Empowerment Avenue

I am working with the Oakland-based nonprofit Prison Renaissance, founded in 2015 out of San Quentin State Prison, on a pilot program called Empowerment Avenue. Empowerment Avenue is the vision of Rahsaan “New York” Thomas, who you can read about here, for advocates and incarcerated writers, artists, musicians, and thinkers committed to the radical act of paying incarcerated people fairly for their labor.

We are working to build better frameworks to fulfill Rahsaan’s vision. I am overseeing Empowerment Avenue’s Writer’s Cohort, a one-on-one volunteer model in which outside editors and writers are paired with incarcerated writers to work together to workshop and publish the incarcerated writer’s work.

If you are interested in learning more or supporting this program, please email empowermentave@gmail.com.

A visit with San Quentin reporters Jesse, Wali and Juan in February of 2019.