"My Voice Series" is created by Betalham Benti in partnership with the Minnesota Second Chance Coalition. The series are designed to discuss prison impact, transitional phase, and what advocacy looks like when it is led by those directly impacted by the system. The goal is to create a brave space for system impacted panelists to share their stories. Join us in a conversation with a few extraordinary people who experienced the system from the inside and are now changing it from the outside. Hear their journey, their challenges, their successes and their plans.
Kevin Reese: grew up in Minneapolis Minnesota. He was incarcerated for 14 years. His work as a Prison Justice organizer at Voices for Racial Justice is rooted in his mission to end mass incarceration. He is a 2018 AWP intro Journals project award winner for poetry published in the Hayden Ferry Review. He can be found featured in Emily Baxter’s internationally acclaimed book We Are All Criminals. He has a running column in the Minnesota Spokesmen Recorder. His writing is centered around humanity, organizing, transformative movements, and ancestral visionary poetry.
Marlin Meszaros: I have served a total of 10.5 years in prison. My most recent release was April 26th, 2018. I offer a unique perspective on the criminal justice system. Particularly living inside of prison, re-entering society and all the struggles that are involved with that. I speak honestly, with transparency and vulnerability. Although I believe many parts of the system need to be changed, I am not afraid to admit that I personally experienced a dramatic transformation during my last incarceration. Today, I am a board member of the Minnesota Second Chance Coalition. I actively advocate for systems impacted people through sharing my story in a variety of venues from the political arena to church settings and am living in long-term recovery from Substance Use Disorder for over 5 years. I am also deeply involved with Peer to Peer support for people in recovery and people transitioning out of incarceration or just navigating the Justice system in general.
Tiffany Radden: Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology and Criminal Justice and was able to work in the corrections field. While working as a correctional officer, Ms. Radden struggled with alcoholism making it difficult to maintain her job. After exploring many treatment and mental health resources, Ms. Radden was unable to stay sober and that led to additional barriers. Her addiction led to criminal charges. Ms. Radden was sentenced to prison while fighting her mental health barriers. After prison, she decided to make effective changes in her life. Ms. Radden have been able to maintain sobriety, start graduate school, and currently working at the very treatment center that saved her life.
Join us in our Brave Space!
ADDRESS: 553 Fairview Ave. Saint Paul, Minnesota 55104