Free Minds

By Sincere Echoes

This is a call for all “Free Minds”
To enter the think tank
Make a deposit into the brain bank
And withdraw a little thought change
Self-empowerment
Builds structure, like support beams
Which keeps the self-esteem from crumblin’
The experience is humblin’
When you merge courage with comfort
And go in search of something
But, in order to be a “Free Mind”
You gotta make the best of the free time
It’s not just leisure
That’s how you facilitate to read between lines
And see yourself a little deeper.
Stretch a little farther; to become a dream-reacher
That’s a free mind – free thinker
Which makes the climb of the mental hills easier
The essentials of developmental
The escape of the dozed mind that had you
Trapped in a blind spot
Remorse the blindfold and life becomes a
Sight for blind eyes
With crystal clear facts you can now rationalize
Education and elevation, no longer passing you by
This is the evolution of the free minds
Where capabilities and limitations find patience
Where purpose and worth don’t feel so vacant
Finally found yourself and alleviated the imitations
Cause when you free mind; you free yourself on the inside
You tap into potentials and see yourself materialize
Your thoughts are reused and you begin to
Second guess and think twice
So do away with mistakes that were once
plentifully made. So I once again say, “This is a call for
free minds. Who’s ready to set their minds free?”

Authors Coe Booth and Patricia McCormick Share Their Stories at the DC Jail

By Mbachur Mbenga

This spring, teenagers in our Book Club at the DC Jail had the incredible opportunity to learn from two talented and generous authors, Patricia McCormick and Coe Booth.

D.C. native and two-time National Book Award finalist Patricia McCormick visited the jail to discuss her young adult novel Sold. This was followed by Coe Booth, a long-time favorite of the Book Club, who traveled from New York to talk to the teenagers about her novel Bronxwood. DC Councilmember David Grosso (Chair of the Committee on Education) also attended the session with Bronxwood author Coe Booth. Read More

War Child

By DM

Inspired by the book War Child by Emmanuel Jal

I am battling for my life
I’ve got one chance to get it right
If I get it wrong, I’ll lose my life
My kids, my freedom, plus my wife
I’m a war child who represents the struggle
The ones on the corner, all they do is hustle
I’m striving for my GED, so when I come home
I get a nice paying job and live stress free
I’m a war child livin’ out of a cell
A child of God who is stuck in hell
Only time will tell
I hope my options won’t fail

Free Minds Wins Renewal Award

In 2017, Free Minds was honored to receive the Renewal Award for Ingenuity from the Atlantic and Allstate. Free Minds was one of five winners selected from approximately 500 organizations across the country. Free Minds attended the Renewal Summit in Washington, DC, to receive the award. Poet Ambassador Nick spoke at the Renewal Summit. After the event, he said, “I want to thank the Atlantic and Allstate for allowing me to share my story, because I know it will help bring about a change. I hope people will treat someone from my experience with more dignity. That alone will give people from my background hope.” Read More

Changing Thoughts

By DK

As I sit here tired, alone, but peaceful in my cage
It gives me time to reflect and to let go of the rage.
I see so many guys, different races, different colors,
Makes you wonder why we all messed up, leaving behind our children, lovers and mothers.
What were we thinking while committing our crimes?
Look, it’s left me here…trying to write you this rhyme.
I’m so sorry I left you, so scared and alone,
I’m so sorry I left you in a fatherless home.
I sit here and reflect on all the things that I did,
And how I, not anyone else, caused me a 25 year bid…
So I give you the promise of a much better man,
‘Cause in 12 more years I’ll be armed with a real plan.
I’ll always be there for you in a time of need,
I’m starting now to plant the positive seeds.
Seeds that will flourish into a beautiful flower,
Giving me the strength and knowledge to help empower.
Just because I made mistakes, and lost my way,
Doesn’t mean because you’re my daughters, you’re destined the same way.
So keep your heads high, be proud, and strong…
Daddy will be home; it seems like forever, but it’s really not that long.