“What English 100 did for me, I want to do for others. I blossomed in that class. I want others to experience that.” —Dominee Meek, Odyssey Beyond Bars alum (fall 2019)
Dominee was in the final years of his nearly 28-year incarceration when he took Professor Kevin Mullen’s English 100 course at Oakhill Correctional in 2019. He had been in prison since he was 15 years old.
For Dominee, the classroom represented a safe space where he could express himself and use his voice. According to his experience, prison was place that “teaches you to shut down,” where you learn to stay silent and keep your head down. Kevin’s approach to teaching changed all that. “I had all these thoughts in my head, but how do I speak on them?… The classroom was a safe and encouraging space to explore these things. Kevin did not shy away from difficult topics as we used our voices.”
Now out of prison, Dominee dedicates his time and energy to advocating for youth impacted by the criminal justice system. He has leadership positions in groups like the Wisconsin Alliance for Youth Justice and the Incarcerated Children’s Advocacy Network and pushes for changes that give youth more opportunities to grow and succeed. Dominee also works full-time at Harley Davidson and plans to continue taking college courses.
Dominee feels excited about this new chapter in his life. “I have no more bad days. My bad days are behind me.”