Rebecca Bowles saw her uncle go in and out of prison her entire life.

Bowles, a travel and expense processing specialist at the University of Michigan’s Shared Services Center, says it was a prison ministry that finally got him out of prison for good. This provided him with the support he needed to turn his life around, and ultimately get a job and his own apartment.

Bowles recently got the opportunity to talk with other U-M staff members about the impact of mass incarceration in the United States.

The WeListen Staff Discussion, organized by the Edward Ginsberg Center for Community Service and Learning and LSA’s Department of Psychology, is modeled off the WeListen student group. It works to foster dialogue through small-group conversations between students across the political spectrum.

Erin Byrnes, the democratic engagement lead for the Ginsberg Center, said the staff series previously brought staff members together to discuss a variety of issues, including free speech, marijuana legalization and immigration.“Right now we’re living in a hyper-partisan time and everything feels political,” Byrnes said. “We have a unique opportunity here on campus to bring people together to talk about how our views have been formed, to develop our views around certain issues, and to do that in a way that’s meaningful and helps move the conversation forward.”

Read the full article at The University Record.