Kathlyn Horan and Kim Bogucki: What If?

kathlynCo-founded by filmmaker Kathlyn Horan, The If Project is an exploration, a journey, a healing, and a movement that began with one woman asking another one simple question: If there was something someone could have said or done that would have changed the path that lead you here, what would it have been?

The questioner in this case was Seattle Detective Kim Bogucki and the woman to who she proffered it was Renata Abramson, an inmate at the Washington Corrections Center for Women. Kim is deeply involved in youth outreach programs through her department and she wanted Renata’s insight as to what might help the kids make different, better choices. For her part, Renata took the inquiry back to her fellow inmates and The If Project was born.

The women prisoners discussed, contemplated, soul-searched, gathered, and documented their findings in a collection of over 240 (and counting) essays. Kathlyn has also begun video interviews of the women.

Seeing that one word of caring, one show of kindness, one gesture of support might have spared these women 10 years, 20 years, a lifetime behind bars… well, it’s a testimony for tough love and persistence. When someone we care about pulls away and spirals downward, can we live with ourselves if we don’t do everything in our power to help them when the consequences are so utterly dire? And even if we negate the consequences, even if the possible damage is minimal, don’t we still owe it to ourselves and each other to give our best, to show compassion, to extend a hand?

The If Project Trailer from The If Project on Vimeo.