nys writers logo


Bookmark and ShareShaka SenghorShaka Senghor

Criminal justice reform advocate, convicted felon, and author to present
keynote address for UAlbany’s Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration

NYS Writers Institute, Wednesday, February 1, 2017
7:00 p.m. Lecture: "Your Worst Deeds Do Not Define You" | Campus Center Ballroom, Performing Arts Center, Uptown Campus

Writing my WrongsShaka Senghor, a leading voice for criminal justice reform, will be the keynote speaker for the University at Albany’s Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration on Wednesday, February 1, at 7 p.m. in the Campus Center Ballroom on the UAlbany Uptown Campus. Senghor will discuss his new memoir, Writing my Wrongs: Life, Death, and Redemption in an American Prison (2016). The event, which is free and open to the public, is sponsored by the Office of the Vice President for Student Affairs, Office of Diversity and Inclusion, the Student Association, and University Auxiliary Services in collaboration with the New York State Writers Institute. Attendees are invited to a reception in the Patroon Room from 5:30-6:45 p.m. before the program begins. No registration is required for the reception or the presentation.

Shaka Senghor
grew up in an abusive household in Detroit during the height of the 1980s crack epidemic. Turning to drug-dealing to survive, he was incarcerated for murder at the age of 19. His memoir Writing My Wrongs (2016), a New York Times bestseller, candidly recounts his 19-year incarceration, seven of which were spent in solitary confinement, and the tools he used to confront his past and construct his future. Filmmaker J. J. Abrams praised the book describing it as “A profound story of neglect, violence, discovery, redemption and inspiration….Prepare to have your preconceptions shattered.”  Essence called the book “Extraordinary… You will reconsider everything you’ve ever thought about poverty, the prison industrial complex and the connection between the two.”

Today Senghor is a leading voice in criminal justice reform and serves as a mentor and motivational speaker, inspiring young adults at high schools and universities across the national with his story of redemption and second chances. Senghor is the recipient of numerous awards, including the 2016 Ford Man of Courage Award, the 2016 NAACP Great Expectations Award, and the 2015 Manchester University Innovator of the Year Award. He is also the co-founder of #BeyondPrisons and a 2014 TED Prize finalist.

For additional information, contact the Writers Institute at 518-442-5620 or online at https://www.albany.edu/writers-inst