Vidal Guzman

Vidal was raised by a single mother in Harlem. By the time he was 10, he had begun selling drugs with his older brother. By the time he was 16, he had been arrested for robbery and drug possession. At Rikers, he was jumped by a group of 20 teenagers from a rival gang. At 19, Vidal was arrested again for drug- and gang-related activities and sentenced to 5 years. Once incarcerated, he spent a lot of time in solitary, once for a whole month.

After getting out, Vidal said “I came home on a mission. I was on a mission to be someone that could prove everyone wrong, even my own family members.” He joined a nonprofit that employs formerly incarcerated youth on a food truck and began organizing fundraisers for the homeless, Black Lives Matter, and anti-sex trafficking movements. Eventually, he began working on the #CLOSErikers campaign and intends to end mass incarceration across the nation.