Justin Kopepasah preparing for WCUS talk

My WordCamp US Talk about How WordPress Helped Me, a Reformed Convict

Ball and Chain Wapuu

I am a reformed convict, and today at WordCamp US 2023 I shared my deeply personal journey of reintegration into society after incarceration. Very few people in my circles know this information, and this is my first time sharing it publicly, 18 years after my conviction.

I opened up about the immense challenges I faced as a reformed convict due to societal stigma, especially in the US. This included repeated job rejections at the background check phase and numerous societal barriers such as securing housing or loans.

While I often felt alienated by the US system, like many reformed convicts, countries like South Korea and Australia gave me opportunities based on restorative justice. My ultimate refuge and hope was found in the WordPress community, a haven of inclusiveness, where I truly felt acceptance and belonging. I closed my talk by urging everyone, particularly employers, to look beyond past mistakes and adopt a wholly inclusive mindset.

Talk summary on the WCUS website:

Video of the talk:

Transcript & Slides:

❤️ Special Thanks ❤️