James Nelson was confined within the prison industrial complex at the age of 19. During his 29 years inside Soledad State Prison he actively participated in self-help groups like Life C.Y.C.L.E. and DPN’s Success Stories, where he became close with DPN Board Member Richard Edmond Vargas. Upon James’ release he immediately became involved in Dignity and Power Now, and quickly found himself working full-time as an organizer where he shares his story daily with other formerly incarcerated people. Having only been home for 2 years, James has lost his mother to pancreatic cancer and his sister to domestic violence. Despite these numerous personal challenges, James provides DPN with lots of laughter and positivity and still feels strongly that it is his duty as a former gang member to help correct problems within Los Angeles’ communities.