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Chris  Wilson

Chris Wilson

Entrepreneur, Advocate & Mentor


Chris Wilson splits his time between Baltimore, Maryland, and New York City and works as a visual artist, author, film producer, and social justice advocate. Through his work, he investigates societal injustices, human relationships, and public policies.  Read More >

His book, the Master Plan, continues to inspire people from all walks of life. His artwork is collected and displayed internationally and his production company, Cuttlefish, has produced several successful films.

He is also the founder of the Chris Wilson Foundation, which supports social entrepreneurs and prison education, including re-entry and financial literacy for returning citizens, as well as art-related programs. Read Less ^

Speech Topics

The Master Plan

Growing up in a tough Washington, D.C., neighborhood, Chris Wilson was so afraid for his life he wouldn’t leave the house without a gun. One night, defending himself, he killed a man. At eighteen, he was sentenced to life in prison with no hope of parole. Read More >

But what should have been the end of his story became the beginning. Deciding to make something of his life, Chris embarked on a journey of self-improvement–reading, working out, learning languages, even starting a business. He wrote his Master Plan: a list of all he expected to accomplish or acquire. He worked his plan every day for years, and in his mid-thirties he did the impossible: he convinced a judge to reduce his sentence and became a free man. This is the inspiring, instructive, and ultimately triumphant story of a man who use used hard work and a master plan to turn a life sentence into a second chance. Read Less ^

Books Saved My Life

At the age of 17, Chris Wilson found himself serving a life sentence for murder. He had no education, no direction and no hope. In this inspiring and uplifting keynote, Chris shares how he discovered a love for reading while behind bars, and how it eventually led him to earn his high school diploma, a college degree, learn multiple languages and create a purposeful life outside prison walls.

Mass Incarceration: A Broken System