Who We Are
Detective Kim Bogucki (Co-founder of The IF Project) has more than 25 years of experience with the Seattle Police Department, focusing primarily in fostering community outreach and connectivity. Her self motivated focus led her to establish and develop nationally replicated programs; “The Donut Dialogues” and “The West Side Story” were formed to effect change for the youth and homeless members of the community. These are examples of Kim’s innovative and successful approach to reducing cycles of crime and recidivism.
Her current role is leading the work of “The IF Project”, a unique partnership with inmates at Washington Department of Corrections facilities. The introspective writing and presentations include inmate participation, both during their incarceration and after their release and re-entry. She has received numerous awards for her work, including: The Red Cross Heroes Award, Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA) Seattle Storm’s Women that Inspire Award, the Center for Children’s Youth and Justice President’s Award, the Seattle Police Foundation Excellence Award, the Seattle Chamber of Commerce Community Award, Department of Corrections Volunteer of the Year at Washington Corrections Center for Women (WCCW), the Greater Seattle Business Association (GSBA) Community Leader Award, and Washington State Mentors Association Unsung Heroes Award. The Department of Corrections has enlisted Detective Bogucki’s assistance with their gender responsive initiative and she serves as Officer Liaison to the LGBTQ Advisory Council and to the East African Advisory Council. In addition, she is an active member of the board of directors of both the Greater Seattle Business Association (GSBA) and Correctional Industries.
She recently launched another non-profit organization: Tithe One On (titheoneon.org), which aims at re-messaging antibullying and creating communities of kindness. Kim recently represented The IF Project at a conference in Amsterdam, alongside members of academia of her alma mater, Seattle University.
Kathlyn Horan (Co-founder of The IF Project and Documentary Director) has been working as an independent director, producer and photographer for over 15 years. Horan’s career started as a camera operator, traveling the globe and working with such artists as Faith Hill, The Goo Goo Dolls, the Russian duo t.A.T.u, and Swedish pop group Play. In the following years she co-directed a live concert DVD for Vonda Shepard featuring interviews with Ally McBeal cast mates as well as behind the scenes footage of life on the road with Vonda.
Kathlyn co-directed a feature length film entitled “A Voice for Choice”, documenting the pro-choice “March for Women’s Lives” that took place in Washington DC on April 25th, 2004. The documentary includes interviews with some of the nations leading politicians, activists and artists such as Hillary Clinton, Gloria Steinem, Sheryl Crow, Bill Maher and more. Horan also produced and directed a short documentary, “What is Zen?”, which examines the lives of four Zen Buddhist monks in different stages of their practice.
She has most recently completed producing two award winning short films; “Past Due” for the AFI Directing Workshop for Women and “The Lull Breaker” for the Toronto International Film Festival Talent Lab.
She is currently working on a feature length documentary about The IF Project that tells the story of the unlikely partnership of cop and convict as they work to together to break the cycle of incarceration.
Melissa Marsh (Director of Programs) returned to Seattle after a five year work and adventure stint in Boulder, Colorado. While there, she was bestowed the Boulder County PFLAG Activist of the Year Award for her diverse community building work, ranging from outreach to team building and education. Melissa led an innovative LGBTIQ youth program, facilitating training in schools, community organizations, medical and mental health providers about LGBTIQ youth inclusivity and affirmation. She also presented LGBTIQ 101 classes to students in two school districts, ran the Boulder County Transgender Task Force and fostered LGBTIQ education within the St. Vrain Valley Safe Schools Coalition.
Prior to her work in Boulder, Melissa garnered over 15 years of social work experience with organizations that focus on assisting homeless youth. She provided individual case management and fostered outreach to youth living on the streets in Seattle and San Francisco. Melissa completed her undergraduate work at Antioch University and a Masters Degree in Social Work from the University of Washington. She received certification in Advanced Leadership from the Regional Institute for Health and Environmental Leadership. Her breadth of experience in non-profit management and social justice extends to her current role as the Director of Programs at The IF Project.
Honey Jo Herman (Coordinator of Youth Programs) has been with The IF Project since 2010. She began by sharing her own compelling story, alongside other IF Team Members, often serving as Team Leader. In addition to visiting schools and correctional facilities, she assists Kim in administrative aspects, and also appears in various television and radio interviews and public speaking engagements, representing The IF Project. She is inspired by the profound impact the presentation and breakout sessions has on the students. With this in mind, she began developing a curriculum for The IF Project to utilize, in order to reach as many students as possible, as effectively as possible. The curriculum is being finalized and will be utilized in the Seattle School District Interagency (Alternative) Schools this school year.
As the Mom of 4 children, she is empathetic to the painful difficulties incarcerated parents face, when separated from their children. She is motivated to help people realize their personal power by sharing how she has found her own. “People are interactive in their own demise, but they are equally interactive in turning their lives around. The IF Project truly helps make that happen, and that’s why I think it is just so important.”
Tiffany Privat (Newsletter Editor) is from Lousiana and after falling in love with the Northwest while working in Alaska, moved to Seattle and lived here for 5 years. While attending Seattle Central Community College, she worked as an Editor of the student news magazine and as a developmental English Teaching Assistant. She was inspired to work in the field of Prison Education after a student shared positive experiences about writing poetry while she had been incarcerated. Tiffany is a Frances Perkins Scholar, studying English Literature and Sociology with a focus on Criminology, at Mount Holyoke College in South Hadley, Massachusetts. She first worked with us as an intern in the summer of 2013, learning about The IF Project curriculum and mission, with plans of replicating it in Massachusetts. She currently updates the news and blog on The IF Project web site, and manages the weekly IF essay featured voice. She is inspired by the nature of The IF project being instrumental in positively affecting adults and youth. “The willingness of both the adults- who share what would have made a difference, and the willingness of the kids- who share what can make a difference now, is awe-inspiring. I believe in the power of writing a personal essay and this project gives the inmates and students the opportunity to do introspective writing that is beneficial and empowering.”
Rachel M. Fiala (Writing Program Facilitator) is a poet, writer, spiritual mentor, and direct ally to communities living with the effects of violence, trauma, and oppression. She is the Writing Program Facilitator for The If Writers Program and is currently writing a collection of memoir poetry. For over ten years, Rachel has worked with nonprofits such as the Alternative Healthcare Access Campaign, ROOTS Young Adult Shelter, Soldiers Heart, and Little Kidz Foundation to bring alternative healing and spiritual practices to vulnerable and traumatized communities. She co-founded the Seattle Dharma Punx in late 2007 and taught the Buddhist program at Olympic Corrections Center from 2008-2010. She also made humanitarian trips to Vietnam in 2009 and 2010 – first on a healing and reconciliation journey with veterans and then caring for orphans and special needs children throughout the country. Rachel is a trained massage therapist, holds a BA in Trauma, Healing, & Spirituality, and has taught Buddhist Dharma and meditation through Against the Stream Buddhist Meditation Society and Seattle Insight Meditation Society.
Rachel has developed a holistic toolkit of resources for transforming trauma and oppression, but sees poetry and writing as one of the most potent methods for finding beauty and wholeness within otherwise shattering experiences. She’s honored to support The If Project in bringing incarcerated voices to light.
The IF Project Team Speakers The IF Project includes a primary component of team speakers who share their own individual and poignant stories of loss and gain, pain and recovery, incarceration and freedom. The team is made up of residents of Washington State who are former inmates of Washington State Department of Corrections facilities. The team speakers share riveting stories varying in topic, and include a broad range of experiences, often including: events leading to their arrest, challenges they faced before and during their incarceration, overcoming abuse, addiction and trauma. The compelling team offers insight regarding the result of choices, the danger of gang involvement and peer pressure and the long road to recovery and re entry. The insights are not limited to cautionary tales, however. The team gives explicit and definitive examples of the importance of setting goals, finding a mentor and focusing on becoming your own best resource. The team members are in a unique position to tell the story of before, during and after incarceration; this perspective is reasonably held in esteem by those who are facing incarceration or the possibility of incarceration. The raw truth of their struggle and success is inspiring and bittersweet, but most importantly, it is undeniably effective in fostering thoughtful contemplation and often a call to action and change.