Danny Murillo, Gardner Fellow 2015, Featured on Oprah Winfrey 60 Minutes
On Sunday evening October 22nd, Danny Murillo (Gardner Fellow 2015) was interviewed by Oprah Winfrey on 60 Minutes about the time he spent in confinement at Pelican Bay State Prison where he spent seven years of his 15-year sentence in solitary confinement. At Pelican Bay State Prison, Danny became a spokesperson against the use of long-term solitary confinement and took an active role as media representative during the hunger strike. After his release from prison, Danny enrolled in community college and transferred to UC Berkeley in fall 2012. At UC Berkeley, he co-founded the Underground Scholars Initiative, a campus support group for formerly incarcerated students and people who have been impacted by the prison system, and researched the school-to-prison pipeline.
In the spring of his senior year, Danny received a John Gardner Public Service Fellowship. The Gardner Fellowship selects 3 fellows from UC Berkeley and 3 from Stanford University to work for 10 months in the governmental agency or non-profit organization that best matches their public service interest and provides them with a generous stipend. For his placement, Danny worked at the Vera Institute and the NJ-STEP program helping formerly incarcerated students gain access to higher education opportunities. Currently, he is working at the Opportunity Institute in Berkeley on many of the same issues.