Free Minds Celebrates Congressman John Lewis Fellowship

On July 17, Free Minds staff, Poet Ambassadors, and friends gathered at Pepco Edison Place Gallery to celebrate the new Free Minds Congressman John Lewis Fellowship, a one-year paid position for a formerly incarcerated young adult to use poetry and storytelling to promote nonviolence and racial equity. The Fellow serves as the lead Poet Ambassador, facilitating the Free Minds nonviolence program, “On the Same Page: Free Minds Poetry in the Classroom and Community.” Read More

Free Minds staff on the Atlantic’s “The Art of Re-Entry” panel for Justice in America!

Free Minds Book Club & Writing Workshop was invited to amplify our members’ voices at the Atlantic’s “Justice in America” event in May. Grateful for the opportunity to fulfill our mission of uplifting marginalized voices, Executive Director Tara Libert and Poet Ambassador James Allen spoke on the panel “The Art of Re-Entry,” with fellow panelists Stephen Belber (Writer and Producer, O.G.) and David Domenici (Executive Director, Center for Educational Excellence in Alternative Settings). Together, Tara and James powerfully spoke on the work and impact of Free Minds, creativity as it relates to self-expression and self-worth, and bibliotherapy (the therapeutic use of books to distance the self from one’s own reality). Read More

All the World’s a Stage: Shakespearean actors bring theater to the DC Jail


These are just some of the words shouted out by more than 20 orange-clad men crowded onto the floor of a tiny basketball court inside the DC Jail on recent Thursday. Members of Free Minds Book Club, they were responding to Shakespeare’s Sonnet 29, “When in disgrace with fortune and men’s eyes.” Read More

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