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Dr. Ashanti & Susan Witherspoon - Society of Servant Leaders - Baton Rouge, LA

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Pastor Ashanti originally hails from Chicago. His teenage years saw his involvement with a gang gain him leadership into criminal activities. Eventually he travelled to Louisiana where the crimes occurred that sent him to prison with a seventy-five year sentence. When he first arrived at the Louisiana State Penitentiary at Angola, Louisiana he was classified as a militant, rebellious against the prison administration and correctional officers. After years of ups and downs he gave his life to the Lord and became involved in every educational program that time would allow. He always began as a student, and upon graduation he returned to that class as an instructor. He became involved in the institutional educational programs and inmate run life enrichment organizations. Over time he became the president and coordinator of many.  He eventually became a magazine writer, magazine editor, public speaking instructor, anger management instructor, minister, clerk for various departments within the prison, CPR instructor (and was one of the first three inmate instructor trainers in the nation) for the American Heart Association. After 20 years the prison administration allowed him to travel throughout the state of Louisiana (speaking in schools, community centers, colleges, churches and other institutions) and give his testimony as a means to deter youths away from crime and focus their lives on God. During his 25th year of incarceration he was asked to be in a documentary called The Farm - Life Inside Angola Prison. The Farm was nominated for an Academy Award and shown throughout the world. On June 18, 1999, almost three year later, he was released on parole. Since his return to society he has owned several businesses, been an associate pastor for nine years, hosted his own talk show, is a former board member of the Innocence Project of New Orleans, is  member of Kairos Prison Ministry and Coalition of Prison Evangelist. www.societyofservantleaders.com

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