But still, we have firsts – this time, to run a workshop in a jail. We, at Dialogue in the Dark Monterrey, recently received an invitation from the state government.
As participants, they planned prisoners graduating from a 100-days drugs rehabilitation program inside the jail. However, some days before the workshop, the team and I were excited but also nervous.
Prisons worldwide are never really peaceful places – but Mexican jails are especially dangerous spots. A storm of prejudices and stereotypes clouded our minds.
Prisoners are labeled as bad persons, maladjusted and criminals.
The prejudice game hits everyone differently, but it hits.
The workshop finished on a very emotional note when a prisoner spoke about labels.
He said that even when he would be out of prison, he knows he would have to fight against the label that society will put on him.
Not allowing yourself to get trapped by prejudices is what we usually teach our participants.
So we decided to leave our fears at the entrance of the jail along with our mobile phones and wallets.
Our prejudices were trying to keep us “safe” in our comfort zone.