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June 18, 2024

Thumbs up for the successful Humans of San Quentin’s appreciation day for all the curious, mindful, socially conscious, and active participants that make Diane Kahn’s vision a reality – when I saw this photo, I instantly realized the ages of people involved in giving voice to the incarcerated. I would have been in prison a few years before the youngster in the photo was born. I have been in prison for almost 24 years. Being surrounded – sometimes literally – 24 hours, seven days a week, it may be difficult to believe how alone a prisoner can feel. Humans of San Quentin allow us an opportunity to be heard and seen in the way we want to be, creating art, constructing a poem, or telling a story about an experience or memory. Sharing who we truly are with the world is powerful, as the gathering of almost 300 people in a prison chapel proves.

The offer of cake with icing and pizza certainly helped to bring so many together. Still, the sense of vulnerability, community, and connection made the experience one of the most enjoyable in my prison journey. Being 64 years old and seeing the youngsters’ justice, compassion, and empathy guide them into volunteering for the HoSQ means the world to me. Thank you for all the long hours you spent organizing to give us something we needed. A connection and recognition that we are worthy.

With great appreciation,


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