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rrivero, Author at Impact Public Service Fund

Mississippi Prison Writing

Louis Bourgeois (Editor)

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The long-awaited 3rd release of VOX’s Prison Writes Initiative’s inmate writing series features personal narratives and poetry from several Mississippi incarceration facilities from various prison demographics: inmate veterans, women, youth, men, death row, long-term segregation, elderly and handicapped writers are represented in this unprecedented collection.

Praise For Mississippi Prison Writing…

The writers in Mississippi Prison Writing share their inner-most thoughts, opening their diaries for readers to witness actual daily life in prison, void of sensationalism and drama. The reflections offer frank medita tions on regret, the monotony and isolation of incarceration, the often difficult and layered home lives before prison walls, the journey to self-realization. Though these writers are “reduced to living in a cage,” their words leap off the page, gifting us with complex human beings
fighting to keep spirit and creativity alive in a repressive system. They help us remember what happens on the other side of the wall, and why we should care.
Caits Meissner, Prison and Justice Program

VOX PRESS, 9780980194463, 256pp.
Publication Date: January 17, 2021

About The Author

VOX PRESS is a 501 (c) 3 arts organization based in Oxford, Mis sissippi. VOX was established to publish, perform, and disseminate the work of marginalized individuals and groups in the arts and education.

Spotlight on Local Educational Efforts

The Nassau County Gavel Club ( was started by Rosanna Gao, a 15 year old who attends Great Neck South High School on Long Island, NY. This club is an affiliate of Toastmasters International and helps students (Elementary-High school) develop their public speaking and leadership skills. So far, they have had over 250+ students from North and South America join their club! Each meeting consists of students giving speeches, taking on leadership roles, and answering impromptu questions. These activities will benefit students as they participate in competitions such as DECA and Model Congress, Presentations at school, and the Interview process for College. Furthemore, the Gavel Club has attended and connected Toastmasters and Gavel Clubs from all over the world including multiple states in the US, Cambodia, Sri Lanka, and London. Many legislators and officials of the New York Senate have joined their meetings as Guest Speakers.

The NC Gavel Club team consists of a diverse group of passionate High Schoolers such as Rosanna Gao, Iris Liu, Abisa Osei-Amankwah, Eileen Shum, Matthew Lahren, Jing Deng, Nicolette Polena, Kevin Ou, Angela Wu, Jessie Dong, and Aiden Ackerman from multiple schools in New York. Their mission is not only to improve student’s public speaking and leadership skills, but also give back to their community and build confident leaders as they combat the number one fear in the world: public speaking. Furthemore, Rosanna is an advocate for Asian representation in Theatre and media and began Music For Change ( as a way to spread positivity and hope during difficult times through Music. She hopes more students will join the Gavel Club because the ability to use your voice and demand change can combat issues that are happening in our world. 

If any Elementary-High School students are interested in joining the NC Gavel Club please visit and Music For Change please visit


  • Instagram, Facebook, and Youtube: @ncgavelclub 


  • Instagram and Tik Tok: @music_forchange
  • Youtube and Facebook: @Music For Change 

Inquiry for Spencer Glendon, Probable Futures

Greetings at one of the two most extreme moments of the year, the June solstice. The Northern Hemisphere is bathed in sunlight and the Southern Hemisphere is as dark as it gets. The center of the sun is directly in line with the Tropic of Cancer, 23.44° north of the equator, as this letter leaves one server on its way to many more and eventually, perhaps a second or two later, to your device.

“Just right” where you live
The most intense solar radiation is always between the two tropics, while the Arctic and Antarctic oscillate between light and dark. These are profoundly important sections of the Earth, but this letter is addressed almost exclusively to people in the bands in between. Probable Futures is just getting started, but we are fortunate to have interested people on every populated continent.

The “Come-To-Me Economy”: An Immutable Lifestyle Evolution

I haven’t had a cold in months. I haven’t had to commute to the office, nor travel for business. If I want, my groceries can be delivered with just a click. The same holds true for any medicines I may need, or books, or home goods… really, almost anything can now be delivered to my front door. Yes, this lockdown was rough–for me and for everyone–but it has shown that there isn’t much I actually have to go to. Instead, everything can come to me.

Thanks to COVID-19 and a world thrust into chaos, we live in a changed world. As I wrote in my upcoming book, “Project Bold Life: The Proven Formula for Taking On Challenges and Achieving Happiness and Success”, suffering and setbacks are part of the human equation, and the pandemic has certainly given us plenty of both! We now know that the threat of pandemic is real, and the costs when one hits are significant. The World Health Organization announced that COVID-19 will require a new way of living until a vaccine is available, and as a result, businesses had to switch from an office-based existence to a remote workforce. All travel related to work was reduced to nil, while the notion of attending a conference or client dinner was (and remains) simply out of the question until science comes up with a vaccine or cure. COVID-19 has changed everything! 

The Stimulus Package Uncovered
Webinar Transcript

Our panelists include Maria Contreras Sweet, the former Administrator of the Small Business Administration, the 24th, appointed by President Barack Obama and served from 2014 to 2017. Ann Marie Mehlum the former director and founding President and Chief Executive Officer of Summit Bank. And she also served as the Associate Administrator of Capital Access at the US Small Business Administration, where she’s oversaw SBA programs that provide access to capital for American small businesses and a portfolio that exceeded $100 billion. Tom Sullivan the Vice President of the Small Business Policy at the US Chamber of Commerce, and he served under President George W. Bush as the Chief Counsel for Advocacy at the US Small Business Administration.

View Transcript

CARES Act Stimulus Package for Small Businesses

COVID-19 has put over 30 million small businesses in America on the brink of collapse. The CARES Act, the largest stimulus package in history, has allocated over $350B to assist small businesses so that they can survive and that one day their employees, millions of whom have been laid off, can return to work.

To make sure you are getting the right advice, IMPACT has partnered with former Small Business Administration officials and experts to host a webinar that will address your most pressing questions

CARES Act Key Takeaways

These are tough conditions. Accessing stimulus benefits, learning how to extend your runway, taking care of your employees, and preparing for them to return to work are complex tasks. The CARES Act includes protections for payroll, loan forgiveness, loans, deferment of Social Security tax obligations, and tax credits for wages paid for small businesses.

Below are some high-level references and useful resources to get you started.

Loans and Grants:

There are a number of grant and loan options including emergency grants, EIDL Loans, and PPP loans. Though you can get both a PPP loan and an EIDL loan, you may not use both for the same purpose.

  • Emergency grants for small businesses to cover operating costs within three days of applying for an SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL). This grant does not need to be repaid.
    • To access: apply for an EIDL and then request the advance.
    • Use of money: may be used to keep employees on payroll, to pay for sick leave, meet increased production costs due to supply chain disruptions, or pay business obligations, including debts, rent and mortgage payments.
  • EIDL Loans, granted through the SBA
    • Available to pay for expenses, such as payroll and operating expenses, that would have been paid by business operations had the disaster not occurred.
  • PPP Loans granted through banks
    • Any part of the loan allocated to keep payroll (for workers up to $100,000), keep workers on the books, pay healthcare, pay rent/mortgage interest, or utilities can be forgiven provided workers stay employed through the end of June.

Debt Forgiveness and Tax Credits:

The CARES Act also includes opportunities to take advantage of tax credits and debt forgiveness.

  • Employee Retention Credit
    • Refundable tax credit of 50% on qualifying wages (up to $10,000)
  • Payroll Tax Postponement
    • Postpone paying your share of Social Security for employees, with half due by December 31, 2021 and the remainder due by December 31, 2022.
  • Forgiveness for Paycheck Protection 
    • Forgiveness sliding scale is based on employee count, total pay, and use of loan. See official resources for further guidance

Official Resources:

Senate Guide:

SBA Guide:

Treasury Guide:



Additional Resources:

Berkeley Law:

National Law Review:

H&R Block:
COVID Biz Relief