Relationship Building Allyship
BREAKING SILENCE is an 18-minute short film; an intimate exploration into themes of parenthood, regret, and healing, as it tells the story of a deaf father and a CODA (Child of Deaf Adult) daughter from Baton Rouge, LA, and the shared communities they inhabit.

While at its core, BREAKING SILENCE is the portrait of a family in the process of rebuilding their life together, the subject it examines—the lack of basic resources, rights, and support for the deaf and disabled community within the prison system—tenderly brings attention to an urgent disability rights issue. According to HEARD, a cross-disability abolitionist nonprofit organization, there are tens of thousands of families with deaf and disabled incarcerated family members who are deeply underserved by the prison system, a statistic that has gone on virtually unnoticed. BREAKING SILENCE aims to shed light on the criminal justice system’s failings at the handling of disability rights by introducing audiences to a single family that has been affected by the system’s failings.
Directed by Amy Bench and Annie Silverstein

Impact Goal

Odyssey Impact® collaborated with director Rudy Valdez and production company Park Pictures to launch a six-month community engagement and impact campaign for The Sentence in January 2020, with the aim of bringing the film to the experts, stakeholders and families experiencing the wide-ranging impacts of parental incarceration.


Odyssey Impact® coordinated a special screening event with Worth Rises’ and their initiative, Connecting Families, which aimed to eliminate the cost of communication in Connecticut prisons. As part of its efforts, Worth Rises hosted a screening of The Sentence on in partnership with Color of Change and the Working Families Party, at the Connecticut Capitol Building. The screening attendees had the opportunity to participate in petition signing and testimonial sharing in support of the Connecting Families campaign.

Adoption and Safe Families Act Resources

Odyssey Impact® partnered with Movement for Family Power, which developed a one-page resource on the Adoption and Safe Families Act (ASFA). The ASFA is the law that largely determines how child welfare systems terminate the rights of parents. The resource provides background on how the ASFA contributes to the loss of parental rights for thousands of incarcerated parents.

Resources and Partnerships

Odyssey Impact® partnered with Families Against Mandatory Minimums (FAMM), to adapt its HBO Watch Party Toolkit for impact screenings. The toolkit became the basis of the Discussion and Facilitator guide for the campaign.


A journey of change through film

Odyssey Impact® equips you with the tools you need to have a successful screening, so anyone can be a screening host! 

HEARD is the only nonprofit organization that supports deaf/disabled people at every step of the criminal legal system: pretrial, incarceration, and reentry. Your donations support advocacy and organizing with currently incarcerated deaf/disabled people, reentry support for deaf/disabled people returning home to their communities, reuniting loved ones through prison visitation, and more. Learn more about our work at behearddc.org


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