Despite being on Death Row, Jarvis works tirelessly to use his experience to help others.
Collaborations with the Truthworker Theater CompanY
The Truthworker Theatre Company is a social justice based, hip-hop theatre company for high school & college aged youth in Brooklyn, NY. They are intent upon providing free programming & professional stipends for young visionaries & performers to receive rigorous training.
Truthworker is a safe space for young people to be the subjects, not the objects of their stories-narrating their own experiences & unique perspectives in ways that unpack, problematize, & shift the dominant, often stereotypical narratives in mainstream media. Using theatre & media to examine history & learn about models for creating social change, we call upon language & critical thinking skills as tools to develop solution driven citizens of the world.
From Clenched Fists to Compassion traces the triangulation of healing that emerged through a collaboration between Truthworker Theatre Company, Director Samara Gaev & Jarvis Jay Masters.
A dozen young visionaries directly impacted by mass incarceration, a survivor of a violent crime whose perpetrator is spending multiple lifetimes in prison & a death row inmate whose capacity for liberation within the walls of confinement is astounding grow closer to themselves, their healing, their purpose & compassion as they strive to interrupt & transform the criminalizing & violent systems that permeate our communities.
IN|PRISM: Boxed In & Blacked Out in America, Directed by Samara Gaev, examines the impacts & practices of solitary confinement in US prisons, tracing one mans remarkable capacity for liberation within the walls of death row. Jarvis worked directly with the team to shape this piece. Watch a trailer of IN|PRISM and listen to a conversation between Jarvis and Truthworker members.
Here are a few of the lives Jarvis has touched over the past three decades he’s been in prison—people on the inside, outside, kids, prison guards, young, old, rich, and poor.
“Thank you for showing me what matters most, thank you for giving me so much reason to love my life and the ones around me. You are truly a man with enough will, heart, and passion to touch millions. I hope you find all the things in your life that matter most.”
"My eleventh grade Contemporary Composition students read selections from Finding Freedom in the spring and now again in the fall. I want to thank you again for helping my students find a reason to live and dedicate themselves to constructive living."
Teacher in Los Angeles, California
“Your book encouraged me to stay away from violence so I won’t end up in prison. Like yourself, I grew up with no father. I’ve sometimes thought no one loved nor cared about me, and it was hard to move on. You sound as if you take your experiences well.
So I would like to thank you for the encouragement you spread not only to me and people across the States, but in my class. Hopefully, your words planted a seed in everyone, because it definitely did for me.”