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The latest from Founder & CEO Reginald Dwayne Betts, the Freedom Reads team, and our larger community, both on the inside and the outside.

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Founder's Take: What Started as a Dream

By Reginald Dwayne Betts, Freedom Reads Founder & CEO

It was all a dream. Or not a dream, but a fantasy, this belief that people would get behind the idea of the Freedom Library. The Freedom Library, which, at its root, is simply the notion that beauty and literature matter. That nature matters. That incarceration should not deprive people of these things. To put this all in another way, I’ll say that I was thinking like they thought with the Field of Dreams, that is: If you build it, they will come.

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Founder's Take: The Most Absolutely Free Thing I've Ever Done

By Reginald Dwayne Betts, Founder & CEO of Freedom Reads
Freedom Reads Founder & CEO Reginald Dwayne Betts performs his one-man show, FELON: An American Washi Tale, at Buckingham Correctional Center on March 4, 2024.
Freedom Reads Founder & CEO Reginald Dwayne Betts performs his one-man show, FELON: An American Washi Tale, at Buckingham Correctional Center on March 4, 2024.

This is what they cannot tell you to expect: that you’ll return. No, that’s not true. They predict that you will return in handcuffs. Never as it happened on March 4, 2024. That morning, I returned as a poet who would perform for them as if the men inside were a Broadway audience; I returned as someone who’d served time with them, as a lawyer who’d been trained in the cells they knew too well.

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