2018 Keynote Speaker: Kemphis “Ghani” Songster, Former Juvenile Lifer, Amistad Law Project
Kempis “Ghani” Songster was imprisoned in 1987 for murder. Despite the fact that Kempis was only 15, he was certified as an adult, convicted of first-degree murder, and received a mandatory life sentence without parole. He’s what’s called a juvenile lifer. While in prison, Kempis developed and facilitated prison programs such as Cultural Awareness and Self- Enhancement (CASE) and From Trauma to Triumph, and also co-designed and co-facilitated the Fathers And Children Together (FACT) program. He has also co-founded outside nonprofits such as The Redemption Project (TheRedemptionProject.org) and Ubuntu Philadelphia (UbuntuPhilly.org); and is a founding member of Right To Redemption (R2R), which helped launch Philadelphia’s Coalition to Abolish Death By Incarceration (CADBI). After 30 years of incarceration, Kempis was released from prison, at the age of 45. Since his release, he has joined the staff at the Amistad Law Project (https://www.youcaring.com/amistadlawproject-1099350), where he continues to work for the release of others, as well as to end the sentencing of human beings to life without parole/death by incarceration. He has also joined the memberships of the Old and New Project (http://www.oldandnewproject.net) and Ecosocialist Horizons (www.ecosocialisthorizons.com). Kempis continues to organize actively for healing justice and a more livable planet.