Criminal justice educator at Metropolitan State University and Hamline University; Minneapolis NAACP criminal justice reform chair; consultant; author of “From Prison to Ph.D.”

How has your self-identity affected the work you do?

Having self-identity is critical. I don’t believe you can know where you’re going until you know who you are. … The fact that I have a male privilege over my female counterparts. Recognizing that even though I’m a black man, I’m still strong. I remember Jack Johnson. I remember people like the [Black] Panthers. They had a clear vision of what we needed to do.

What challenges do you face as a leader?

I think the challenge is whether I’m doing too much or not doing enough. I think that’s what I really struggle with. … Really balancing work with family, with my activism; trying to find that balance. … I think I’ve been prepared to handle what’s happening. Throughout my life, I’ve faced trauma. I’ve faced adversity. I went through some of the toughest moments, and I made it out OK.