Written by Kevin Tung on April 11 2019

Through My Lens: Clarence Ford

Clarence has been involved with the criminal justice system since the age of 16, with his most recent sentence being three years in state prison. After release, he re-entered community college and became a community organizer and policy advocate for criminal justice reform in Richmond, CA. Having just earned his BA at UC Berkeley in American Studies with a minor in Public Policy, Clarence will be starting his graduate studies this Fall at Berkeley's Goldman School of Public Policy - the #1 Public Policy program in the country. His plan is to earn a joint MPP/JD degree as well as to continue to work on policy issues that impede communities similar to his.  Clarence answered a few questions about his participation in the film:

How has working on/participating in the film helped you tell your story?

It has helped by already establishing a part of my story with the audience.  This essentially gives the audience a piece of me, which makes me more comfortable going into my story.

Clarence Ford on Street

What impact has the film had on your life?

It has given me the opportunity to travel to different universities, but more importantly a tangible reason to access local jails and correctional facilities. It’s an empowering feeling to go into the jails and talk to the men and women about my experience. It’s also therapeutic for me.

Clarence Ford in library (2)

What has happened in your life since the film, and what are some of your future aspirations?

I’ve received my Masters Degree in Public Policy, and I now work as a Policy Research Associate for the Burns Institute (BI).  The BI is a national non-profit organization based in Oakland, California. We seek to protect and improve the lives of people of color by promoting restorative and equitable justice system practices.  Specifically, we work with local justice system decision-makers and community members to promote racial and ethnic equity using a data driven, collaborative approach. And I was able to use the film as part of my application, which gave me an edge in the hiring process.

Please join us at the screening!  April 26th, 5:30pm - 7:30pm at the Chula Vista Civic Center Library Auditorium, 365 F St., Chula Vista, CA 91910

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