The CAN-DO Foundation reached out to the women of FCI Dublin to engage in a project that would commemorate President Obama’s legacy of compassion in a quilt made by the prisoners, relative to Clemency Project 2014. Special material reflective of Obama’s African heritage and home state of Hawaii were chosen, a “court-house steps” pattern, symbolic hearts, and border patches reflecting our President’s legacy were applied along the border. Here is the message from the women who made the quilt explaining the intricacies of their creation:
Roberta Bell, who is serving a life sentence and is seeking clemency, stepped up to lead the task and organize the women around this mission.
Roberta’s message via the federal prison (email) system below:
ROBERTA RONIQUE BELL on 12/14/2016 3:20:20 PM wrote: “Our thank you to President Obama. The idea was for the blanket to tell a story that touched on the things that mattered to him. We didn’t want it to be all heavy, so we included things that he likes.”
“We are greatly appreciative for President Obama restoring hope to our days. Here in Dublin, we saw hope and faith elevated to new levels each time mercy was shown. It started with Barbra Scrivner and then Theresa Brown, Angie Jenkins, Josie Ledesma, and Danielle Metz. We witnessed it firsthand and some outlooks on many things, were changed. There has never been this much positive energy stirring. There’s never been so much hope and gratitude expressed. It’s turned our lives of desperation and gloom into dreams of what might come.”
As is common to the spirit and essence of the female gender, who genetically have a pre-disposition to love, nurture, and be care-takers, no matter how dire the circumstances, the women of Dublin spend their time doing what women do best; they created something beautiful out of an otherwise dismal existence.
“I wish everyone could know what I learned through experience – that most these women should not be in prison, but rather in some form of community service. I reached out to the women at my alma mater (where I learned more than any Ivy League education could teach me) to commemorate this historic event,” said CAN-DO Founder Amy Povah. “And, I knew who to ask – Roberta Bell is loved by the entire compound of women and from my experience, if you want to know who the best people are, just ask the Warden, staff, and prisoners because you cannot hide in prison. I served 8 of my 9 years at FCI Dublin and watched the women engage in the most creative, artistic activities, and lift one another up every day. My best friends today are formerly and currently incarcerated women. I just wish President Obama would pick up the phone and call the Office of the Pardon Attorney and instruct them to send more clemency petitions to him with favorable recommendations for women! We do not understand why so many wonderful women are being denied, such as LaShonda Hall, Missy Trigg, Crystal Munoz, Mary Ziman, Linda Byrnes, Tynice Hall, Eva Palma-Atencio, my lord, the list is so long and we know these women fit the criteria and are worthy. Future documentaries will reflect this…”
But that’s not all – Roberta Bell organized the women to make a crochet blanket for President Obama:
Specific tasks to complete the blanket include:
Total of 35 Squares:
Stacy Wieschedel: (4)
Change; Sandy Hook; Hope; Education
LaDawn Pinkney: (3)
Flag; 44.; Purple Heart/Gold Star
Maria Olivas: (4)
Roberta Bell: (24)
Design; all of the squares not listed; and the border.
Square Accents – Like Outlines/Embellishments:
Maria Terrazas – Education/Obamacare/Hawaii
Benedicta Arreola – Lion
Chyann Bratcher – Stars on Flag
Brenda Fine – Rope on Scales
Tucking & Assembly:
Tatiana Nixon – Sewed Squares together