BY Ron Walker:
The spark that led to the start of the Coalition of Schools Educating Boys of Color (COSEBOC) was lit by an invitation extended to me to give keynote remarks to 100 Black and Brown inmates at Frackville State Penitentiary in Frackville, Pa. Kevin Johnson, a former ninth grade student of mine who is now incarcerated for life without parole, had personally requested my presence at the ceremony for inmates receiving their GEDs. Kevin and I have been writing to one another since 1986 – that’s the year I received his first letter apologizing for not listening to the advice that we often discussed when he was one of my honor students. In his letter, he also underscored his innocence.
Over the years, through his letters, Kevin has shared his determination to be free so he can contribute to his community. He has also expressed the critical importance that education plays in building a life of success. To my surprise, in 2006, I received a phone call from…
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