There were about 150 people who graduated from the Inside-Out Prison Exchange Program, which covers the criminal justice system and aims to “facilitate dialogue across difference,” according to the program’s website.

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Nick Cannon is a certified Inside-Out instructor and served as the master of ceremonies at the celebration. He taught a course this spring on social justice and the arts, and hoped to inspire his students. “We are cut from the same cloth of humanity, and ultimately, it’s not our place to judge, but it’s our place to empower,” Cannon said.

Nick also said the program, as well as its director Bahiyyah Muhammad, inspired him to continue his studies until he achieves a Ph.D at Howard University.