Why Vern Braswell’s Cancer Diagnosis in Prison is so Devastating

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8 mins read

By Ma Wallace 


PLEASE SHARE THIS WITH AS MANY AS YOU CAN.

I NEED OTHERS TO HELP ME WITH THIS FIGHT.

– Mary Wallace, Vern’s mom

To understand why Vern Braswell’s cancer diagnosis in prison is so devastating, you first have to understand Vern.

My son clawed to earn a doctorate degree while incarcerated; studying and writing research papers in the middle of the night (the only time prison is quiet) using low light (a clip-on lamp under a blanket) because of lights out rules. Then imagine losing research work to callous officers during shake downs who mocked the notion of a “smart-assed inmate” working on a doctorate degree which often made my son a target.

Wrongly convicted and when most others would have given up, Vern fought through all of these obstacles TO EARN A DOCORATE IN BIBLICAL COUNSELING BECAUSE HE STILL WANTED TO SERVE THE WORLD THAT PERSUCUTED HIM BY MAKING A POSITIVE DIFFERENCE IN IT.

He’s helped scores of both young and older men earn their G.E.D.


He’s developed policies that will drastically improve the efficiency of the TDOC operations, security, and services to inmates both prior to and after they’ve been released.


Vern has developed policies that are aligned with the TENNESSEE CRIMINAL JUSTICE INVESTMENT TASK FORCE INTERIM REPORT.


He’s taken advantage of group therapies and other self-improvement programs.

THEN HE WAS RECENTLY BEEN DIAGNOSED WITH CANCER. 


But if you knew my son before he went to prison you would say that the aforementioned is what he’s been doing his whole life. Fighting to improve the life of others, often anonymously and always with no reward. 

My baby son went from being an unsung “hood hero” and “anonymous activist” whom BEFORE BEING INCARCERATED . . .

Vern was a prison ministry volunteer who went into prisons weekly for almost 10 years, positively impacting hundreds of men and their families who were seeking freedom from drug and alcohol addiction. 

He served for almost a decade on prison ministry committees at the state level where his voice and decisions had a positive impact on thousands of men and their families. Vern’s influence drastically reduced recidivism.


Vern created and orchestrated a system to place homeless students and their families temporarily in hotels and permanently in available houses which Vern financed and covered out of his pocket.


He created events to raise disaster relief funds for natural disaster victims in Tennessee.


He volunteered to assist and / or raise funds for fallen police officers as well as an ofiicer whom was shot in the line of duty.


Vem volunteered to raise funds for families of murder victims in Memphis.


He worked tirelessly as an activist in Black, White, rural, and city communities in West Tennessee.


He brought Black college students and Black College Greek organizations into predominantly Black at-risk elementary schools for tutoring and mentoring.


He worked as an educator for 15 years working his way up from a teacher assistant to an assistant principal.


Vern earned a Bachelor in Elementary Education.


He earned a Master in Leadership and Policy Studies (which he now uses to write prison policy proposals).


He became a licensed teacher and administrator in the State of Tennessee.


Vern either assisted with or led national trips for Black elementary students, White elementary students, city students, and rural students to a wide variety of states across America from New York and the northeast to the southwest and as far as Hawaii.


He led national field trips for students to Historically Black Colleges & Universities as well as to Ivy League Colleges and Universities.


He became a member of Black Scholars Unlimited in college.


He was inducted in Kappa Delta Pi Professional Educational Honor Society.


He was inducted into Omega Psi Phi Fraternity which focuses on promoting manhood, scholarship, perseverance, and uplift in the Black community.


He was invited, inducted into, and became a member of the Prince Hall Masons. . .

– So why was Vern Braswell’s cancer diagnosis in prison so devastating?


Vern went from voluntarily doing all of those things in Memphis and other West Tennessee communities to a cancer stricken prisoner in the midst of a pandemic…

…WHO STILL HASN’T RECEIVED THE PROPER SCANS TO TELL IF THE CANCER IS SPREADING. IS BEEN THREE MONTHS SINCE HIS DIAGNOSIS AND ALMOST NOTHING HAS BEEN DONE.


And that’s why Vern’s cancer diagnosis in prison is so devastating

WILL YOU PLEASE HELP BY DOING THESE 3 THINGS? PLEASE…

1. Follow @J4VernBraswell@BlackDefendants & Justice For Vern Braswell on Facebook to get updates about his case and condition.

2. SEND AN EMAIL to the Governor of Tennessee in support of a clemency request to commute Vern’s remaining 4 1/2 years to home confinement. SEND EMAIL

3. PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE post, share, or Tweet this on social media or forward this email to others and encourage them to help – ESPECIALLY TO INFLUENCERS WITH PLATFORMS that you can reach.

I pray that the color of his skin does not play a part in whether or not Vern will be able to come home.
DETAILS ABOUT VERN’S CASE www.JusticeForVernBraswell.org 

PLEASE SHARE THESE ARTICLES FROM VERN’S CASE DETAILING THE SYSTEMIC RACIAL INEQUALITIES USED AS A WEAPON TO KEEP BLACK DEFENDANTS “IN THEIR PLACE” 
https://www.afmfm.org/justiceforvernbraswell-org/#c-kdqrnk7zWzFu

MEDIA COVERAGE OF VERN’S CASE https://afmfm.org/braswell-case-links

Join us in helping to get Justice For Vern.

 FOLLOW:

Email us: J4VernBraswell@afmfm.org  

And please visit our website: www.JusticeForVernBraswell.org 

This was composed in conjunction with Black Defendants Matter.

Our policies WILL GUARANTEE an end to brutality and racism in the criminal justice system.

Will you please help us?

Email Black Defendants Matter: BDM@afmfm.org   

Visit our website: www.BlackDefendantsMatter.org

FOLLOW Black Defendants Matter:  

Photo by Isaiah Rustad on Unsplash

Originally posted here.
Reposted with permission.


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