Founded by youth arts advocate Mila Diez Barroso, MILATIDO is a youth community organization anchored in research and the facilitation of intergenerational conversations around inclusion, diversity, heritage, narrative, and opportunities for change. This event, presented in partnership with The Freedom to Choose Project (FTC), focuses on the impacts of incarceration on inmates and their families, featuring a discussion with Bonnie and David Paul, co-founders of FTC, and Maritza Lopez. Join us for an afternoon of conversation, community, and delicious food from Everytable.
The United States has the highest incarceration rate in the world and rehabilitation efforts for incarcerated individuals and their families have fallen short. Contributing and partnering with other efforts to alleviate this crisis, FTC offers a new, holistic model of rehabilitation for both the individuals and their immediate circles.
Inspired by Victor Frank’s famous quote, “Everything can be taken from a person, but one thing: the last of human freedoms—to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way,” FTC’s award-winning programs have been transforming the lives of incarcerated individuals since 2004.
Bonnie Paul, PhD is the Co-Founder and Director of Education at The Freedom to Choose Project. She has a Ph.D. degree in psychology and brings over 25 years of experience working in the education, healthcare and technology sectors as well as being an executive coach, curriculum designer and consultant. She has coached and trained thousands of men and women of all ages and backgrounds from a wide variety of industries, including healthcare executives, physicians, nurses, advanced practice providers, technology executives, entrepreneurs, police officers, labor union employees and more. She served as graduate faculty in the psychology program at the University of Santa Monica for 12 years. She co-founded and is the Director of Education for an award-winning non-profit that provides rehabilitative programs to incarcerated men and women. That program was featured in a Cannes Film Festival documentary and she was an invited TEDx and PopTech speaker.
David Paul, PhD is the Co-Founder and Chair of The Freedom to Choose Project. He teaches physicians and healthcare professionals how to heal burnout and build resilience, both individually as a coach and in large groups as a facilitator. He also assists healthcare organizations and medical practices in creating a culture of safety, respect, open communication, and resilience.
Maritza Lopez transferred from Santa Monica College and earned her B.A. in Art History with a minor in African American Studies at UCLA. She advocated and participated in two newly launched programs in the Fall of 2019; Bruin Underground Scholars and Bruin McKinney-Vento Initiative at UCLA. The programs tackled barriers for students who experience homelessness, incarceration, and food insecurity in higher education. Lopez became involved with this line of work due having loved ones, friends, and family members with a history of incarceration. Her being system impacted shaped her to assist community members such as being a Community Health Worker in the RISE Department at St. John’s Community Health Clinic. Lopez hopes to further her career in integrated arts, social justice advocacy, and education for the youth in the greater Los Angeles area.