Prisoners participate in first ever TEDx event at Donovan state prison

Inmates get a taste of the outside
Posted at 5:34 PM, Jul 04, 2017
and last updated 2017-07-13 11:48:24-04

OTAY MESA, Calif. (KGTV) -- A unique lecture series landed in an extremely unique San Diego location.  RJ Donovan Correctional Facility in Otay Mesa hosted its first TEDx event, called TEDx Donovan Correctional.

It was the first time Donovan inmates were allowed to host and participate a TEDx event. 

“When you connect with someone from your heart and connect to their heart, it is one of the safest places to be,” said organizer Mariette Fourmeaux.

Five inmates joined five outsiders in a series of lectures that were designed to inspire and educate an audience that included people from the outside and inmates.

One of the presenters, Stephen Davis, is serving life without parole for murder and robbery.

“There is very few things that are positive inside these walls so a chance to interact and do something with the community that is free of prison, I’m all for it,” said Davis who was 19 when he went to prison in 1995.

The speakers practiced for weeks before giving their final presentations during a TEDx event in May.  10News Reporter Joe Little was given access during rehearsals and the day of the event for a special report.

“You know they come in and they’re super dedicated and they’re ready to do whatever it takes to put on this event,” said Fourmeaux.