The project will engage communities disproportionately impacted by the prison industrial complex, including the wrongfully convicted, through community-based and participatory action research and training to address the dehumanizing results of mass incarceration, primarily of people of color.
The problem, according to Mr. Makori, is that mass incarceration and wrongful convictions have become so commonplace, few people who are directly affected by these issues realize that this a status quo that can be challenged. Additionally, often those who do take on cases for wrongfully convicted individuals have not earned the trust of communities in which they must work to overturn these cases.
Mass incarceration and wrongful conviction issues disproportionately impact African-American males in the South, which ultimately contributes to a breakdown of the family unit and less access to wealth-building opportunities. This contributes to a generational cycle of contact with the criminal justice system.
In partnership with the Star Institute of Conscious Organization (SICO), through community-based collaborative efforts, Mr. Makori will engage inner city high school students and educators in the creation of a semester-long high school course and pedagogical process involving close reading of a range of texts about criminal justice in the U.S. and analysis of oppression and liberation in theory, history, and practice.
Mr. Makori was born to a 17-year-old mother and raised in the St. Claude neighborhood of the 9th Ward in New Orleans. He is a product of the community he is hoping to impact through his project and looks forward to transforming ideas from conception to break-through strategies by ensuring the impacted group members of the mass incarceration and wrongfully convicted movement are conscious, informed, and engaged.