Everyone deserves a second chance!
For many formerly incarcerated individuals, being released from prison is not necessarily the end of being imprisoned. Having a criminal record can limit access to jobs, education and housing thus creating a “second prison” for those returning back to the community after incarceration.
Recognizing that individuals who have paid their debt to society can still have a bright future, the month of April was designated “Second Chance Month” in 2017 by Prison Fellowship, the nation's largest outreach to incarcerated and formerly incarcerated individuals and their families.
We believe in second chances!
Bags to Butterflies would like to continue the momentum by honoring those who have demonstrated their second chance in a positive manner as well as the various churches and organizations that have impacted their lives while in prison and since they have returned to the community.
The inaugural Second Chance Gala is a celebration of new beginnings for formerly incarcerated men and women. The event will provide an opportunity for churches, employers, community leaders and the community at large to fellowship together while raising awareness of the importance of second chances.
The black and white-themed Gala event will feature a dinner, an awards ceremony and inspiring stories from formerly incarcerated individuals who have positively impacted the lives of others. The event is open to ALL!
Our keynote speaker, Roby Davis, made a bad decision at the age of 22 and was sentenced up to 75 years in prison for robbery. Today, Mr. Davis is living his second chance serving the community as an optician after spending 20 years in prison. Comedian and radio personality, Coco, is the Mistress of Ceremonies.
Check out Eventbrite.com for more information.
Let Go. Live Life. FLY!
Check out Bags to Butterflies at Black Women Rock!
Black WOMEN Rock! is a 15 year old rock and roll movement spearheaded by poet and activist, jessica Care moore. More than a rock concert, BWR is a movement that supports internationally known black women rock artists and musicians across the country. A tribute to Betty Davis and all the trailblazing women who came before them, the self-proclaimed Daughters of Betty are a cultural force in an industry that often doesn’t celebrate their power, their self empowered lyrics, their independence and sexually confident music.
It is with great excitement that we announce the Ford-employees African-Ancestry Network (FAAN) has selected Bags to Butterflies as a 2019 honoree.
Bags to Butterflies will be presented with the 2019 Community Service Award at FAAN's 38th annual Black History Month celebration and award ceremony on Friday, February 15, 2019 at the Henry Hotel in Dearborn, Michigan at 6:00 pm.
FAAN’s Community Service Awards are presented annually in recognition of leadership, dedication, and commitment to our community.
Come join us as we celebrate Bags to Butterflies for our efforts in making change in our community by empowering formerly incarcerated women with transitional employment, resources and a caring network on their journey to success after incarceration!
Let Go. Live Life. FLY!
Last summer, an amazing group of journalism students from Michigan State University documented the stories of three women from Bags to Butterfly’s transitional employment program; all were sentenced to life in prison and served 34, 41 and 44 years behind bars! The Michigan State student documentary on Bags to Butterflies will be shown on Friday, Feb. 1 at Michigan State University Detroit. There will also be a panel discussion; you'll get the hear from all of the ladies.
Oh, don't forget to register; it's free!
You are cordially invited to the launch of our brand new collection, Hello Butterfly, featuring one-of-a-kind clutch purses. Stop by and meet the Bags To Butterflies team on Friday, July 13th from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at Artloft Midtown, 4160 Cass Ave., Detroit. The Hello Butterfly Collection will be sold exclusively at Artloft.
Bags To Butterflies founder, Michelle Smart, will be among four amazing women entrepreneurs and their team of makers this Saturday The Henry Ford from 10am - 3pm! At this interactive marketplace, kids and adults will meet the makers, learn about their entrepreneurial journey, see their design process up close, and have the chance to purchase their wares and goods. Come meet Joanne Ewald from Mend On The Move, Ashlee Trempus from SignOn, Nicole Fleming from Garden Outside The Box, and Michelle Smart from Bags To Butterflies . We'll be spotlighting each of these social enterprises and organizations this week, so check back, and we'll see you this Saturday!
Bags To Butterflies will be part of a panel discussion on social entrepreneurship at Michigan State University.
Cleary University's Martin Luther King Jr. Day Event is focused on creating solutions for one of the most pressing social justice issues of our time – mass incarceration. Bags To Butterflies associate, Robin McArdle, will be a panelist at the event.
Join us as we announce our collaborative relationship with People's Community Church Outreach Center.
We will also share detrails on "The Handbag Project." Our innovative nine month employment and training concept using a very common women's accessory - a handbag!
The “Empowered To Change" Job Fair & Expo is a community initiative that will bring together hiring professionals from companies throughout metro Detroit as well as feature an expo aimed at linking female returning citizens (and women in general) with information that will positively impact their lives.
The Expo will offer workshops covering topics such as:
From Jail, To A Job - Three days after being released from prison, Lynell Desdunes, Sr. landed a job with a Judge in the Criminal District Court. He is currently in his second year of law school and was recently appointed Administrative Hearing Officer at Orleans Parish Prison in New Orleans, Louisiana. Desdunes will share how he went from jail, to a job!
Financial Matters - managing a budget in challenging times
Vision for Tomorrow - creating a vision board to your future
Handbag Workshop - create your very on Bags To Butterflies handbag at a fraction of the regurlar price. (There is a fee for this workshop).
It is sure to be an empowering day! The event is FREE.
After the job fair and expo, join us for the "Empowered to Change" Charity Dinner with special guest, Shawn Blanchard. As part of our "people giving to people, so they can give to others" initiative, Bags To Butterflies will be presenting a donation to The Pink Fund, an organization that provides financial assistance to women with breast cancer. Click here for more information.
Sponsored by: Prison Fellowship Ministries
Supported by: Greater Grace Temple Prison Ministry, B.W.A.R.E., Health Alliance Plan (HAP), The Salvation Army, Tri-County Breast and Cervical Cancer Program (BCCCP), Simply Elegant Events