How to take action after inspiration: Ian Manuel’s visit

Editorial Board

On Monday, by reciting poetry and answering dozens of our questions, both in an I period assembly and in three classes, Ian Manuel personalized the injustices within the prison system. He put a face and a story behind the 73 13 and 14-year-olds in the United States who have been sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole.

Many of the members of the Editorial Board were moved and shocked by his stories and poetry describing his 26 years behind bars, many of which were spent in solitary confinement. We appreciate this unique opportunity to speak to someone with such a positive outlook on life, despite his harrowing circumstances. His story made us more aware of the injustices of our justice system, yet in the face of that new knowledge we also felt overwhelmed with the idea of tackling such a large institution.

We want to thank the parents and the book fair committee for showing us how change can be incited by working the smallest action into our daily lives– the extra books from the Book Fair will be donated to an organization called NYC Books through Bars. Angered by how difficult it is for people in prison to access decent educational and reading material, NYC Books through Bars works to provide reading materials directly to inmates.

We encourage you to donate any extra books you have. You can drop them off or send them to Freebird Books in Brooklyn at 123 Columbia Street. Visit their website: to get more information on how to take action.