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Richard Edmond-Vargas, aka Richie Reseda, questions concepts of patriarchy while inspiring powerful conversations about topics in cellblock feminism, mass incarceration, and restorative justice.
In April 2018, Richie was featured in the CNN documentary The Feminist on Cellblock Y, which highlighted his unlikely but impactful work as an inmate teaching feminism in an all-male prison. The inmate education and rehabilitation program he created, "Success Stories," is designed to help young men challenge patriarchy to better achieve their goals.
Richie is a co-founder of Initiate Justice, a non-profit that was founded while he was serving 10 years in California state prison for a crime that he committed as a teenager. He encourages others, especially those directly impacted by incarceration, to get involved in grassroots legislative efforts aimed at ending punitive justice systems and investing in people, communities, and restorative means of reducing harm.
Richie Reseda released the rap album Forgotten But Not Gone from prison in 2015. Upon release from prison in 2018, Richie launched the social impact media company, Question Culture. On stage, he enlightens audiences with reflective stories of building a feminist movement behind bars and inspires us to reconsider gender stereotypes and to live a more compassionate life.
Mike Draper owns RAYGUN, headquartered in Des Moines, IA, with locations in Iowa City, Cedar Rapids, and Kansas CIty. It designs, it prints, it sells, and it employs about 60 people. RAYGUN has been called "The Greatest Store in the Universe" by RAYGUN.
Mike will talk about this entrepreneurial experience and it is going to be an emotional roller coaster. So pack Kleenex and an extra pair of socks (in case the pair you're wearing get blown off). He'll talk business, family, community, and the power of words on stuff.