As the founder of Designed Conviction, my vision is to put the art out into the world. To open the minds of those who don’t know, to inspire real reform and spread positivity and unity. To provide a platform for the incarcerated as well as those who have been released. To allow them to put their artistry in all forms out there to express the stories of change. To make an impact on society and show people what is possible when you put your mind to work.
I am a man who received a life without parole sentence at the age of 20 in 2006 when my life changed forever. As I fought through my appeals without success, I went through a period of great darkness and depression. I got into art, into writing poetry and finding ways to bring light into my life as well as those around me. I pulled through those times and emerged a better man. As the battle for freedom is ongoing, I refuse to give up on hope.
Designed Conviction, a social enterprise, was born out of a need to live outside these walls, to do something positive and productive. It allows putting to use the talents and skills which I have developed over years of hard work and dedication.
We have a vision of a brighter future for those who are or were incarcerated. Incarcerated Lives Matter too. Designed Conviction is about breaking the stigma put on those individuals locked up as well as upon their release into society. Or better yet those who receive life in prison and there is no second chance. What are we doing for them? Those individuals matter as a person. Those who are discarded and forgotten about, are we not people anymore?