Jan 21, 2010

"How to Stay Formerly Incarcerated for Life"

Yesterday, at the Community Service Society's monthly Reentry Roundtable, Winston C. Trumpet was introduced to an audience of formerly incarcerated men and women, social service providers, parole officers, and government officials as "Winston Trumpet, a success story." After thanking the moderator for his introduction, Mr. Trumpet, a formerly incarcerated man himself, said: "My path would not have led me to believe those words would ever be said together." But, somehow, despite abuse and a drug addiction that landed him in a jail, Mr. Trumpet is just that: a success and an inspiration. Now the Pastor of the Church With No Walls Ministry in Jersey City, CEO of Strategic Business Associates LLC, and the President of the Hudson County Entrepreneurs Club of America, Mr. Trumpet spoke about how he learned to exploit the "innate entrepreneurial skills" he once used to sell drugs, to become a "legitimate" businessman. To read about his life, click here.

Mr. Trumpet is one of the most dynamic and engaging speakers I have had the opportunity to hear in a very long time. Here are some quotes from his speech:

On marijuana serving as a gateway drug to crack cocaine: " I first started smoking marijuana. They call that the gateway drug. The gate--it just didn't look like it would be that bad."

On being a Trinidadian with a criminal background coming out of prison: "My background and my record raised the level of my challenge to a new degree. But I took that challenge."

On reentry and its challenges: "Reentry should begin the day that you become incarcerated. No one is built to go on without receiving replenishment."

On helping individuals with records direct their talents towards legal endeavors: "Use what you know to get what you want. Find that thing that makes you special. I am an advocate for the formerly incarcerated. Its not secret that we have an innate entrepreneurial skills. We have just used them on the wrong side of the law."

On taking responsibility for criminal behavior: "Responsibility for my reactions is my responsibility to you."

On being rehabilitated: "To say you don't believe in hiring me is saying you don't believe that rehabilitation can work."

You can see Mr. Trumpet in action on Sundays from 5pm-7pm, at 152-154 Martin Luther King Drive in Jersey City.
Call 201-355-7036 for more information.