Prison Ministry Group Hosts Unlikely Friends

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Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Littlejohn, Crabtree, and Taylor spoke to students.On April 9, a group of students who met in the Divinity School class, “Prison Ministry: Restorative Justice,” led by Douglas Campbell, associate professor of New Testament, and Project TURN, a partnership between the Divinity School and local prisons, heard the story of an unlikely friendship.

Greg Taylor and Yolanda Littlejohn were brought together by tragedy and injustice. Taylor was wrongly convicted of the murder of Jacquetta Thomas, Littlejohn’s sister, and he served 17 years in jail. While Taylor was in prison, Littlejohn befriended him and supported him in his ultimately successful campaign to be declared innocent.

Hosted by the student group Prison Ministry Enlivening Duke Divinity (Pri.M.E.D.D.), the event was the first public interview of the pair, who were featured in a WRAL documentary, “6,149 Days: The True Story of Greg Taylor.” WRAL’s David Crabtree moderated the discussion.

Said student Jason Villegas, M.Div. '13, who helped organize the event, “The night was a long time in the coming for those who had planned it, but for those speaking, it was a reunion of friendship, sharing in a long-standing healing process.”

The audience listened to the moving testimony of a man, wrongly convicted, who struggled to maintain integrity while being uplifted by his family, the sister of his alleged victim, as well as many people who assisted in his exoneration. Video of the event is available online.

Contact the Office of Student Life for more information about Pri.M.E.D.D.