The function of freedom is to free someone else.
- Toni Morrison
Greetings Earthlings from the Valley! I come in Peace!
"I am what time, circumstance, history, have made me, certainly, but I am, also, much more than that. So are we all". - James Baldwin
My name is Tashiena Combs. I am a 45 year old woman who, this time next year, will have spent more time incarcerated than I was ever allowed to live free.
I have carried the entire weight of responsibility, grief, shame and regret for my inability to make better decisions to resolve the domestically violent nature of that conflict, 22 years ago, prior to it escalating and erupting at the corner of Orchard Lake and Voorheis.
And still I rise. I am proud of the woman I am continuously becoming. I am proud of the work I have done toward healing, growing and recovering from all the trauma & pain I have had inflicted upon me, I have inflicted upon myself and/or inflicted upon others.
I am proud of the amazing women serving life and long sentences who have struggled with and alongside me inside these gates. The women who continuously own our mistakes, while at the same time, reminding ourselves to also honor and own our inherent goodness, redeemability and beauty.
We are an amazing group of bees. Life doin' bitches, some call us. Cast out, isolated and seemingly forgotten. We have mastered the art of tending to the needs of the hive, beginning with tending to the least among us, to restore ourselves to the essence of who we really are as ONE, beyond the labels we carry as wards of the state.
We have built community where all of our interests are considered - centered in the interests of those we have harmed. A community where we resolve our conflicts through actively listening, critically thinking and consensus making. Where
healing is a proactive priority.
This website is the product of Our Priority:
To Heal and Restore the community we live within, in order to help transform the communities
we come from.
This is intended to be a collective, all inclusive movement to uplift the least among us to
confound the strong arm of a system intentionally designed to keep us all oppressed no
matter what road to doing life youchose to take.
To the cities of Pontiac, Detroit, Saginaw, Flint, Muskegon, Ypsilanti, Benton Harbor and
all other cities who have people from your communities stuck in the belly of this beast
called mass incarceration....we need you, we miss you. Can you remember us and