Criminal Justice Reform Leader Shaka Senghor to keynote 2020 MLK Symposium

Shaka Senghor
Shake Senghor – Official promotional photo


Special to The Dallas Examiner


“Anybody can have transformation if we create the space for that to happen.” – Shaka Senghor


The Dallas Institute of Humanities and Culture in partnership with Café Momentum will present the 15th Annual MLK Symposium on Jan. 20 from 7 p.m. to 8:45 p.m. at Moody Performance Hall, located at 2520 Flora St.

Shaka Senghor, author of The New York Times and Washington Post’s Best Seller Writing My Wrongs: Life, Death, and Redemption in an American Prison and Criminal Justice Reform Leader will be the keynote speaker at the event.

Senghor was sent to prison when he was 19 for second-degree murder. His time behind bars proved to be the occasion for his transformation. During his incarceration, he received a letter from his son that devastated him. He realized that he had to do something different to give his son a father that he could be proud of. At that point, he challenged himself to write a book. He wrote his first book in solitary confinement, where he spent seven years, and from there he wrote five more books, one of which was Writing My Wrongs.

“The book has been an amazing experience,” In a conversation on VLAD TV, Senghor said. “The people who have read it, who are talking about it, who I’ve had discussions with; you know what they’ve shared with me is that this has been the piece that has been missing in this whole conversation around criminal justice. It’s that first-person account of what the system is really like and what leads to somebody being caught up in the system.”

Through his public work, he has received many awards and fellowships, and has taught at the University of Michigan. He shared his story in a TED Talk that went viral and has been featured on television and radio.

When referring to her SuperSoul Sunday interview with Senghor, Oprah Winfrey said the conversation was “one of the best I’ve ever had – not just in my career, but in my life…His story touched my soul.”

For the event, the Dallas Institute is partnering with Chad Houser’s Café Momentum, which provides transformative experiences through a 12-month paid post-release internship program for young men and women coming out of juvenile facilities. Educators and students are free.


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