Ramiah Whiteside is the Associate Director and Prison Relational Voter Program Inreach Coordinator for EXPO and WISDOM. After 25 years of incarceration, Ramiah began his work with EXPO in 2019 with the purpose of shining a light of awareness and truth where others refuse to acknowledge. Through daily contact with men and women currently incarcerated in Wisconsin, he learns about what is happening inside Department of Corrections facilities that is often kept hidden – either purposefully or by negligence – from people on the outside. For example, Ramiah found out that at least eight people he knew personally died from COVID while inside when they could have been released years ago. Those individual’s stories – and many others like them – shine light on how little some communities care about the lives of those who are incarcerated.
Ramiah draws on these stories and his own to support system-impacted individuals in living and thriving inside and outside. He also uses his powerful voice to share these stories with legislators, media, and communities to advocate for change within the system. His goal in all of this work is to see the use of any form of incarceration be the absolute last resort, rather than the first choice, in our penal system.