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Photos By: Naomieh Jovin

A Time For Atonement 

After 30 years of incarceration, Ghani saw the end of his time in prison as the beginning of something more important. When asked what liberation means to him, he says that it’s “an opportunity to atone.” He continues, “Now that I’m home, I’m able to get my hands on some of the issues I might have had my hands in before – I’m speaking about violence in the community. Now, I can help change lives…save lives.”

If you know Ghani, it does not surprise you that he saw his release from prison as an opportunity. Ghani is a sage. When he speaks, he creates space for you to learn from him, to learn with him. When you hear Ghani speak, you feel like you’ve experienced something. Ghani is a leader. It’s clear. He repeatedly does what he thinks leadership is: “Noticing what’s missing and doing something about it.”

And Ghani has done that again and again…and again and again. He’s been on podcasts, he’s written law review articles, he’s started organizations – both inside prison walls and outside, he’s leading restorative justice programs, he’s a TEDx speaker…he is a husband and a father. He lives the lesson he wants you all to learn: “The capacity for transformation and redemption is real.” And, he’s never forgotten what brought him to this place. He’s never forgotten he did something to bring him to this place.

Ghani doesn’t think much about legacy, but he’ll leave one. He wants to be an “upstanding member of [his] community, a contributing member.” He wants to be a “seamless member of the planet’s ecosystem…to live simply so others can simply live.” Inspired by the sacred texts he has studied, he knows that taking a life takes all lives, but saving a life saves them all.

If you’ve ever had the chance to hear Ghani, you know that he’s saving us all.

“Now that I’m home, I’m able to get my hands on some of the issues I might have had my hands in before…Now, I can help change lives…save lives.”

This year, between now and the end of the year, YSRP aims to raise $200,000 to support our continued work to keep youth out of the adult system and to support Juvenile Lifers in their transition back home. If inspired by stories like Ghani’s, please consider making a gift in his honor.

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