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'Amazing Things' 

Editor:

Congratulations to David Nguyen and reporter T.William Wallin on both of their achievements ("The Graduate," July 11).

The institutions of mass incarceration and higher education have finally crossed paths and we should feel good about that.

When Pelican Bay State Prison opened its doors in 1989, it was touted as a place where the worst of the worst went to spend sometimes decades in tiny, windowless cells for 23 hours a day. Almost nothing was available to improve their lives.

Mr. Wallin's story, like David Nguyen's, is not an anomaly. There are so many people locked away who, when given the opportunity, can and are doing amazing things.

Many formally incarcerated people are out here every day doing things that will forever change how we lock up people and throw away the key. Think Earlonne Woods and his podcast, "Ear Hustle." Take a listen and you will see what I mean.

Finally, KHSU (now deceased as our community radio station) played a major role in letting people know about the inhumane conditions at Pelican Bay. The men inside those cages came to love and depend on KHSU for a lifeline. I can't imagine how they must feel without KHSU.

For me personally, to witness the almost complete turnaround in community access and programming to those currently inside shows me that change is possible.

— Sharon Fennell, Manila

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