Keynote Speaker: Shaka Senghor

March 11, 2014

Shaka Senghor will be a keynote speaker at our upcoming COURAGEOUS SCHOOLS CONFERENCE on May 17.

He is a writer, mentor and speaker who uses his personal story to inspire young people at high schools and universities across the nation.


Twenty-two years ago, at the age of 19, Shaka Senghor was, in his own words, a young drug dealer with a quick temper. When someone showed up on his doorstep uninvited, a fight ensued, and before I knew it, I had pulled out my pistol and started shooting.”

Senghor served nineteen years in prison for second-degree murder. While he was incarcerated, he discovered his love for writing, which helped him transform his life. He has written a memoir about his life in the streets and in prison entitled Writing My Wrongs and recently published a book of his writings entitled Live in Peace: A Youth Guide to Turning Hurt into Hope, a companion piece to his mentoring program.
“I use my story to inspire and motivate others and unpack the causes of youth violence,” says Senghor.  He is passionate about mentoring youth and hopes that by sharing his experiences, they will avoid the path that led him to prison. He uses his experiences as a launching pad for discussing issues of abuse, abandonment, addiction, consequences, accountability and personal transformation.

Shaka Senghor is founder of The Atonement Project, a recipient of the 2012 Black Male Engagement (BMe) Leadership Award, and a 2013 MIT Media Lab Director’s Fellow. He will be teaching a course on The Atonement Project at The University of Michigan for the Winter 2014 semester.

See his TEDxMidwest talk. 
View his full bio as PDF