Greetings from Michael…
Incarcerated: 27 years
Housed: San Quentin State Prison
Why I joined HoSQ,
I feel privileged and humbled to be a part of Humans of San Quentin. After nearly three decades of incarceration I never imagined there was someone special out there in the community who believes in us, the incarcerated, who treats us with dignity and respect, and not as ‘animals in a cage.’ This is Mrs. Diane Kahn. She has become this superhuman-woman with this invisible cape to us. She continues to generously devote her time and resources in an attempt to humanize the less privileged. I joined HoSQ because I am devoted to give a voice to the voiceless, to help change the narrative when it comes down to the incarcerated regardless of what led them into prison; our past behaviors do not define the person that stands in front of the mirror 10, 15, 20, or 30 years later. Change is possible through the proper channels of rehabilitation. I used to be oblivious to self-love, compassion, empathy, and mainly what it meant to truly treat others as human beings, this set me on a path for self-destructive behavior driven by low self-esteem, self-pity, and hating myself. This made it easy for me to join a gang and be violent- the ingredients for disaster. Now I stand in solidarity with HoSQ. I want to bring awareness to my Latino community in and out of these prison walls. HoSQ is there for us all in creating a space for healing and reconciliation with our communities.
This is important for me because I shot an innocent person and put a family member in harm’s way because of my gang mentality. I caused terrible harm to too many people. I know I can never undo the past, but I believe I can make a positive difference for the future, for myself and my community.
Many men and women who are incarcerated will someday be released back into our communities. We need to prepare them as they are about to become our next door neighbors. Please support HoSQ in the fight to educate our communities that we are all humans.