InterPlay in the Jailhouse

First if all, Wednesday, July 22 at 1pm PST, Phil and I are guests on GREEN VISIONS radio program hosted by Carolyn North. We’ll be talking about how dancing and singing and creativity connect us to each other and our world. Its all about human bodies playing! To hear the show live, go to Click on GREEN TALK NETWORK; then click GREEN VISIONS. To hear this show, and all shows archived, go to Carolyn’s website (The show will be up by Friday, July 24).

An expression of this, came this week from Laveria Bogan, an InterPlay leader from Texas. She shares her own story of how InterPlay snuck up on her, sent her to jail (so to speak) and changed her life.

I can’t begin to tell you how many times Sheila Collins asked me to get involved in InterPlay’s Jailhouse Ministry.  I told her ‘no’ each time she asked.  She would always respond with how beneficial my presence would be.  I still said ‘no’.

Well, during our last Leadership Training in Austin, I just happened to be in the car with Sheila and Lila.  Well, Sheila saw an opportunity and she and Lila actually double-teamed me.  They came right out and told me that they needed me because I’m black!  I couldn’t believe my ears!  Because I’m black?  I’ve worked with a lot of people of various ethnic persuasions, and none of them have ever come right out and told me that they wanted me to do something because I’m black!  After I got over my shock,  I was really impressed!

I said to myself. ” These women are special.  They’re honest and straightforward.”  I was really impressed.  I already liked Sheila and Lila, and when they told me that they needed me because of my blackness I knew we would be friends for life.  And now, I can see what they meant.  My blackness has made it possible for the other women who are black to talk about some of the things that really bother them.

Needlesstosay, the Dallas Jailhouse has been an incredibly healing and transformative experience for me. I’m not nearly as angry as I used to be.  I didn’t know how angry I was until some of the women started to tell their stories.  Suddenly, I could relate to what they were saying, and I wasn’t angry anymore.  When they released their anger, I also released mine. Lila and Sheila said that my presence would make a difference, and I suppose it has. The biggest difference has happened within me.  But most importantly, it has helped me to see the transformative power of InterPlay in action.

I’ve been ‘playing’ with Lila and my ‘jailhouse’ playmates for over a month now. I plan to continue to do so. I love all of the women and we all look forward to seeing each other every Monday.  We ‘play’ together for two hours.  The time goes by so fast!  When it’s over we all wonder where the time went.  Everyone leaves with a smile on their faces.  Sometimes they leave singing the lyrics of a song that I made up.  I’ve grown so much.  The women have given me so much.  They’re beginning to feel safe enough to reveal their true ‘inner’ selves to us.  They are also beginning to share their God-given gifts and talents with us and to share some of their stories.  I am so excited and blessed to have been chosen by a Higher Power to be a part of this wonderful organization.

A thought came to me in the night that one of the reasons that InterPlay is so powerful is that it gives the women a ‘voice’ that expresses itself through ‘play’.  Yeah, that’s what it does for me!

Take care,


One Response to InterPlay in the Jailhouse

  1. Vicki Bennet says:

    This is a very moving story. I am proud of you for stepping up to the plate and taking the challenge. I think I would have had a hard time stepping up. I’m also glad that it helped you with your anger, because it can be so damaging to oneself. May you keep up the dance of life with all your body and soul.

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