Open Book/ Open Mind: Chris Wilson in Conversation with Charles Rosen -The Master Plan
Montclair’s own Charles Rosen, founder of New Ark Farms, will be in conversation with Chris Wilson, author of THE MASTER PLAN: My Journey from Life in Prison to a Life of Purpose.
Offering a fresh perspective on our criminal justice system, on crucial issues of mass incarceration, and
the importance of second chances for returning citizens, Chris Wilson’s THE MASTER PLAN: My
Journey from Life in Prison to a Life of Purpose is the perfect memoir for these current times.
Growing up in Washington, DC, Chris Wilson was surrounded by violence and despair. Watching his
family shattered by trauma, his neighborhood beset by drugs, his friends dying one by one, he feared for his life—and took to carrying a gun. One night when he was seventeen, Chris was cornered by two men. He shot at one of them, killing him. A year later, at eighteen, he was sentenced to life in prison, with no hope of parole.
But his life wasn’t over. Behind bars, Chris embarked on a remarkable journey of self-
improvement—reading, working out, learning languages, even starting a business. At the age of twenty, he wrote a list of things he intended to accomplish or acquire; he called it his Master Plan. He revised it regularly and followed it religiously. And, by his thirties, Chris Wilson did the impossible: he convinced a judge to reduce his sentence. He came out, six years later, determined to teach others the selflessness, work ethic, and professional skills that led to his second chance.
Chris is now a speaker (regularly presenting to churches, conferences and community centers several times a month), advocate, and social entrepreneur dedicated to employing citizens returning from prison. He lives in Baltimore, Maryland, and is the owner and founder of the Barclay Investment Corporation, a multi-service social enterprise specializing in residential and commercial contracting work. Barclay works closely with local workforce and social service providers to connect unemployed Baltimore City residents with clients who are in need of services.
Charles Rosen and Chris will discuss his journey and their shared experiences of providing employment to previously incarcerated people. Charles started New Ark Farms with the goal of re-establishing the maker economy in Newark and offering employment opportunities to an underserved community. For more information, please visit New Ark Farms.com.
Watchung Booksellers will have copies of The Master Plan for purchase and signing at the end of the event. This event is free to the public, thanks to grants from our Series sponsors, The Montclair Foundation and Investors Foundation. Please register below to guarantee a seat at the event.