Operation Restoration

Providing current and formerly incarcerated women with resources to sustainably transition home

Grantee Cohort Fall 2018, Fall 2019, Fall 2020

Location Louisiana

Operation Restoration is an organization created and run by formerly incarcerated women in New Orleans, Louisiana, and is committed to providing currently and formerly incarcerated women with the resources necessary to sustainably transition home. 

Founded in 2016 by Syrita Steib-Martin and a co-founder, Operation Restoration provides women and girls with the tools to successfully reenter society through advancement in education, employment training, and access to income and employment opportunities. It underscores its academic and employment programs with services that help manage post-traumatic stress, and provides women and girls with a safe space for rehabilitation and healing.

With continued support for Art for Justice, Operation Restoration continues infusing activism with New Orleans arts and culture by expanding their (Per)Sister exhibit, a project that centers youth impacted by incarceration and immigrant detention. They will also work closely with their affiliated 501(c)(4), Opportunity 2 Restore, to build lobbying and advocacy efforts that benefit formerly and currently incarcerated women in Louisiana and across the United States.

Following the success of (Per)Sister: Incarcerated Women of Louisiana, Operation Restoration, Art for Justice funded their partnership with the Louisiana Center for Children’s Rights (LCCR) for a new exhibition centered on children incarcerated in Louisiana and beyond called Rollercoaster. This will be the second of a three-exhibition series based at the Newcomb Art Museum of Tulane University. With nearly 1,000 youth in juvenile prisons in Louisiana, Rollercoaster will focus on the root causes of juvenile incarceration, the societal and economic impact of family separation, the physical and developmental toll incarceration has on children, and challenges to juvenile re-entry. Through their collective networks, Operation Restoration and LCCR will recruit a diverse group of currently and formerly incarcerated children and families to participate in this year-long process to create the exhibition.