It is difficult for me to put into words what I witnessed last night. A dozen brothers, wearing orange jumpsuits, leaders and influential inmates, completed their 40 Days to Freedom. In this POPP program, they study iconic peacemakers from around the world: King, Gandhi, Mandela, etc. Every day they meditate on quotes from these famous freedom fighters; they have daily action challenges which they are expected to complete, things very hard to accomplish in a jail or prison setting; every day they end the day reflecting on what they learned, and what they accomplished. Tonight was their graduation. They shared their papers on their Champion of Peace; they earned certificates; they shared poetry and spoken word. Then they had a feast, at least it was a feast for them. Pizza, cake, cookies, and soft drinks—things that they haven’t had in a very long time. We laughed, we cried, and we celebrated. Free world guests such as a Police Chief, City Councilman, Deputy Sheriff, and other Officers saw what blew their minds. How could they know the brilliance, depth, and beauty hiding inside of these men? They rarely if ever get a chance to shine in these places. Now the real work begins, as they get ready to transition to prison or back to the free world… I love these brothers of mine, we have become close over the eight weeks we have been together, and I am so proud of them. The Power of Peace.

Learn more about Power of Peace Project and Kit Cummings. They can be available in your area.