Andre Slater: Looking to the Community
At some point in his early teens, it became difficult for Andre to focus on school. He got caught up with gang life. He dropped out and was arrested at 19.
His current dream job is to run an organization that helps young people understand the value of education so they don’t drop out. “I want to catch children at that point, the same point when I started to falter.”
Andre has been incarcerated at Danville for 13 years and an EJP student for 5. Within EJP, he works as a peer instructor in the Language Partners program. He also gives talks and facilitates discussions as a member of Peaceful Solutions, a group that advocates non-violence conflict resolution. When he’s not teaching or studying, Andre enjoys reading and writing in the cell house. His favorite subject is critical pedagogy. “These works are all about alleviating human suffering and making a more fair and just world.” He also stays up to date with matters affecting his home in Rock Island near the Quad Cities. “I’m still affected by those issues. That’s still my community.”
Andre states, “I think that the idea of EJP is that of translating theory to practice. And practice includes transforming the communities we come from. Once you realize you have the power to change things in yourself and your community–watch out status quo!”