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Crimson Letters: Voice from Death Row, Tessie Castillo with special guest Jon Powell and co-author Michael (Alim) Braxton

August 20, 2020 @ 4:30 pm - 6:30 pm


Join us in a critical four-part conversation on criminal justice and death penalty reform, racial and socio-economic inequality, and quite simply, the human dignity that each of us deserves.

Each of Tessie’s four co-authors  and a special guest will join us for a live call-in four successive events.

How to Watch
Visit zoom.us
Meeting ID: 858 3167 8194
Passcode: 3367631919

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What would ideal criminal justice reform look like?
Discussion: People often throw around the term “criminal justice reform,” but what exactly does that mean? We will discuss the concept of “restorative justice,” which focuses not just on punishment, but on repairing the harm caused by criminal behavior. Often this means bringing victims, offenders and the community together to create solutions that offer repair and closure and accountability. What can ordinary citizens do to support restorative justice or criminal justice reform efforts in their communities?
Special Guest: Jon Powell, Director of the Restorative Justice Clinic at Campbell University + co-author Michael J. Braxton, aka Alim


About Crimson Letters: What started as a volunteer journaling class in late 2013 would grow into genuine, sincere, and heartfelt friendships with several men on North Carolina’s Death Row. Tessie Castillo’s collaborative work, Crimson Letters: Voices from Death Row, gives readers stark insight into the utter agony and dehumanization of long-term incarceration, as well as stories of friendship, family, and finding life after a death sentence.

Get your copy of Tessie’s Crimson Letters: Voices from Death Row at Scuppernong Books.



TESSIE CASTILLO is a freelance journalist based in Raleigh, North Carolina. She specializes in criminal justice , drug policy, and harm reduction. In 2014 she became one of the first members of the public invited inside North Carolina’s Death Row. This extraordinary opportunity, as well as the correspondence she developed with several death row residents, helped launch her passion for criminal justice reform.  Crimson Letters: Voice from Death Row is her first book.


JON POWELL serves as the director of the Restorative Justice Clinic at Campbell University. The program receives referrals from the juvenile justice system, juvenile court, Wake County Schools and the Capital Area Teen Court program. Part of the mission of the Restorative Justice Clinic is to help spread the word of Restorative Justice throughout the state of North Carolina and to assist others in the state in starting Restorative Justice programming. Jon has spoken on many occasions to various groups on the topic of Restorative Justice and has assisted organizations in starting mediation programs based on the Campbell model.  Prior to working with the project, Jon practiced law in Wake and Harnett counties. His primary focus was in criminal defense with an emphasis on juvenile law.


MICHAEL JEROME BRAXTON, also known as Alim, is a rapper and spiritual leader on North Carolina’s Death Row. A reformed prisoner known as Rome Alone in the rap world, he has the distinction of being the only rapper in the world to release music from Death Row.  He is a contributing playwright for “Serving Life”, a play about the inner thoughts of men facing the death penalty. He is also a recording artist with several artist with several songs currently on Sound Cloud.  https://soundcloud.com/rromealone  He has an upcoming album entitled, “Mercy On My Soul”. He serves as Iman and spiritual leader for the Muslim Men of Central Prison’s Death Row. You can find him on Facebook, YouTube, and Instagram at @rromealone





August 20, 2020
4:30 pm - 6:30 pm
Event Category:




Greensboro Bound