exconversations

With Taymullah Abdur-Rahman

A Podcast Series About Redemption

A Podcast Series About Redemption

They were drug dealers, gang members, violent predators. But they were also sons, and daughters, fathers and mothers. Each spent time behind bars. Now they’ve paid their debt to society and are trying to live honest lives and stay out. It’s not easy.  Here are their deeply personal stories, unsanitized, told in one-on-one conversation. You may find some of these conversations startling. But after listening, you will never feel the same way about these people.   

Host Taymullah Abdur-Rahman spent seven years as a chaplain inside the Massachusetts prison system, where he developed strong bonds with many of the men inside. He’s worked as chaplain for Harvard University, taught graduate students at Harvard’s Divinity School and currently teaches at Facing History and Ourselves. He grew up in Boston’s Dorchester neighborhood, holds a master’s degree in Interfaith Practice, and writes a blog for the Huffington Post. 

Our goals:

Humanize those who’ve paid their debt to society and now want to prove their worth as productive citizens.

Discourage at-risk youth from making choices that lead to prison by highlighting the regret and pain these ex-cons have experienced.

Give hope to those who are still incarcerated but on their way back into society, that building a life of worth is possible, with hard work and dedication.

Episodes

Episode 1:
Abrigal Forrester

Episode 2:
David “Crunchy” DePina

Episode 3:
Ernest “Bang” Phaire

Episode 4:
Orlando Cruz

The Team

Taymullah Abdur-Rahman
Host
Taymullah Abdur-Rahman started his career in 1989 as a professional entertainer and lead singer of the pre-teen pop group Perfect Gentlemen. After leaving the group in 1993 and becoming an at-risk youth himself, Taymullah changed his life when he accepted Islam in 1999. After receiving a diploma in Islamic Studies from Saudi Arabia in 2006, he returned to the states determined to be a positive force in his neighborhood. Since then he has served as chaplain for the Massachusetts Department of Correction as well as Northeastern University spiritual advisor. Currently he is chaplain for Harvard University where he also teaches a graduate course on Islam at Harvard Divinity School. He holds a masters in Global Interfaith Leadership, hosts a blog on Huffington Post and is a married father of seven children.

Joel Olicker
Joel Olicker is an award-winning filmmaker and TV producer. His company, Powderhouse, has produced hundreds of programs for cable networks, public television, corporations and non-profits. His 3 part series “Coming Back with Wes Moore,” about veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan, aired nationally on PBS in 2015. He and his family live in Arlington, MA.

Douglas Stevens
Douglas Stevens is an award-winning audio and music producer. As Executive Producer at Handsome Brothers Music, he managed and recorded thousands of soundtracks for TV, films, advertising, corporate, and the internet and has worldwide music placements. He worked 8 years at SiriusXM satellite radio as producer/host of his own comedy music program and is the author of several popular comedy music albums. Today he helps produce a number of podcasts including That’s Some American Muslim Life, Second Start, MedPEP, and Sound Health.

Contact Us