David Barclay Moore Speaks to DC Jail Book Club

Before David Barclay Moore, author of his debut young adult novel Stars Beneath Our Feet, even got a chance to introduce himself, he was peppered with questions and opinions about his novel from the high-spirited and inquisitive teenagers comprising the Free Minds juvenile unit book club at the DC Jail that meets every Tuesday. Read More

Free Minds Goes to Philadelphia

In October, the Free Minds team (staff and Poet Ambassadors Terrell, Roderick, and Nokomis) hit the road to participate in a conference in Philadelphia, PA, and share their poetry and personal stories with Philadelphia students.Read More

Baltimore Author D. Watkins Speaks to DC Jail Book Club

On a Thursday afternoon at the DC Jail, a group of men arranged chairs in a circle on the floor of the unit, surrounded on all sides by cell doors. They gathered in the circle to eagerly welcome their guest, author D. Watkins (The Cook Up: A Crack Rock Memoir, The Beast Side: Living and Dying While Black in America). The young men had been reading and discussing Watkins’s memoir, The Cook Up, in preparation for this visit. Read More

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

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