Welcome to the 2021 Get Lit! Virtual Festival
Friday, April 16 • 2:00pm - 3:00pm
Transformative Justice: Uncaging Creativity

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We hope that audience members will consider using this link to rent or purchase the film 16 Bars prior to this conversation. Of course you will still be able to enjoy the conversation and reading from author Marlon Peterson without having screened the film ahead of time.

Please support Auntie's Bookstore by using this link to purchase books by festival authors. 

This reading and conversation will focus on using creativity to begin shifting our current justice system's approach from punishment to healing. The event celebrates the film 16 Bars, an intimate look at the lives of four inmates who are a part of a unique rehabilitation effort that involves writing and recording original music. The film follows their personal and artistic development as they produce and record with Grammy-winning recording artist, Todd “Speech” Thomas, from the hip-hop group Arrested Development. For this event, Speech will be joined by national social and criminal justice advocate, writer, and educator Marlon Peterson. Peterson is the author of Bird Uncaged, a powerful 21st century abolitionist memoir that demands a shift from punishment to healing, an end to mass incarceration, and a new vision of justice. Following a reading from Bird Uncaged, Eastern Washington University Chicana/o/x Studies professor Dr. Martín Meráz García will lead a conversation about transformative justice and how creativity and vulnerability, especially through the written word, can offer a path to true healing. 

avatar for Speech


Speech is an award winning artist, consistently pushing the artistic and social envelope. On the home page, click on any number of projects to learn what Speech is currently working on. A little more about Speech… He, is the leader of the 2x Grammy Award winning hip-hop  collective, Arrested Development. He and the group have been a ground-breaking force in Hip-hop culture sinc... Read More →
avatar for Marlon Peterson

Marlon Peterson

Marlon Peterson is an inspiration whisperer, author, criminal legal system expert, and public speaker. He is the founder and CEO of The Precedential Group Social Enterprises, a social justice-human good warehouse of consultancy, programming, and content co-creation. Marlon is also... Read More →
avatar for Martín Meráz García, Ph.D.

Martín Meráz García, Ph.D.

Martín Meráz García, Ph.D., is a Professor in Chicana/o/x Studies at Eastern Washington University (EWU); his areas of specialization include International Relations, Political Psychology and Criminal Justice. Dr. Meráz García has over 10 years of experiences teaching in the... Read More →

Friday April 16, 2021 2:00pm - 3:00pm PDT