Felencia “Dena” Dickerson is an Alabama native, the oldest of four (4) and grew up in a single parent home until the age of six (6). At the age of six she walked in on her mother attempting to commit suicide. Dena was placed in the custody of her grandmother’s sister. That trauma alone reshaped her life, walls going up and dreams long forgotten.
By age 12 life had transformed Dena to a full-blown alcoholic, which was the beginning of her criminal behavior. Filled with anger and resentment Dena abandoned school and left home at age 14. The streets had claimed its prize.
Drugs, prison, alcohol, lies, and deceit claimed the next 18 years of her spiraling life. At age 23 Dena found herself in prison. She was released and like every justice impacted person, Dena vowed never to return, and that life would be different. Different it was, at age 32 her next sentence carried 114 years for conspiracy to trafficking drugs. Broken and bruised she remembers muttering “Help me” in 2000.
Help did arrive and she was released in 2012. A new woman, eager and ready to serve Christ. She is currently employed with the Offender Alumni Association (OAA) as Chief Operating Officer and the Reentry Coordinator for Auburn University-Alabama Prison Arts +Education Project (APAEP).
Dena aspires to rebuild people and help restore communities by exposing people to their self-worth, through unconditional love.