Returning Citizens share their empowering re-entry journey to Citizenship, Employment, Entrepreneurship, and more.
June 11th – 1PM – 3PM | Click here for tickets
This panel discussion will explore how individuals overcome a lack of resources and creatively make the “second chance” needed to change their lives, families, and community.
Akil West is a Los Angeles native entrepreneur, master gardener, author, and profound community advocate. West was incarcerated for 15 years when he made the choice to turn his life around and committed his life’s work to rebuilding his community and developing opportunities for people of color. West is the founder of Black Owned and Operated Community Land Trust, a community-based initiative dedicated to stabilizing predominated Black neighborhoods and underserved communities through building awareness and community leadership surrounding the issues of housing, transportation, recreation, and economic opportunity. West is also the CEO and founder of Sole Folks, a nonprofit retail hub located in the heart of the historical Leimert Park Village that is dedicated to cultivating Black entrepreneurship and creativity for underserved populations through innovative programming, mentorship, and financial support. Currently, West is the Treasurer of the Leimert Park Village Merchants Association and Principal at New Black Wallstreet.
Prophet Walker, Co-Founder and CEO of Treehouse, grew up in South LA, where amidst poverty, violence, and homelessness in his neighborhood, community was always at its core.
Prophet is deeply involved with both criminal justice and education reform and serves on multiple non-profit and civic boards. In 2014, Prophet ran for the California State Assembly, coming in second. This passion for reform was triggered by his personal experience of being incarcerated at 16 and sentenced to spend 6 years within an adult prison. While incarcerated, he started a state-wide program that allowed inmates to earn a two-year college degree, and today thousands of inmates participate in the program. Prophet was one of the program’s first graduates to come home and attended Loyola Marymount University where he received a degree in Civil Engineering. In 2015 President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama invited Prophet to attend the State of the Union to honor his efforts to reform our criminal justice system and for his commitment to our children.
Prophet’s experiences surrounding community strength and human connectedness inspired him to create Treehouse, recognizing the power of community in proximity and shared humanity. Prophet leads the company day to day, with a focus on acquisitions research, property selection and investor relations. Prophet enjoys spending his free time with his daughter and friends.
Reginald Murray, 53 years old, has 3 wonderful children and a granddaughter. He grew up in South Central in a single parent home. He struggled with the absence of his father and turned to gangs and drugs as a coping mechanism. At 20 years old, he was sentenced to 25 to Life in State Prison for Conspiracy to Commit Murder. After being released in 2017, he set out to give back to the community he had damaged. He wanted his story to have a meaning and a purpose. Today, he works in the RE-Entry field helping ex-lifer and long term offenders put their lives on track to success.
Stephanie Jeffcoat is a Community Organizer with A New Way of Life Reentry Project (“ANWOL”). She is skilled at organizing and mobilizing groups to advance grassroots movements in the area of criminal justice and child welfare. She also is a seasoned advocate who changes the hearts and minds of policymakers by sharing her lived experiences. She recently just graduated from Fullerton College with 4 Associate Degrees and will be transferring to Cal State Fullerton in the fall. She is in the process of publishing a book sharing her journey from homelessness and addiction to success. She aims to inspire others with her testimony.
Hosted by: Taj Rani
Produced by: Connie-Vee Hawkins