Gabrielle Prisco is the executive director of the Lineage Project, a nonprofit organization that offers mindful movement, secular meditation, breathwork, and conscious conversations to vulnerable young people in New York City. Lineage Project was founded in 1999 by Soren Gordhamer, a mindfulness teacher and author who also established the popular conference series Wisdom 2.0.
In the organization’s early years, volunteer teachers coordinated with the city to offer classes to young adults incarcerated jailed at Rikers Island, New York City’s main jail complex. Since then, Lineage Project has expanded into an independent organization with paid staff and teachers, a board of directors, and ongoing professional development programs and trainings for adults. The nonprofit has also extended its reach to young people in homeless shelters, public schools, sites for students suspended from schools, and alternative-to-incarceration facilities across New York City. Additionally, Lineage Project contracts with the New York City Department of Youth and Community Development, and partners with that agency and the Administration for Children’s Services to offer an after-school arts and mindfulness program to young people who are in secure detention.
In an interview with Tricycle, Prisco—who formerly worked as a Legal Aid attorney representing children in family court—explains why our society has an obligation to not only keep children safe but also to see them for who they really are: multi-dimensional, complex, wise beings capable of self-reflection and transformation. She also introduces Lineage Project’s larger vision, which she has worked to cultivate since she joined the organization in August 2015: to shift public policies and institutions toward more mindfulness-based approaches.