I love the name ‘ELEVATE’. I love it. Just saying ‘ELEVATE’ makes me feel taller, feel bigger, feel stronger.
ELEVATE is about lifting people up. It is about giving people opportunities to be their best selves, to go out and do the things that you want to do, and to hold you up when you need holding up. That is also a part of ELEVATE: no man is an island; no woman gets to where she is by herself. ELEVATE is all about being that partner with you, making sure that, if you want to run, they are there to pass the baton to you. Whatever it is that you want to do – they are there to support you in doing that.
The ELEVATE Programme believes in leadership; they believe in community; but most of all, they believe that people like us – those who have a lived experience with the criminal legal system, those who have been criminalised, those who have been marginalised, those who have been set apart, forgotten about, counted out – you are back in the game with ELEVATE.
That’s what I love about ELEVATE. They put you back in the game.
Romarilyn Ralston on the ELEVATE CJS Programme