew on me even more. My experience with Jane has been one of celebration, joy, and the importance of “doing the work.” Jane doesn’t pressure you to “do the work.” She only offers herself when you’re ready to work and then radically and effectively offers help various heart provoking perspectives. I look forward to “doing the work” because Jane has always “shown up” for me and I believe in my heart that she cares. She cares regardless of my history. She cares about who I am today and who I will eventually become. To Jane I’m a person, not an ex-con or “sex offender”. She believes in the man behind the act and his ability to change for the best. To Jane I have unlimited positive potential and I believe her.
Tone Forrest - musician, actor and community activist.
“With the founding of HOPE-HOWSE, Jane Davis has created one of the most vibrant, pro-active nonprofits in New Mexico or anywhere else. The work they do in and for the community covers many bases and fills needs that would otherwise go unaddressed, says Tone. “ Tone Forrest, musician, actor and director of the Canyon Road Blues Jam (Santa Fe, NM) has been active in helping to organize their musical events for a number of years now and Tone & Company is pleased and proud to be a part of their new program, “HOPE-HOWSE Presents Concerts in the Yard.”
Joey Allen – Joey spent years in prison where he taught himself to paint. He then taught other inmates how to paint as well. Joey was the featured artist at Indian Market, Santa Fe, NM 2009.
“I was a bad kid and a bad man,” said Joey Allen to a small group gathered in the ‘HOPE-HOWSE Int’l. @ Indian Market’ booth. “I spent sixteen years in prison – State and Federal. I am not proud of what I've done but I've learned from it. Today I am sober and I speak wherever and whenever I can. I help the kids in my community. I speak about the importance of not using drugs and alcohol.”
Joey taught himself to paint in prison. Today he is a welcome artist at Indian Market. His bold colors represent the boldness of his life. His portraits depict depth of character in all he paints.
“When I was in prison in Santa Fe and the HOPE-HOWSE volunteers came to meet with our group [The Gray Eagles] I thought, “What!? Who are these people? What do they want? They were so positive and filled with joy. This was very different from the negativity of the prison. They even brought Hogan and Magic [therapy dogs] to visit us. I was so happy because I had not pet a dog in sixteen years! Even the dogs were happy to be with us!!”
Joey is one of many inmates who has been part of the work of HOPE-HOWSE which in it’s simplicity embodies honesty, dignity, respect, accountability, and being of service as a path to peace. We do a lot of prison work so as not to forget anyone. We do not get involved in issues or politics.
This weekend, at the largest juried market of Native American art in the world, HOPE-HOWSE Int’l. was included to share the artwork of Native American Prison Art. We had a chance to educate people about the principles that guide us and how we impact others.
We made a lot of new friends, added many new people to the email list and also created some new programs which I will share more about in the coming months.
Jo & Justin Handley of Silvermouse played in the Penetentiary of New Mexico as part of "HOPE-HOWSE Presents Concerts in the Yard".
Justin and I have just got back from the prison on highway 14 where we played our music for the guys who are incarcerated there. Wow! What an experience.
I really wanted to get on here to our community news and say how fantastic the evening was. I had never been to a prison before (bar one faltered effort to play last year, whilst heavily pregnant, that didn't happen due to a lock-down at the priz). I didn't really know what to expect and the brusque (to say the least) manner of the guards at the door was mildly off-putting, yet I guess to be understood given their job.
Still, once we got into the gym and were helped with our stuff by a few of the guys in there, I started to feel more comfortable and at home, plus Jane was there. I have spent several years teaching high school and once I reasoned that prison is basically the same thing - a government institution, compulsory, that no one ever really wants to attend!! - I relaxed into the normal nerves that precede a gig: adrenaline mainly and a sort of calm focus with jitters...
Anyway, blah blah blah - we played, for about an hour and a half, we finished and were applauded, we answered questions and discussed our current wagon tour mission and we left. Yet the real magic - and I don't use that word lightly - was the communication and the transformational energy that resulted from whatever it was that really happened in that space.
Hats off to Jane, really and truly. Her introduction set something in motion, it certainly did in me - and I recognised a wee moist sparkle in Justin's eye too. Jane told us of holding the eyes of a man who was executed by electric chair; holding his eyes until his death and mouthing to him the words, 'I love you, Chris, go in peace.'
With peace, transformation, possibility, optimism and a certain intangible something in the air, we played our set. Afterwards we were able to listen to some of the talent in the prison as two of the lads borrowed Justin's guitar and played a song each of their own. We hope to go back.
Thanks to everyone: to all the guys tonight who shared the evening with us so graciously and so attentively and who shared something of themselves with us, to Jane for organizing this opportunity and to the prison service, for providing the space within 'corrections' for 'transformations'.
Thanks all, and God Bless,
John Sparks Jane met John 15 years ago on one of her
I became acquainted with Jane a number of years and I have been inspired by her work. In 1975 my older sister was murdered and the person responsible for her death has never been identified. For the last 35 years I have had to wrestle with all of the feeling associated with the lack of resolution and I realized through the work of people like Jane and organizations like Murder Victims Families for Reconciliation that regardless of what happened then I was the one who needed to heal and find peace and forgiveness in my heart. The anger and fear were a corroding thread in my life which only served to prevent me from living life. Life, for all of us, has challenges and those lessons serve to teach us how to accept and to be helpful to those around us. I am responsible for the consequences of my actions but I do not have the power to force someone else to accept their own consequences. We all are like fearful, wounded children and I believe that the only way to overcome that poison is through the power of love and forgiveness.
Thank you Jane and everyone else at Hope-Howse for walking that path.
Ralph B Ralph is serving a life sentence in Georgia. He has been a HOPE-HOWSE volunteer helping other prisoners since 1999.
Imagine, if you will, being in a place where you are totally unable to keep kosher; where you are unable to participate in any service and observance except what you can do on your own, by yourself; no Shabbos candles, no Shacharit, no Minchah, no Maariv; where outward expressions of your faith, such as wearing a yarmulke or a shield of David are restricted and open you up not only to verbal abuse and harassment, but also to physical assault; where even the admission that you are a Jew puts you in danger; where you face open anti-Semitism everyday; and where Hitler is glorified. Where might such a place be? If you read the mainstream press, such a place only exists in memory. If you follow the Jewish press, you may be thinking of areas under the control of the Palestine Arabs. While both of those are, to an extent, correct, they aren't the place to which I'm referring. Where then you ask - and I'm willing to bet that nowhere in your thoughts have you even imagined that this place could be in the United States. But, yes, it is in the United States, and not in some rural backwater in the Northwest, but right here in Georgia. At this time, there are [a number of} Jews who must live with this constantly. Not only is this treatment sanctioned by the State of Georgia; it is actually imposed by the State. Where is this place? This is the challenge. It is in the prison camps of Georgia!
This is a challenge because first, [the majority of Jews] don't want to associate with these outcasts, these criminals; and second, we don't want to admit and accept that there are Jews who end up in such circumstances. We forget to stop and think that these are our fellow Jews, fellow humans, no matter what they have done. Most, if not all, came from assimilated families and have been cut off from their faith and heritage. I know personally about this because I am one of them. However, there is a light in this darkness in Georgia, and that light is Jane Davis and HOPE-HOWSE.
HOPE-HOWSE and Jane Davis are very special to me. Jane is a vibrant, powerful, spiritual soul who brings her presence into the prison. She is a Jewish influence who says, "You are not alone - I am here" to the prisoner, and also, "He is not alone - I am here" to the prisoner's keepers. Her presence provides protection and strength as I strive to do Teshuva and be Torah-observant.
Of course, not everyone can do what Jane does. It is a challenge she has undertaken to spread Yiddishkeit even to the darkest corners. You may not be able to do all she does, but you can join with her and HOPE-HOWSE; you can help provide her with the support and resources she needs. So many things are needed, books, tapes, yarmulkes, etc., and, of course, money. You can be an important part of her work and help save lives. Please contact her and see what you can do.
Reb Zalman is the founder of the Jewish Renewal Movement and Rabbinic Chair/ ALEPH - Alliance for Jewish Renewal, Professor Emeritus of Religion/ Temple University and Director of the Center for Engaged Spirituality/ Naropa University.
To Whom it May Concern, Brakhot w'shalom:
I was recently made aware of the great Mitzvah [blessing] work of Jane Davis and HOPE-HOWSE. I was enthusiastic about the compassionate caring she brings to people who seem to use their imprisonment for deep T'shuvah [return to light] work. When I visit prisons it is usually the result of a correspondence with an inmate who seeks spiritual help. But Jane is proactive.
Each time a compassionate act for a prisoner is made, the chances of recidivism are reduced. It becomes not only a societal form of Tikkun Olam [healing the world] but also one of real personal rehabilitation. Jane walks in the human spirit where few dare to go. Her "clientele" includes people who were rapists, serial killers, pedophiles, gang kids, and even Rabbis and Priests. She knows how to contact the true and sacred core of these individuals and is willing to help wherever she is called.
Please read some of the material enclosed and treat it as the sacred opportunity to do a mitzvah [blessed deed] for people who need encouragement. Please familiarize yourself with her work. Your heart will bless her and you will be moved to support it financially, spiritually and in any way you can.
Invite her to speak. Invite her to do a workshop. Invite her to open hearts and minds.
I pray that your Mitzvah will be rewarded with the blessings you wish for and remain
Debbie Ellison HOPE-HOWSE Board Member & long-time Volunteer.
I have been a HOPE-HOWSE volunteer for over 15 years and have worked very closely with Jane. She is my mentor, spiritual role model, and close friend. I just heard the latest interview with Jane on NPR. At the end, I cried, but that is nothing unusual. Jane and I have spent many, many moments crying together - crying in frustration, crying in pain for those who suffer, crying for the injustices in the world, crying in joy. I thought this interview so captured the essence of Jane and who she is in the world. I heard her tell stories I have never heard before...and I have heard many, many stories. Through HH, I have also done prison work, and I know the heart-wrenching stories. And there have been times I have called Jane in tears (and vice versa) because I didn't think I could bear any more heartbreak. And after one of us vowing we were finished with this...we would get our second wind, so to speak, and back out we would go. The human beings that we connect with, and their stories, that is what keeps us going. They need someone to, as Jane says, "just show up." That's a beautiful thing. That is one of the many things Jane has taught me. And I love her so much, and I love what she does in the world...oh, as she would correct me, what WE do in the world. Because, yes, WE ARE ALL ONE HEART!!!! Absolutely. No question. And what could be better or more profound than that?
Dr. Madan Kataria Founder & President - Laughter Yoga International.
To Whomsoever It May Concern
I have known Jane Davis personally for the last eight years and she is a certified Laughter Yoga teacher. Jane has been running 'Hope Howse' a non-profit organization for improving the quality of life of prisoners.
Laughter Yoga is a great way to raise awareness for the need of laughter among prisoners and Jane has conducted several Laughter Yoga sessions among jail inmates with great results. She is also training other leaders in the US to bring more laughter in very challenging environments.
Laughter Yoga in prisons is a great way of dissipating the energy of anger most prisoners harbor within them. Laughter provides a great physical as well as psychological release for prisoners who are staying away from families and suffer from anger and depression. I wish Jane all the success for her mission of bringing joy and world peace through laughter.
I strongly recommend Jane Davis forCNN/ Heroes for her selfless and dedicated service rendered for years.
Love & Laughter,