This week’s spotlight goes to Sean Wilson, an activist who grew up in Milwaukee. As someone with 17 years of lived experience and direct involvement with the criminal legal system, Sean has made it his mission to help others and make progress for real reform in a system that is broken.
1) What are you working on now—the change you are feeling the most urgency around making in the world through your organizing?
We are working and collaborating with 13 leaders who have been directly impacted by the issue of mass incarceration in 13 of our priority states and Wisconsin is one of them. Together, we are working to pass legislation that will reduce the impact of mass incarceration and increase access to opportunities for those reentering society. At the federal level, we are working to pass The EQUAL Act, which seeks to eliminate the disparity in federal sentencing between crack and powder cocaine and retroactively apply the change. The EQUAL Act reduces the penalties for crack cocaine offenses to those of powder cocaine, which is pharmacologically equivalent to crack cocaine.
2) If you could give a new organizer one piece of guidance, what would it be?
SELF CARE IS A REVOLUTIONARY ACT… DO NOT NEGLECT IT!
3) When times are tough, what is your go-to for getting “back on the bike?”
I remind myself of the wise quote from Assata Shakur, “It is our duty to fight for our freedom. It is our duty to win. We must love each other and support each other. We have nothing to lose but our chains.” It’s important to remember the phrase “if not me, then who” to help you get back on the bike.
4) What’s your favorite Wild moment?
When I think about the most memorable experiences I’ve had, one that stands out is conducting regional Budget training across the state to prepare for budget hearings. It was inspiring to see and hear people confidently share their stories.
5) What’s a fun fact about you?
I am a semi-pro bodybuilder. However, I haven’t competed in a while.