Recently, I received a call from TV 55, or Channel 10 News. They had heard of the painting I was doing in prison, and they wanted to do a story on it. I was initially reluctant, because I don’t think I am the one who is worthy of a story, at the jail. The program called “The Council for Unity” has created a peaceful existence between rival gangs in jail. The Council for Unity is made up of some truly wonderful individuals, people who invest their everyday into the lives of these inmates. Sargent Noreen Fisher, Bob, Alex- these individuals are truly inspiring, all of them are newsworthy. I was in a conundrum. I initially didn’t want to do the article, for fear that the inmates would think I was in this for the photo op. As well, I wanted the spotlight to be placed only on the individuals that truly deserved it. I told the news station that I would hope they would place the emphasis of the story on the Council for Unity, with me featured on the side. A few phone calls from the Correctional Facility reassured me that this publicity was very good for the jail, and consequently for the inmates as well. The Council for Unity was thrilled that they were being featured in a news program, and gave me their approval.
Yesterday, they came into the jail, camera crew and all, and videoed as I painted with the inmates. The inmates loved it, they were laughing and fighting each other to get into the camera’s eye. They volunteered for interviews. Ralphy, the black guy on the right, puffed his hair up into an afro. I painted his afro while being filmed- it was really funny, everyone in the jail was laughing.
Tonight, I’ll be on TV55/Channel 10 News, at 11 p.m.