Today, an estimated 70 million people in the U.S. are living with a current or old criminal conviction on their record.  Long after they’ve completed their sentence, nearly 1 in 5 people continue to face restrictions on jobs, housing, education, and other supports that are key to family stability and economic security.

About Marcus L. Woods

Marcus L. Woods has experienced discrimination firsthand. At the age of 17, he found himself incarcerated for what was to be nearly two decades for a crime he did not commit and missed the opportunity of walking with his class in High School and receiving his diploma. “I grew up in Watts and yes, I was involved in gang activities,” says Marcus Woods. While behind bars, Marcus laid down the groundwork for a program, Uniteee Youth Violence Prevention, his mission is to remove the options of Violence and Incarceration from young lives deemed high risk with programs tooled to empower the youth focusing on understanding and respecting the realities surrounding them.  This foundation is what Marcus credits as keeping himself sane, believing in a better tomorrow and the future of his organization Uniteee.

After his release from prison in 2012, Marcus struggled to find his way back to a society occupied by violence of all kinds. While he gave back to the community, he volunteered at numerous events and venues giving others empowerment towards a better self. Today, Marcus Woods supplies his all with Uniteee to ensure the youth have the opportunity to excel in life using tools provided to move in the right direction with mentors and advocates in dozens of schools throughout Los Angeles and San Bernardino counties. 

Gang Talk Radio (From L to R) Skipp TownsendJaime RareBreed GregoryLita HerronTherrey Ilalio and Marcus Woods

 E3 -Education, Enhancement, Excellence 

The three E’s in Uniteee stand for education, enhancement, and excellence, and are meant to symbolize each aspect of a youth’s Educational goals, Enhancement of self and Excellence. Promoting trauma-responsive programs that are grounded in Educational, Enhancement and Excelling opportunities tooled in removing stigmas of community contentment, racial inequity & other options which induce trauma & victimization such as violence and incarceration.

#THINKUNITEEE cause together we are the difference…

Photo by: Therrey Ilalio at Peace Ride Oct 2019 

Photo by: Therrey Ilalio at Peace Ride Oct 2019 

Tell me about the Peace Ride

Marcus Woods- Peace Ride is where we invite all car and bike clubs and community members who have faced trauma of gun violence. The idea is to build and show collectively that we have power being united in peace.

I met you at the Kingdom Day Parade this year with Cat Perkins, can you tell me about your working relationship with her.

MW- Cat is a woman I admire so much. She has such an incredible drive towards helping people heal and plays such an important role within our community also helping to end gang/ gun violence and Mass Incarceration.

Was 2019 your first year at the Parade?

MW- I’ve actually walked in the last 3 Kingdom Day parades. For me, it’s powerful remembering how one person organized an entire movement that will forever have his name attached, Martin Luther King is someone who held himself accountable for what needed to be done and never let no be an obstacle.

Marcus L. Woods and Cat Perkins at Kingdom Day Parade, Jan 2019

Marcus L. Woods at 6th Annual Survivors Speak march to states Capital April 2019

Tell me about the work you do.

MW- My work helps educate kids on the trauma they have either been through or the amount of trauma they can cause.


What is your relation to Survivor Speaks and how many years have you attended?
MW- Survivor Speaks is both an outlet and learning process that everyone should get into. I’ve gone to the last 4 Survivor Speaks events and each time it gets better. The amount of understanding taken, and the care given is what keeps me wanting to be a part, Healing was something no never took into account when I first came home, I think I just wanted to be evil, or pose myself as a jerk, I was bitter from my incarceration.
Tell me about Surviving Freedom
MW-Surviving Freedom has a purpose & intent of giving the Formerly Incarcerated Person & their families, a comfortable space to belong & share without being judged or ridiculed.
I intend to make UNITEEE an organization advocating for the survival of all youth and the removal of options used to incarcerate them. There is an amount of respect that most fail to adhere to and that is something I hope to change.  My advantage, above all else, allows me the opportunity in teaching a forgotten RESPECT. I am asking for your assistance in providing a unique chance for the EDUCATION, ENHANCEMENT, AND EXCELLENCE of our youth.”

Surviving Freedom Uniteee on FB



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