Impact Testimonies

Omar at Thornton H.S.10.07.2014 027

Andrew Brake PhD, MSW, NEIU College of Arts and Sciences 2014
“Mr. Yamini provides his audiences with powerful and memorable snapshots of the daily chaos and struggle of life in prison, and the strength it takes to survive. His eye-opening message serves as a stark testimony of the harshness of incarceration, and the need for massive reform. Mr. Yamini’s story reminds us that there are no easy answers in the criminal justice system but failing to look hard at its realities is not an option.”

Dr. Calvin E. Woodland Former C.E.O. University of the District of Columbia, Community College, Washington, D.C. 2013 Mr. Yamini’s experiences provides the uninformed about America’s failing criminal justice system. Hopefully, the insights and revelations disclosed in Yamini’s narrative will serve to inform and provide that synergy to mobilize communities to become involved in sparing many of our youth, especially our African American youth, from becoming trapped in the bowels of a system that for many leads to self-destruction and stripped of one’s humanity. Yamini’s testament of his own fortitude and spiritual grounding to overcome such a predicament, is a tribute to how faith in God, unconditional love and strength of families provides that pathway to habilitation of human soul.”

Amy Adkins, Speech Teacher at Thornridge High School, Fall of 2012
Amy Adkins “I just want to start by saying Thank you for coming and sharing your story with the kids. I know you made a lot of them think. I have many students who bring up points you made during class in order to remind others of their actions. In my 13 years of teaching I do not think I have ever brought my students to anything so valuable. Thank you again!”

Alfred W. Tatum, Dean, College of Education Ph.D., University of Illinois at Chicago 2013
“Dear Omar Yamini, I have not read a text as compelling as yours since reading The Soledad Brothers, Street Soldiers, Convicted in the Womb, Die Nigger Die, Soul on Ice, and The Autobiography of Malcolm X. You have provided a modern-day signature with powerful kernels of insight. My only regret is not having read your text before our meeting. The mission is clear – we must prevent our sons from becoming “kidnapped warriors. “The Black theologian, James Cone, offered “that we must seek to destroy everything that goes against our humanity.” Your text and work move in that direction. I will mention your work as I travel throughout this nation. Thanks for penning it. Remain steadfast”.

Omar Yamini is on a one man mission to keep urban youth out of prison! He speaks with persuasion, conviction and a profound sense of urgency. He mounts a mock jail in plastic frame of the actual size of his cell in the Penn with a bed, sink and toilet seat to dramatize how confining the small space was that he had to share with an inmate. The author gives words to the unspeakable. Reading the book and listening to his compelling performance is uncomfortable, numbing but instructive. His presentation is a powerful testimony that shocks, persuades and supports the quest of passionate youth advocates to excel in keeping youth positively engaged in family life, educational pursuits and purposeful commitment. His goal is to run prisons out of business.

Cynthia Landrum, Asst. Director for Public Services, Oak Park Public Library 2014
Omar Yamini stands as a testimony to that experience and what is possible in spite of it. His expression of the chaos, confusion and cacophony of prison create a bridge of understanding for audiences that begins to answer, what is wrong with the men and women who come out of our prison system?

Kamau Ptah, Program Design and Facilitation Specialists for COSEBOC’s Sankofa Passages Program (SPP
My reflections on your book and presentation: 2015

Omar Yamini penetrated the hearts and minds of the young men who attended the Coalition of School’s Educating Boys of Color (COSEBOC) Gathering of Leader’s Conference in Memphis, Tennessee. His honest and detailed depiction of prison culture guided the 100 boys and young men through the horrific sights, sounds, tastes, smells and the toxic energy that permeates the prison atmosphere. Brother Yamini’s ability to embrace vulnerability enabled the audience to receive the truthful portrayal of prison as opposed to a glorified illusion. Love and Maximum Respect”