Onward Blog

Image for post titled I think Alabama is going in the right direction, and I’m excited to be playing a part in making change happen.

I think Alabama is going in the right direction, and I’m excited to be playing a part in making change happen.

By Betty Washington, #LwC2020

April 28, 2020

Betty Washington is a graduate of Troy University and Trenholm State Technical College.

Image for post titled My pain is what pushed me into my purpose.

My pain is what pushed me into my purpose.

By Quniana Futrell, #LwC2020

I come from the streets of Newark, New Jersey. Both of my parents were in and out of jails and state penitentiaries for most of my life.

Image for post titled I don’t know how and I don’t know when, but I’m going to get out of prison and I’m going to get my life back.

I don’t know how and I don’t know when, but I’m going to get out of prison and I’m going to get my life back.

By Jason Hernandez, #LwC2020

Jason Hernandez has written for and been featured in The Guardian, The New York Times, MSNBC, CNN and other major media outlets.

Image for post titled On the days I do my best work it’s the hope that we can build a better world–a world without so many people in cages–that motivates me.

On the days I do my best work it’s the hope that we can build a better world–a world without so many people in cages–that motivates me.

By James Gould, #LwC2020

James Gould served as Secretary of the Board of Directors for Students for a Sensible Drug Policy.

Image for post titled In the end, I don’t want to see any child incarcerated or in a juvenile detention center.

In the end, I don’t want to see any child incarcerated or in a juvenile detention center.

By Dieter Cantu, #LwC2020

I was only sixteen years old when I was sentenced to ten years in a juvenile detention facility in San Antonio, Texas.

Image for post titled Within us is a passion to maximize each moment, leading to a better tomorrow.  Within us is the recognition that every person’s life has value.

Within us is a passion to maximize each moment, leading to a better tomorrow. Within us is the recognition that every person’s life has value.

By Jessica Zarling, #LwC2019

November 8, 2019

Within us is a passion to maximize each moment, leading to a better tomorrow. Within us is the recognition that every person’s life has value.

Image for post titled I see my path from prison to college and then to academia as a series of ordinary events that led to an extraordinary outcome.

I see my path from prison to college and then to academia as a series of ordinary events that led to an extraordinary outcome.

By Chris Beasley, #LwC2019

Chris Beasley has a Ph.D in Community Psychology from DePaul University, an M.A. in Clinical Psychology from Roosevelt University.

Image for post titled Everybody should have the opportunity to thrive in life.

Everybody should have the opportunity to thrive in life.

By Marlon Chamberlain, #LwC2019

Marlon Chamberlain is the recipient of the Purdy Award from the Community Renewal Society.

Image for post titled If I don’t do it, then who’s going to do it?

If I don’t do it, then who’s going to do it?

By LaShanna Tyson, #LwC2019

I founded Empowering Kids With Incarcerated Parents (EKWIP), a non-profit organization affiliated with the Society of St. Vincent de Paul in Orlando.

Image for post titled My mom’s incarceration put me on a trajectory for the last nine years that I honestly would never have imagined.

My mom’s incarceration put me on a trajectory for the last nine years that I honestly would never have imagined.

By Laurin Leonard (Hodge), #LwC2019

Laurin Leonard (Hodge) is an Echoing Green Fellow, a Cordes Fellow, an Ashoka and Aspen Institute Emerging Nonprofit Leader.

Image for post titled I advocate a four pillar approach to recovery from substance use disorder and reentry from incarceration.

I advocate a four pillar approach to recovery from substance use disorder and reentry from incarceration.

By William Sansing, #LwC2019

November 1, 2019

I am the Associate Dean of Instruction and District Director of Student Counseling & Advising Services.

Image for post titled Mentorship is one of those recurring themes throughout my story.

Mentorship is one of those recurring themes throughout my story.

By Jason Clark, #LwC2019

October 26, 2019

I am the Equity and Justice Advocate for the King County Superior Court’s Juvenile Court Services Department in Seattle, WA.

Image for post titled We have to seize the moment and make as many changes and be as impactful as we can.

We have to seize the moment and make as many changes and be as impactful as we can.

By Eric Weaver, #LwC2019

October 22, 2019

I am the Founder and Chairman of the National Association for the Advancement of Returning Citizens and Deputy Director of the READY Center.

Image for post titled I want to teach justice-involved people how to navigate the system of higher education, not to survive, but to thrive.

I want to teach justice-involved people how to navigate the system of higher education, not to survive, but to thrive.

By Danny Murillo, #LwC2019

October 15, 2019

Danny Murillo received the Rockwood Leadership Institute’s 2017 Returning Citizens Fellowship.

Image for post titled When your eyes come open to the truth, there is no turning around.

When your eyes come open to the truth, there is no turning around.

By Anthony Witherspoon, #LwC2019

October 8, 2019

Anthony Witherspoon has a Ph.D. Higher Education Administration from Jackson State University.

Image for post titled Walk with me as a ‘possible’ and step away from the ‘probable.’

Walk with me as a ‘possible’ and step away from the ‘probable.’

By Saad Soliman, #LwC2019

September 30, 2019

I am the founding Executive Director of the Peers Mentoring Center and Peace By Piece Inc. in Wilmington, Delaware.