Psychology Ph.D. Student in Media Spotlight for H.O.L.L.A!
Ph.D. student Cory Greene (Psychology) was featured in The Christian Science Monitor this week for his work to transform the lives of young black men and communities affected by mass incarceration.
The article, “He Has a Vision for Dealing with Tough Issues Facing Black Men and Boys,” describes how Greene, during an eight-year sentence at New York State’s Otisville Correctional Facility, took steps with four other inmates to regain control of their lives and sense of self-worth.
“Every day you wake up to bars on the window.... You are reminded 20 times a day by the [correctional officers] and your surroundings that you no longer have control,” Greene said in the article. “I started thinking about what it means to be black, brown, and poor in prison. I knew that being young in prison you had to act in a certain way to survive, and that could mean doing things that were harmful to others. I didn’t want to do that.”
Greene began attending workshops in prison, and went on to found the nonprofit How Our Lives Link Altogether! (H.O.L.L.A!), which uses healing to counter trauma sustained from mass incarceration and structural violence.
For the past year and a half, members of the youth-led organization and local police officers have met for what Greene said are “honest and genuine” conversations.
“H.O.L.L.A! represents the possibility to dream and to transform ourselves, even if you are in the midst of oppression and struggling,” Greene said. “Change doesn’t happen overnight. Work that feels important and needed doesn’t happen fast — especially when you are dealing with historical trauma.”
For his vision and dedication, Greene received a 2016 Black Male Achievement Fellowship from Echoing Green, a global nonprofit that supports leaders of social change. Echoing Green will contribute as much as $90,000 in seed funding for H.O.L.L.A!
Greene, who dropped out of high school at 16, enrolled in CUNY’s LaGuardia Community College two days after his release from prison. He then graduated with a bachelor’s degree from New York University.
He is a recipient of the Ford Foundation’s Pre-Dissertation Fellowship, and of the National Science Foundation’s Graduate Research Program Fellowship.
Submitted on: SEP 28, 2016
Category: Diversity | General GC News | Psychology | Student News