Anthony Cardenales was only seventeen when he went to prison. Seventeen years later, when he went home to the Bronx, he quickly found a job at a recycling company in Westchester. A few years later, he had become its manager. How did Anthony defy the more common fate of returning to prison within three-to-five years after release? The answer is simple: he went to college in prison.
Most countries’ prison systems are failures—the rate of recidivism is abysmal. In the US, 76.6 percent of prisoners end up back in prison within five years of their release. Can this be fixed? Yes, it can.
When I saw what the DSA students did with my song, it completely changed the way I thought of the song. In fact, it changed the meaning of the song—I realized it was about inclusion, welcoming and not being alone. It's a more generous interpretation of the song than what I do with my voice. Just goes to show how a song can change (radically!) depending on who is singing it.
I’m starting an online project here that is an continuation and extension of some writing and talks I’ve done recently.
The project will be cross-platform—some elements may appear on social media, some on a website and some might manifest as a recording or performance… much of the published material will be collected here.