It’s easy for men & women,
especially youth to see cause and effect when a stone is thrown into a pond and the ripples move outward to the farthest shore.
With day-to-day life choices involving family, school, and the community, cause and effect is not always so clearly recognize
Aginah Carter-Shabazz, founder and director of CHOICEZ, a program designed for urban middle and high school
youth to help them understand that they are responsible for the choices they make and the impact their choices have on their
In 1998 my daughter
was arrested and incarcerated for a heartbreaking 18 months for a crime she neither committed nor orchestrated. Although she
was acquitted of the crime, her life has been changed forever. Her experience was the consequence of choices she had made
about the company she kept, money, and materialism. The subsequent trial and her release
are the subject of my award-winning documentary Justice for Her and the inspiration for my acclaimed memoir CHOICEZ, a reflection
on my own life and the consequences of choices I made in my youth.
Everyday, women and men throughout
Philadelphia are living with the consequences of their own and other people’s choices about drugs, alcohol and easy
money; choices that take a toll on their social, economic and political well-being. Influenced by poverty, single parent households,
crime, drug abuse, disease, and teen pregnancies, these students are experiencing school drop out rates, unemployment, and
youth incarceration at an alarming rate.
is to guide, support and facilitate women and men, especially women of all ages, through creative interactive sessions, to
design their “Plan for Living,” a plan based on the goal of achieving the best for themselves and their communities.
We advocate self-discovery, self-discipline and cooperative relationships as essential elements in preparing youth to be effective
members of the local and global society.
In February 2009, after reading my book and reviewing the documentary, Corrections Classification Program Manager Phyllis
Jones-Carter invited me to speak at the State Correctional Institution-Chester, a drug and alcohol treatment institution.
Inmates at SCI Chester are serving the 17 months before expiration of their minimum sentence.
Ms. Jones- Carter ordered several copies of the book and a copy of
the CHOICEZ documentary for inmates to read and watch. With the inmates’ overwhelmingly positive response to my visit
and the tools, Ms. Jones-Carter asked me to lead a CHOICEZ workshop. The workshop was very successful.
that use my documentary, Justice for Her and the book CHOICEZ as the project’s primary instructional tools, participants begin to learn that every
choice creates its own consequence that impacts not just the individual, but family and community.
Other workshop tools include:
▪ Thinking/Reasoning Skills
▪ Communicating With Others: The Power of Words and Journaling
▪ Self-Assessment and Self-Care
Creating Positive Outcomes: Pausing, Calming, Slowing
▪ Exploring Personal Skills and Talents