Tag Archives: justice involved

2CU: OK, I was Wrong

Yesterday had the opportunity to attend the River Council Business Networking event and must admit… I was wrong.

Held at the Central Florida Zoo and Botanical Gardens in Sanford, the folks attending (and operating) were not what I had expected or were accustomed to. Professional, courteous, respectful, and genuinely interested are just a few words summarizing the experience.

Thanks to Kate Crockett from ECPI University, our non-profit targeting those who are justice-involved is developing a stronger sense of community and support.

Together we can make a difference
Together we can make a difference

Here’s how I was wrong

  • The event was not a waste of time
  • Folks at the River Council Business Networking event care about the community

After the conclusion of the event, multiple business and individuals approached to share their stories, add to the list of contacts, and more importantly, prove this organization (and members) possess a human element.

2nd Chance University partners with organizations/institutions dedicated to those who have stumbled. Our material and workshops take advantage of real people, real life, and real issues.

I welcome your stories to be added into our series. If you chose to share or support, email me directly. For those wishing to introduce 2CU and our programs into an organization, institution, or facility, please step forward; together we can make a difference. On this note, I will be sending out follow-up communications to those giving me their cards at the meeting…

Danny Huffman
407-878-0474
http://www.2ndChanceUniversity.org
dhuffman@2ndChanceUniversity.org

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2CU: Robert and Accepting Defeat

Continuing with our work and getting you a front seat as to our programs, time to introduce Robert. As always, share and respond to the insight.

Robert:

 Hey, I’m Robert. I work in construction, or at least I did until a few months ago. Boss fired me because the company wasn’t doing well. I know they are getting plenty of business so I’m pretty upset about not working; probably has to do with my arrest.  

True enough, I’m more of a construction laborer but I still have lots to offer. Now, I can’t seem to find a job no matter how hard I try. I’m 24 years old and all I’ve ever done is construction work. They don’t want to hire somebody my age or maybe they think I can’t handle the job. It may be time for me to move on from manual labor, but I don’t know how. 

All the jobs I apply for wash out, and I can’t live off unemployment forever. I need a job now, any job. Don’t want to be in the system (prison) but I am ready to give up.

Insight: Sounds like Robert has accepted defeat. What advice would you share with Robert if he was in the classroom right now? Have you ever accepted defeat?

My advice to Robert would be:

                                                                                                                               

                                                                                                                               

Here’s what happens when I accept defeat:

                                                                                                                               

                                                                                                                               

2nd Chance University partners with organizations/institutions dedicated to those who have stumbled. Our material and workshops take advantage of real people, real life, and real issues.

I welcome your stories to be added into our series. If you chose to share or support, email me directly. For those wishing to introduce 2CU and our programs into an organization, institution, or facility, please step forward; together we can make a difference.

Danny Huffman
407-878-0474
2nd Chance University
dhuffman@2ndChanceUniversity.org

2CU: Julie Introduced

Throughout our 18 books, three peers and two ex-convicts share their stories about their arrest, prison, release, and reintegration. Participants get to know each peer and convict, learning choice and consequence affect more than the singular.

2nd Chance University partners with organizations/institutions dedicated to those who have stumbled within the justice system. Our material and workshops take advantage of real people, real life, and real issues. Time to meet Julie…

Julie:

Name’s Julie. I’m 19 years old, and a single mother, but the state has my baby. Well, my grandmother does, but she’s technically in foster care. I only get to see her sometimes. I haven’t been fully employed since high school, and even then I only worked part time jobs at places like Taco Bell and Target. But I did work at a neighborhood day care for a while and loved it. 

It’s really hard to find a job when everyone says you don’t have enough experience or that I have a kid. I may not have a high school diploma, but I did get my GED. My kid deserves a better life than what I’ve had. Don’t know if I will ever be able to get it together for her—guess things don’t really change.

Insight: Do you agree with Julie when she said “things don’t really change?” Explain why?


I welcome your stories to be added into our series. If you chose to share or support, email me directly. For those wishing to introduce 2CU and our programs into an organization, institution, or facility, please step forward.

Danny Huffman
407-878-0474
2ndChanceUniversity.org
dhuffman@2ndChanceUniversity.org

 

America: Land of the (In)visible

Writing provided by Duck who spent 13 years incarcerated; now finding a home as contributor and facilitator/trainer with 2nd Chance University, a non-profit dedicated to those who have stumbled.

For those who have been (or are currently) justice-involved, being invisible occupies a rather peculiar stance with even more atypical consequence.

For those not justice-involved, imagine a world where eye contact is not allowed, no soul searching or glimpsing into the spirit of the silenced number striding side by side.

Living behind bars means no identity other than 6 or 7 digits surrounding his or her every move. Think ab out how your sense of identity would be without a name and with an objectified history defining your Looking Glass Self theory.

For those without a justice-involved scratch or dent, take a look in the mirror, strip the reflective image of who/what you think you see, and then wipe away all of you with a single stretch. From this day forward, in place of what you thought you saw moments ago, resides a blemished blur.

In accordance to being invisible, for the next 24 hours, there can be no eye contact, there can be no talk without directly being told you have permission to speak, there can be no mobility beyond set geographic boundaries, there can be no choice, no smiles (this will be seen as a sign of weakness), there can be no friends, no companionship, no nothing (sorry for the poor grammar).

Imagine, for these 24 hours, when people looked at you, they saw something less than human, something not worthy of respect, something not deserving of consideration, empathy, or a second chance. Imagine how these emotions and actions will toy with your mind and sense of self-worth not just for the moment, but for your lifetime (and your families).

Imagine that even after this 24-hour experience, time kept on and you were forever defined as less than human.

Truth is, for those who are justice-involved, rightly or wrongly, he or she will never wash their skin of past sins, society won’t let them, lenders won’t let them, employers won’t let them, and, in most cases, YOU won’t let them.

What does it mean to be invisible? There’s no such concept as no matter who you are, others see and define based upon pre-conceived misconceptions supporting personal agendas and deficiencies.

Is America the land of hope, of understanding, of second chances? Do I really need to answer that? Perhaps now is the time for America to be.

2nd Chance University is a non-profit designed for our youth as well as our adult population who have stumbled to regain their Commitment, Hope, and Empowerment.

I welcome your stories to be added into our series. If you chose to share or support, email me directly at dhuffman@2ndChanceUniversity.org.

Danny Huffman
Founder, Journeyman
321-972-8919