Project: Coaching the Global Village is forming a new partnership with Talib Mustafa Shakir’s Reconstruct Program. It is a program designed to introduce productive principles and provide realistic solutions to aid in the successful re-entry of current offenders back into society and provide coaching/mentoring for at-risk young adults. Read more about the life coaching vision for the Reconstruct Program
Dates: Current and ongoing
Lead Coaches: Talib Shakir mentored by Dr. Patrick Williams
Current funding needs: If you know of some organization, private foundation, corporate sponsor or potential partner, please contact us.
The Reconstruct Program is being developed by Mr. Talib Shakir in conjunction with Dr. Patrick Williams, MCC. It incorporates a life coaching component into Mr. Shakir’s method of relating and sharing. The idea is to bring to light the strengths each person possesses, and provide tools that each person can use to rebuild their lives in a positive way. It is a comprehensive program with a plan that addresses the need for corrective thinking, restorative justice, victim impact, righting wrongs, substance and alcohol abuse, parenting and many other issues and behaviors that have become a part of current societal ills affecting so many.
Talib Mustafa Shakir’s Background:
Mr. Shakir went to prison at the age of 17 for a period of 20 years. During that time he took every opportunity to re-evaluate his life and turn it around for the better. He came to understand what it takes for someone to break the cycle of violence, crime, and recidivism.
During his stay in prison Mr. Shakir originally worked with out-reach groups and at-risk teens and youth through programs commonly known as "Scared Straight Programs". What he realized was that once a person has reached the stage of needing to be scared straight – it’s no longer possible to scare them straight. Instead of the often-used trend of "rebuking" he turned instead to a method of "relating" his own personal experiences to educate others to the dangers of poor decision making and organized, facilitated and taught various classes using the Principles of Change.
As a result of his efforts he received a commendation from The Youth Division Probation Department – Durango Facility in Maricopa County, Arizona; among many other honors. His efforts and work have touched, transformed and impacted the lives of many. Mr. Shakir has spoken to literally thousands of people warning of the ill effects of making the wrong choices in life. His most current effort concerns a program at Vanderbilt University with Dr. Tony Gaskew, Professor of Criminal Justice called "Rethinking Prisons", via videolink; along with a " Victim Impact Program" for which he is the lead co-faciltator. Mr. Shakir has formal education in Urban Studies, Psychology, Alcohol and Substance Abuse Counseling, and Business.
In 2012 Mr. Shakir wrote to Dr. Williams after reading Becoming a Professional Life Coach about his desire to incorporate life coaching principles into his Reconstruct Program.
From Talib Mustafa Shakir:
I believe that I am a living proof that with the right people in your life, taking the right steps in life and having the right opportunities that Life Coaching can and will play a critical and important role in successful re-entry of many prisoners with in the penal system. I cannot tell you of the difference in the lives of the guys that I am in contact with through coaching that are better men today as a result of having been coached. I had one guy tell me today that he had chills and goose bumps after the session due to the impact of having being asked a powerful and thought provoking question. That feeling lead him to do the things that he “KNOWS” that he needs to do but just needed a little help getting there. I have come to believe that most people don’t care what you know until the know that you care. That is what makes coaching a powerful tool of change!
The Principles of Change:
The Reconstruct Program teaches there are at least three principles that if applied to one’s life facilitate significant and positive change:
Realize that there is a problem.
Choose to address the problem
Build healthy and positive relationships
While these principles may seem self-evident, they aren’t often recognized and practiced because of the lack of emotional intelligence. For many it is hard to identify and sort out the emotions that are required to address each problem as they arise. Ultimately, individuals find ourselves responding the same way to different problems, in this case in some anti-social way that ends up in entanglement with the criminal justice system. Until each person can learn how to identify their own emotions and develop the means to live from a place where those emotions don’t override intellect, no one will ever be able to properly and productively solve life’s problems and live successessfully among others. This is part of the process of realizing that there is a problem – and the reason for The Reconstruct Program.
From Dr. Patrick Williams:
I first came in contact with Talib Shakir in November of 2012 when he sent me an email from his internet time at McKean Federal Prison in Pennsylvania. I was so impressed with his eloquent writing and heartfelt vision that I began corresponding with him. (He had come to know me from my book Becoming a Professional Life Coach (co-authored with Diane Menendez).
Talib, with the assistant warden Susan Folk, was using Becoming a Professional Life Coach as a text for a Life Coaching group they were leading in the prison with 10 men. The group was giving these men new communication strategies for talking with their families on visitations, for interacting with other men, and for transforming potential conflict situations into a two way discussion with new levels of listening and learning. [Note: the coach training organization I founded – Institute for Life Coach Training – is now conducting a 40 hour foundational coach training class for 10 male prisoners as a pilot study for further and more formal research in the months to come].
Talib gets out in June 2013 after a 20 year sentence and wants to function as a coach and mentor for his career on the outside in society. I plan to assist him with this vision and incorporate his plans into my non-profit coaching organization – Coaching The Global Village. For this we will need grants, donations, and sponsors to make the Reconstruct Program really work so that it can be replicated across the country to assist newly released prisoners that do want to change their lives and become productive. Another goal of this program is to provide coaching/mentoring to young adults at risk of incarceration; teaching them through the coach approach the skills that will help them make choices leading their lives away from the criminal justice system.
Update: October 2013 – The probation board denied Talib probation despite staff members including the Warden and asst. Warden giving him glowing recommendations. We are appealing the decision.