NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – After spending 15 years behind bars, Cyntoia Brown-Long is spending her time as a free woman wisely.
“When I was young, I never foresaw people could actually listen to me, notice me and care about what I had to say,” Brown-Long said. “I think it’s truly a testament that God can elevate you in a way. He will put you on a platform and people will listen.”
Her mission since waking out of prison back in August of last year is to give a voice to the voiceless and share her story of transformation.
Brown-Long was the guest speaker for the 19th annual MLK Fellowship Breakfast on Monday, which was hosted by the law firm that helped her get out of prison. The event is one of many speaking engagements she says she has scheduled in the near future.
“I knew she could do it and she’s just so amazing,” said Charles W. Bone, from Bone, McAllester, Norton PLLC.
Tennessee Court of Appeals Judge, Richard Dinkins, led the conversation.
“Five minutes in, I realized this is special and this is not someone who is recounting her past, this is someone who is truly a miracle,” Dinkins said.
Brown-Long says her message aligns with Dr. King’s: getting others to see each other for who we really are. The author and advocate plans to make sure people who remain in prison have a second chance, just like her.
“So many people have stories that I would invite everybody to go and listen, get out there in the trenches and just really see people for who they are and listen to what they have to say,” Brown-Long said.