Placeholder Image

Subtitles section Play video

  • I was sitting with my girls,

  • and Joy said,

  • "Dang, I wish he'd get off my back.

  • My daddy, he calls me all the time."

  • "Lucky for you he calls at all," said Jasmine.

  • "I haven't heard from my dad in years."

  • At this moment, I knew the girls needed a way

  • to connect with their fathers.

  • At Camp Diva, my non-profit organization,

  • we have these types of conversations all the time

  • as a way to help girls of African descent

  • prepare for their passage into womanhood.

  • These girls just needed

  • a way to invite their fathers into their lives

  • on their own terms.

  • So I asked the girls,

  • "How can we help other girls

  • develop healthy relationships with their fathers?"

  • "Let's have a dance," one girl shouted,

  • and all the girls quickly backed her up.

  • They started dreaming about the decorations,

  • invitations, the dresses they were going to wear,

  • and what their fathers could and could not wear. (Laughter)

  • It was off and running before I could even blink my eyes,

  • but even if I could have slowed down those girls,

  • I wouldn't have,

  • because one thing that I have learned

  • from over a decade of working with girls

  • is that they already know what they need.

  • The wisdom lives inside of them.

  • As long as they have infrastructure,

  • mentorship and resources,

  • they can build what they need,

  • not only to survive, but to thrive.

  • So we had a dance,

  • and girls and their fathers came in multitudes.

  • They were dressed to the nines.

  • They acted sweet.

  • (Laughter)

  • They acted silly.

  • They really enjoyed each other's company.

  • It was a huge success.

  • And the girls decided to make it an annual event.

  • So as the seasons changed,

  • and it was time to plan the dance again,

  • one girl named Brianna spoke up,

  • and she said,

  • "My dad can't come to the dance,

  • and this whole thing is making me sad."

  • "Why not?" the girls asked.

  • "Because he's in jail," she bravely admitted.

  • "Well, can he just get out for a day?" one of the girls asked. (Laughter)

  • "And come in shackles?

  • That's worse than not having him here at all."

  • At this moment, I saw an opportunity

  • for the girls to rise to the occasion

  • and to become their own heroes.

  • So I asked, "What do you think we should do about this?

  • We want every girl to experience the dance, right?"

  • So the girls thought for a moment,

  • and one girl suggested,

  • "Why don't we just take the dance in the jail?"

  • Most of the girls doubted the possibility of that,

  • and said, "Are you crazy?

  • Who is going to allow a bunch of little girls,

  • dressed up — " (Laughter)

  • " — to come inside a jail and dance with their daddies in Spongebob suits?"

  • Because that's what they called them.

  • I said, "Girls, well, well,

  • you never know unless you ask."

  • So a letter was written to the Richmond City Sheriff,

  • signed collectively by each girl,

  • and I would have to say, he is a very special sheriff.

  • He contacted me immediately and said,

  • whenever there is an opportunity to bring families inside,

  • his doors are always open.

  • Because one thing he did know,

  • that when fathers are connected to their children,

  • it is less likely that they will return.

  • So,

  • 16 inmates and 18 girls were invited.

  • The girls were dressed in their Sunday best,

  • and the fathers traded in their yellow and blue jumpsuits

  • for shirts and ties.

  • They hugged.

  • They shared a full catered meal of chicken and fish.

  • They laughed together.

  • It was beautiful.

  • The fathers and daughters even experienced

  • an opportunity to have a physical connection,

  • something that a lot of them didn't even have

  • for a while.

  • Fathers were in a space where they were able to

  • make their daughters play,

  • and pull out her chair and extend his hand for a dance.

  • Even the guards cried.

  • But after the dance,

  • we all realized that Dad still would be in jail.

  • So we needed to create something

  • that they could take with them.

  • So we brought in Flip cams,

  • and we had them look at the Flip cams

  • and just interview each other --

  • their messages, their thoughts.

  • This was going to be used as a touchstone

  • so when they started to miss each other

  • and feel disconnected,

  • they could reconnect through this image.

  • I'll never forget that one girl looked in her father's eyes

  • with that camera and said,

  • "Daddy, when you look at me, what do you see?"

  • Because our daddies are our mirrors

  • that we reflect back on

  • when we decide about what type of man we deserve,

  • and how they see us for the rest of our lives.

  • I know that very well,

  • because I was one of the lucky girls.

  • I have had

  • my father in my life always.

  • He's even here today.

  • (Applause)

  • And that is why it is extremely special

  • for me to make sure that these girls

  • are connected to their fathers,

  • especially those who are separated

  • because of barbed wires and metal doors.

  • We have just created a form

  • for girls who have heavy questions on their heart

  • to be in a position to ask their fathers those questions

  • and given the fathers the freedom to answer.

  • Because we know that the fathers

  • are even leaving with this one thought:

  • What type of woman am I preparing to put in the world?

  • Because a father is locked in

  • does not mean he should be locked out

  • of his daughter's life.

  • (Applause)

I was sitting with my girls,

Subtitles and vocabulary

Operation of videos Adjust the video here to display the subtitles

A2 TED jail girl sheriff dressed laughter

【TED】Angela Patton: A father-daughter dance ... in prison (Angela Patton: A father-daughter dance ... in prison)

  • 492 40
    許瓊文 posted on 2014/07/13
Video vocabulary