Ana Kasparian interviews author, lecturer and criminal justice reformer Shaka Senghor. Shaka spent 19 years in various Michigan prisons for a murder he committed in 1991 and since his release in 2010 has become a prominent advocate for reform in the criminal justice system and for a dramatic reduction in the U.S. prison population. The paperback version of his memoir, “Writing My Wrongs: Life, Death, and Redemption in an American Prison,” was just released. http://www.shakasenghor.com/
Buy Shaka Senghor’s memoir here: https://www.amazon.com/Writing-My-Wrongs-Redemption-American/dp/1101907290
About Shaka Senghor:
– Grew up in a middle class family in Detroit where he was an honor roll student
– Parents marriage came apart when he was 11.
– Fleeing abuse from his mother, he ran away at age 14
– Got involved with drug dealing
– Shot and killed a man in 1991 at age 19
– Spent 19 years in Michigan prisons, seven years of which were in solitary (4½ consecutive)
– Says that in prison he discovered literature, meditation, self-examination, and the kindness of others—tools he used to confront the demons of his past, forgive the people who hurt him, and begin atoning for the wrongs he had committed.
– Released from prison in 2010
– His work with at-risk youth led to fellowships at the MIT Media Lab and the Kellogg Foundation and invitations to speak at events like TED and the Aspen Ideas Festival.
– In 2015 founded the Atonement Project, a partnership between the University of Michigan and the MIT Media Lab, which helps victims and violent offenders heal through the power of the arts.
– He is a member of Oprah’s SuperSoul 100
– Serves as the Director of Strategy and Innovation with #cut50, a bipartisan initiative to safely and smartly reduce the U.S. prison population in half by 2025
– Published his memoir, Writing My Wrongs, in March 2016
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