The Real World of Work with Coach Antwan

By Free Minds Book Club | September 22, 2022 |

An interview with Free Minds member Antwan, by Zoe, Free Minds Intern. This interview was originally published in Volume 11, Issue 2 of the Free Minds Connect.

Antwan: I always played football and had a passion for football. Always. Even throughout my incarceration, I played football. So, when I came home I had a son who was seven at the time when I came home. We tried basketball, but he wasn’t too big at basketball. We gave football a try. We went to the field and saw a lot of other little kids playing with the school. When I picked him up from school I saw them there. So my son joined the team. My son would have bad moments at practice, but whenever I was there he had an excellent practice. So I started to stay on the field more and more. A lot of the other kids would adapt to how I was coaching my son. So I started to coach them too. After one season, all of the parents wanted me to be the head coach. So, I became the head coach. 

The Real World of Work with JoJo

By Free Minds Book Club | May 5, 2022 |

Free Minds member JoJo was arrested at the age of 16 and served five years. He was released in 2015. He is the Co-founder of #WeFitDC, a company dedicated to closing the health and wellness gap in the District, and shining light on native DMV wellness professionals. He is currently a fellow at the Georgetown Pivot Program, a one-year business and entrepreneurship program created specifically for formerly incarcerated individuals at the Georgetown University School of Business. Recently, Kelli sat down for a conversation with JoJo about his life and his life’s work.

Carlos’s Story: When Freedom Means Deportation to a Country You Barely Know

By Free Minds Book Club | April 12, 2022 |
A man in a light blue dress shirt with a striped tie. He has short dark hair and a neat mustache and beard. He is smiling at the camera.

Free Minds member Carlos served 25 years of a 35 years-to-life sentence. In 2020, he was resentenced under the Incarceration Reduction Amendment Act (IRAA). Because he was not a US citizen though, rather than returning home to DC, he was deported to his native country—a place he hadn’t seen in 33 years! Kelli caught up with Carlos over Zoom to talk about his experience.

Jordan’s Story

By Free Minds Book Club | July 24, 2019 |
Three people stand in a row holding a book called The Untold Story of the Real Me

For most seniors, graduation and prom are some of the most stressful moments of a high school career, but for Jordan, it was making a call to a disappointed mother from DC Jail. At just 17 years old, he found himself in a jail cell facing time for a criminal offense—one of his first, ever.…

Rod’s Story: Cooking with Love Provides Food for the Soul

By Free Minds Book Club | December 11, 2017 |
Rod sitting on a stoop in front of flowers

Interview by Kelli Taylor I love cooking! I really do! I enjoy putting the plate together, being creative with it, knowing that somebody I don’t know from a can of paint ‘bout to enjoy this meal I’m putting together. That in itself is just heartwarming. Especially when the rush come and you got a rack…

Nick’s Story

By Free Minds Book Club | November 22, 2017 |
Nick stands in front of the Washington Monument

If you had asked me what I wanted out of life when I was 16, I would have just shrugged my shoulders at you. I wouldn’t have had any answers to questions about my future. I didn’t have dreams. – Nick, age 27

Varvie’s Story

By Free Minds Book Club | October 24, 2016 |
Marcus, Varvie, Keela

Varvie was just shy of his 18th birthday when he was arrested, charged and convicted as an adult. He spent the next 11 ½ years in federal prisons across the country. Upon his release, Varvie, now 29, was determined to prove to himself and his loved ones that he had changed and was now a…

Malik’s Story

By Free Minds Book Club | September 15, 2016 |
Malik Success Story

Malik was not surprised to find himself charged and incarcerated as an adult at the DC Jail when he was just 16 years old. “I knew by the choices I was making where I was going to end up,” he says. “I had already been locked up in juvenile facilities 13 different times by then.” 

Will’s Story

By Free Minds Book Club | November 23, 2015 |

“Being a better man makes me a better father…I don’t want to let him down. I want to show him what I think a father is—someone who you can trust, someone who is there for you. I’m always going to be there.”

“My Story” by Sergio

By Free Minds Book Club | November 9, 2015 |
Sergio's Story

“From then on, whenever the cell doors closed for the night, I’d start writing. And the crazy thing was, I was in jail, but when I was writing, I felt safer than I ever felt at home.” Find out how you can help here.