Ronald Dennis, Syracuse.com
Ronald Dennis, of Syracuse, is a formerly incarcerated New Yorker and leader with VOCAL-NY, a statewide organization that builds power among low-income people directly impacted by HIV/AIDS, the drug war, mass incarceration and homelessness.
“No one can change their past, but everyone can change their future with enough work. I know because I did it myself. Yet, there are still so many people incarcerated, particularly Black and brown men, who are being denied parole again and again, despite their work to improve their lives. New York state is allowing a select group of people with slanted judgments to warehouse its citizens, rather than recognize the potential each individual has and the work they’ve done. My story is proof that people can change, and everyone should get the chance to prove it.”