We were proud to support a request from a coalition of organizations to help bring SaulPaul and Bianca Neal to speak with youth and adults alike in our community. SaulPaul is an award-winning musician, speaker and author, and Bianca Neal is an award-winning filmmaker and facilitator around issues related to restorative justice.
During the week of December 9, the duo worked with the Buncombe County Sheriff's office, the Justice Resource Advisory Council and Western Carolina Rescue Ministries, as well as both Asheville City Schools and Buncombe County Schools, to share more information about what restorative justice is and to discuss the importance of understanding equity, race and cultural experiences as a way to create new systems within our schools, law enforcement and governments.
The week culminated with the Be The Change Festival , a big community party with music, food, prizes and laughter. SaulPaul shared his personal story of trial and triumph starting life with an absent father, losing his mother to a car accident at 3 and the loving care of his grandmother in Texas. The singer shared how he landed in federal prison and his realization that while he couldn't control the world around him, he could at least make better choices. He graduated from the University of Texas with a 4.0 and went on to study music, landing on America's Got Talent. He was recently featured on a Grammy-nominated album for his performance of "Until You are Free".