Hello folks, my name is Josh. Several years ago I was jumped by two white supremacists because I'd started working with anti-racist activists in my hometown. While defending myself, I ended up injuring one of the attackers and while in the hospital he told the police that I was the one who initiated the fight. Confident in my innocence I went to trial and lost. I was convicted of assault and given 9 years in prison.
Now consider, if you will, life as an anti-racist activist in prison. I'll spare all the details, but while in prison I became heavily involved in other forms of activism; working to overcome gang violence and racism, working for prisoner's rights and restorative justice as alternatives to incarceration, among other things. Because of my activism I spent more than four years in solitary confinement.
My planned release date was in 2020, but after 6 years I finally won my appeal, my conviction was overturned and I was released without warning from solitary confinement directly onto the streets of Portland, Oregon. After my release I struggled for a few months trying to gain some stability and to make sense of everything that had happened, but before long I found myself back in prison for another year.
As I write this, I've been out exactly one month. I'm determined to break this cycle and become successful again, and I was convinced by a dear friend that I need to humble myself and ask for help.
Success, in this case, means paying off my legal fees, owning a work vehicle and enough tools to restart my construction/landscaping business, while maintaining my involvement in social justice work.
I'm currently, at least, not homeless thanks to a person who risks eviction for having an "unapproved house-guest", but beyond that I have only one way to go and that's UP.
I'm also doing different types of work, some art related, to reach my goals, and any questions or conversation is also welcome. Thank you so much for any love and support.