Let’s Get Free is guided by an advisory board of people in prison. Throughout each year we lean on them for guidance and advice. We asked for members to submit bios and each shared a little bit different. We are slowly putting everyone’s info up.
Arthur ‘Cetewayo’ Johnson
Cetewayo is 68 years old. Convicted of homicide and sentenced to life without parole in 1971 when he was 18 years old, Cetewayo soon developed a close relationship with imprisoned members of the Black Liberation Movement. As happened to so many of his generation who took up the struggle for human rights, Cetewayo became a target for severe state repression. Cetewayo was accused of being involved in nine attempted escapes from 1977 to 1987, although several of these were likely fabrications engineered by prison officials.
Ceteywayo spent 37 years in solitary confinement and was finally released in the fall of 2017 with the help of the Abolitionist Law Center. They won a lawsuit against the DOC siting cruel and unusual punishment.
Cetewayo has been instrumental in guidance and encouragement to members of Let’s Get Free beginning in 2018 when he and etta met in a prison visiting room on different visits. His support in our efforts to become a non profit are forever appreciated. Connect –> Arthur ‘Cetewayo’ Johnson #AF3457 SCI- Smithfield
Kevin Saleem Mines
Saleem has been contributing and advising us since 2016! He has a tremendous record of community participation including serving as President of Lifers Inc. at Graterford and now Phoenix. He has helped in bringing countless conferences and programs to the inside, convening lawmakers, lawyers and concerned groups. Over the years, he has had leading roles in the NAACP prison chapter, as well as, the Grey Panthers. Saleem also serves as a prison advisor for the JUST Listening group.
Connect –> Kevin S. Mines #AY5941 at SCI- Phoenix
Avis is 59 years old. Born in Altoona, PA she relocated to Pittsburgh, PA. She is a co-founder of this organization and has been collaborating with us since the beginning.
Education: ASB Accounting/Business Management, Certified Braille Transcriber, Drug & Alcohol Treatment Peer Assistant, Penn State Master Gardener.Career Mission Statements: ~ Become an Urban Gardener with Grow Pittsburgh a position that would allow me to teach others how to garden and eat “farm to table” when eating “in” and thus improve the health and quality of life for the city’s under-served communities.~ Become a Reentry Coordinator with Let’s Get Free Women & Trans Defense Committee a position where I can help others break down their goals into measurable achievable steps. Hobbies: gardening, cooking, collecting cookbooks, genealogy.
Mind enriching things I read: Ex-offender’s Reentry Success Guide, Becoming Mrs. Burton, The Smartest Guys In The Room the rise and fall of ENRON.
Who had the greatest impact on my life and why? Mother: selfless. Father: proved it’s never too late to make amends. Sister: showed me women can have it all career/family/fun. Business & braille instructor: taught me how to network so funds are donated to worthy causes. Bookkeeper: reminded me to save. Employment officer: taught me how to dress for success. Friends: displays dedication & empowerment.
Words I live by: I’m optimistic. I’ve done a lot to ready myself for reentering the free world. Have maintained family ties & established a strong community support system. A priority for me is education and I will be returning home with marketable skills and training that I didn’t have prior to my incarceration. I’m ready. I’m willing. I’m worthy.
Connect–> Avis Lee #OO6302 SCI- Cambridge Springs
Bray Jibril Murray
Most people know me as Jibril. I am 58 years old, originally from the Philadelphia area. In November 1981 I was arrested for the murder of Eric Taylor, and subsequently received a DBI/Life sentence in August of 1982. At the time of this writing (2020) I have been in prison for 38 years. You can read Jibril’s Bio – I am an Alarm Clock which includes an important perspective on forgiveness. Let’s Get Free met Jibril in 2019 through our Let’s Get Smart campaign. He is one of the core thinkers on this project and co-founder of the campaign
Connect–> Bray Jibril Murray #CG-8958 SCI – Dallas
Hi, My name is Amy. I am 48 years old. I have been serving a life sentence from 1993 til now. I have one son (age 30) and five brothers. I am the president of the organization here at SCI-Cambridge Springs called WHO, which stands for, Women Helping Others. I love to cook and plan on going to culinary school when I make commutation. I want to own my own restaurant. I helped train dogs for the CPL program and am whole heartedly THE BIGGEST STEELERS FAN BREATHING. I think it’s an honor to be on the Prison Advisory Board and i will do my part to the best of my ability.
Connect–> Amy Pencille #OC0174 SCI- Cambridge Springs
Vern is the secretary of Right to Redemption which is part of Lifers Inc – a very active organization at SCI-Phoenix. Vern is an avid writer. In his piece, Awakening which is published on Medium, Vern talks about the closing of SCI- Graterford one of the oldest prisons in the state of PA and the transferring of himself and many others to the new prison, SCI- Phoenix just down the road.
Vern has a facebook page
Connect –> Vern Robinson #CB3895 – SCI- Phoenix
Other board members with info coming soon:
Russell Maroon Shoats
Todd “Hyung-Rae” Tarselli