El Sawyer's TED talk about his time in prison will wake you up - Generocity Philly

People

Jul. 14, 2016 12:45 pm

El Sawyer’s TED talk about his time in prison will wake you up

For eight years, the Media in Neighborhoods Group cofounder's name was DC-3617.

MING cofounder El Sawyer.

(Screenshot via YouTube)

El Sawyer will always remember DC-3617. For the eight years the filmmaker was in prison, DC-3617 was both his name and his identity.

When the Media In Neighborhoods Group (MING) cofounder was 17, he was sentenced to eight to 20 years in prison for a drug-related shooting. Sawyer explained how nothing could have prepared him for prison during a talk he gave at TEDxCuraçao earlier this year.

“It was aggressive. People were angry, depressed. It was violent,” Sawyer said. “I’ve seen people commit suicide. I had friends that were stabbed and killed. I myself was stabbed. There was a time in prison that I literally thought I was never coming home again.”

He did come home, but not before taking a prison program that taught him how to make films.

With the support of his MING cofounder Jon Kaufman, both graduates of the City of Philadelphia’s FastFWD incubator program, Sawyer has escaped what he’s dubbed the pull of gravity and is making moves toward becoming the public face of incarceration reform in Philadelphia.

-30-
LEAVE A COMMENT

From our Partners

Festival in Manayunk focuses on films by and about women

BlackStar: Shaping a new visual language and pushing the needle on inclusion and representation

Good Pitch Local is happening tomorrow

SPONSORED

Generocity Philly

On June 17, First Person Arts and EMOC launch a virtual event they hope will shatter misperceptions of men of color

Philadelphia , PA

KIPP Philadelphia Public Schools

External Affairs Manager

Apply Now
Philadelphia, PA

City Year Philadelphia

Corporate Partnerships Manager

Apply Now
Philadelphia

Rock to the Future

Music and Creative Instructors

Apply Now

Dennis and Lee Horton say their own grief and trauma helped them to help others

Homelessness in reentry is a serious concern. Here’s what Philly is doing about it

Residents will explore ‘Places of Power’ in Norris Square

SPONSORED

Generocity Philly

Good food + good people + good cause = good times

401 N 3rd Street Philadelphia, PA 19123

Gift of Life Donor Program

Digital Media Specialist

Apply Now
Fairhill - Hartranft Neighborhood (North Philadelphia)

The Village of Arts and Humanities

Program Manager, Youth and Young Adult Programs

Apply Now
Fairhill - Hartranft Neighborhood (North Philadelphia)

The Village of Arts and Humanities

Senior Project Manager: Byrne Criminal Justice Project, Advancing Equity Through Public Safety

Apply Now

Sign-up for daily news updates from Generocity