This artwork is meaningful to me because it is reflective of a time when my state of Minnesota was going through the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, the overturning of Roe v. Wade and the aftermath of the killing of George Floyd.
These historic moments were happening while I was caged in a cell for 23 hours a day, awaiting my trial. I felt chained, silenced, like I no longer existed. I couldn’t — and wouldn’t — let all the suffering around the world consume me. I had to find my voice — my light — and free my mind.
Months after former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin’s trial, I had my trial with the same judge: Peter Cahill. He sentenced me to life without parole, plus another 200 months.
Regardless of my circumstances, I continue to shine.
Disclaimer: The views in this article are those of the author. Prison Journalism Project has verified the writer’s identity and basic facts such as the names of institutions mentioned.