Shaka Senghor | How Not to Be Defined by Your Worst Moment

Shaka SenghorI’m fascinated by the idea of snap decisions, how some can lead to amazing outcomes, and others can destroy lives. What you so often find is that nothing actually happens in a moment, there is no real snap, but rather a series of experiences leading up to it, often years in the making, were as much authors of the moment as the instance itself. And, sometimes, when those moments lead to something you’ll regret for a lifetime, you get to the next question – what is recoverable – redeemable – how do you make that happen, and who gets to write the story of your reclamation? 

This is the powerful thru line of my conversation with Shaka Senghor, New York Times bestselling author of Writing My Wrongs: Life, Death, and Redemption in an American Prison. A leading voice on criminal justice reform, tech investor, head of Diversity, Equality & Inclusion at TripActions, former MIT Media Lab Director’s Fellow, and member of Oprah Winfrey’s SuperSoul 100, he took another young man’s life at the age of 19, served the next two decades in prison, 7 in solitary, and through a series of awakenings, began to unwind the pieces of his life and begin the process of understanding, reassembling and eventually redemption. 

In the decade since his release from prison, he has started and worked with nonprofits seeking to lift people up, visited the White House, been interviewed by Trevor Noah and Oprah Winfrey, and given award-winning TED Talks, all with the goal of building a more inspired, just, fulfilling future. His latest book, Letters to the Sons of Society: A Father’s Invitation to Love, Honesty, and Freedom invites men everywhere on a journey of honesty and healing through this book of moving letters to his sons.

You can find Shaka at: Website | Instagram

If you LOVED this episode:

  • You’ll also love the conversations we had with Ani DiFranco about our current system of justice and how it relates to expression, personal narratives, and human dignity.

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photo credit: Aaron Jay Young

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