About the Booths

Programmed with technology created by the Leimert Park Phone Co., an ongoing experiment at the cutting edge of transmedia, bottom-up tech, and neighborhood storytelling, Proximity Phones are using old technology to amplify stories that are often un-told.


By 22 years old, Jessie had lost two cousins to murder, witnessed his mom being stabbed 13
times, and lived through his father being jumped, hospitalized, and incarcerated. So when a
man pulled a gun out on him and his girlfriend in a road rage incident, Jessie shot first. No one
was killed. But he was sentenced to 227 years with 6 life sentences. Today he is an organizer,
college student, and self-help facilitator. He has been in prison for 17 years.

Ms. Kelli

 When Kelli was 21 she finally met a man who accepted her queer identity. He told her to take
him to buy some drugs. When they arrived, he attempted to kidnap and rob the drug dealer,
which resulted in a shoot-out. As a result, Kelli was sentenced to life without the possibility of
parole. She has been incarcerated for 31 years. Today she is a writer, college student and
advocate for LGTB rights, specifically for those of incarcerated trans womxn like herself.


Maurice injured his knee while playing college football. With his dreams crushed, and slim
opportunities in 1980s South Central LA, he began running errands for drug dealers in the
neighborhood. When one of these dealers committed a murder, Mo was blamed for it and
sentenced to the death penalty. He’s been fighting for his innocence ever since, and witnesses
have come forward confessing the prosecution forced them to lie in the original trial. Today he is
a paralegal and a community organizer. He is passionate about music, sports, justice and his




Seeking validation in the streets after his parent’s divorce, James Jacobs was sentenced to 40
years to life at 15 years old for killing a young man at a party. Three days later,
killed in an unrelated incident. Ten years into his sentence, James ran into the man who killed
his brother in prison. He hugged him and forgave him. Today he uses music and community
organizing to stop violence. He’s been in prison for 16 years.