A leading voice on criminal justice reform, Shakia Senghor, will speak at Ohio Wesleyan University on March 30.
In 1991, Senghor was sent to prison for second-degree murder, convicted of killing a man in an argument over drugs. Today, he is the author of six books and a lecturer at the University of Michigan.
Senghor will share his inspirational story when he visits OWU for a lecture and book signing at 7 p.m. March 30. He will speak in the Benes Rooms of OWU’s Hamilton-Williams Campus Center, 40 Rowland Ave. Admission is free.
While serving 19 years in prison, Senghor says he discovered redemption and responsibility through literature, his own writing and the kindness of others. His newest book, “Writing My Wrongs: Life, Death and Redemption in an American Prison,” will be released today.
“Guilt, shame, anger, self-doubt and hopelessness kept me from reaching my full potential,” Senghor states. “However, once I changed my thinking and decided my life was bigger than any prison cell they could put me in, I began doing the work needed to break free mentally, emotionally and spiritually.”
Senghor also is scheduled to be interviewed March 13 on the Oprah Winfrey Network (OWN) Emmy Award-winning television show “Super Soul Sunday.”
In addition to penning “Writing My Wrongs” and five other books, Senghor is founder of The Atonement Project, which “seeks to begin community dialogues around issues of reconciliation, atonement and healing after suffering the harm caused by crime and incarceration.”
He currently teaches a course on The Atonement Project at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, and has been invited to participate in three TED talks, most recently on the main stage at the 30th anniversary TED Conference in Vancouver, British Columbia.
Senghor also serves as the director of strategy and innovation with #cut50, a bipartisan initiative to safely and effectively reduce the U.S. prison population by 50 percent over the next decade.
He previously earned the 2012 Black Male Engagement Leadership Award, was named a 2013 MIT Media Lab Director’s Fellow, and was selected as a fellow in the inaugural class of the W.K. Kellogg Foundation’s Community Leadership Network.
His OWU visit is sponsored by OWU’s Black Men of the Future, Wesleyan Council on Student Affairs and Office of Multicultural Student Affairs.