Read the chatscript from Deborah Jiang-Stein’s May 28, 2014 #LitChat session here.
Twelve-year-old Deborah Jiang-Stein felt like an outsider. Her multiracial features set her apart from her well-intentioned adoptive Jewish parents, who left unanswered questions about her past. When Deborah discovered a letter revealing the truth—that she was born in prison to a heroin-addicted mother and spent the first year of her life there—she spiraled into emotional lockdown and deeper trauma. For years Deborah turned to drugs, violence, and crime to cope with her grief until she abandoned her reckless life and forged her way through healing and, eventually, found peace.
Deborah Jiang-Stein is a national speaker and founder of The unPrison Project, a 501(c)3 nonprofit working to empower incarcerated women and girls with life skills and mentoring to prepare for a successful life after prison.
Born heroin-addicted to an incarcerated mother, Deborah is the author of the memoir, Prison Baby, published by Beacon Press, described as “One woman’s struggles—beginning with her birth in prison—to find self-acceptance, proving that redemption and healing are possible, even from the darkest corners. “
Today, Deborah chronicles the challenges and stigmas that plagued her, all compounded with her multi-racial identity. Her journey of transformation, and the search to overcome adversity, led her to find triumph against great odds. She’s re-framed herself into the positive force she is today: writer, entrepreneur, speaker, and mother. From rebellion to survival, Deborah conveys through her unique perspective, that although progress is not always linear, it is always possible.
Follow Deborah Jiang-Stein on Twitter: @deborahdash.