PCAP Associates Highlight Series

This Fall we will feature past members and share stories about their experiences with PCAP, where they are now, and how our project has influenced your lives.
by Sophie Gibson

Samarrah Clayman

A 2000 Michigan graduate with an English degree, Samarrah Clayman currently works for an employee assistance program, where she provides social work services for people at their jobs. After college, because of her experience with PCAP, Clayman got a job doing reentry work in New York. 

“I was working with the Vera Institute of Justice and the job was a very big influence on my career,” Clayman stated. Clayman left this job in pursuit of a degree in social work at graduate school. 

While in PCAP 

During her time as an undergraduate, Clayman worked with PCAP for three years and taught several creative writing and theater workshops. When recalling her best times with the program, she talked of times she would be driving to and from her workshops and Buzz Alexander (PCAP's founder) would bring humor to experiences so challenging.

“Our workshops often got cancelled last minute due to issues within the prison we were visiting, which was extremely frustrating for both us and the members of our workshop. Once, we were in a van driving back to school from prison and Buzz had us all let out a group primal scream," Clayman said. “We had such frustration but also hope and pride from doing something so important.” 

PCAP Impact 

“PCAP gave me the language to talk about the injustices of our society and the skills to do something about it,” Clayman said. “It gave me the confidence to use myself as a tool, especially now with my work in social work when it is very needed.” 

Clayman said she still feels linked and cares about PCAP. “I don’t know if I would have stayed in school if I hadn’t found PCAP. It really brought everything in my life all together,” she said. 

Release Date: 11/06/2020
Tags: Prison Creative Arts Project