Michael

Michael is in love with learning and knowledge, yet he never attended a high school prom, studied for final exams, or had to learn a locker combination.

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Poetry as a Tool for Violence Prevention & Healing: Free Minds’ New Community Project “On the Same Page”

Free Minds has launched a new community initiative which uses our literary journal They Call Me 299-359 as a tool for education, reflection, and healing. “On the Same Page: Free Minds Poetry in the Community and the Classroom” is led by Free Minds senior members now home after serving their sentences, and uses a format of shared reading and discussion to prevent youth violence and incarceration.

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Free Minds Poems Win Prestigious Awards

In a Free Minds first, we are proud to announce that five Book Club members have been named winners of The Alliance for Young Artists & Writers 2012 Regional Scholastic Writing Awards.

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Literary Journal Released!

Free Minds is thrilled to announce the release of “They Call Me 299-359: Writings by the Incarcerated Youth of Free Minds Book Club &Writing Workshop,” an anthology of essays and poems written, edited and compiled by incarcerated youth from Washington DC.

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Free Minds Inspires with Screening of the Interrupters

Free Minds was honored to partner with the Benevolent Media Festival and American University’s Center for Social Media to host a screening of the powerful new documentary The Interrupters, the moving and surprising story of three “violence interrupters” in Chicago who with bravado, humility and even humor try to protect their communities from the violence they once employed. Following the film, Free Minds Co-Founder and Executive Director Tara Libert moderated a panel of local leaders Mark Timberlake, Michael Mattocks, Eddie Ellis, and Brian McEwen, joined by Free Minds members Michael, Gerald, and Darius—seven individuals working to interrupt the cycle of violence in DC.

Read further coverage of the event:

From the Center for Social Media

From Benevolent Media

From Bittersweet Zine