We want to remember Marco (Mu) Maldonado, known by many in the Inside-Out community, who passed away suddenly this past Sunday. Mu was active in the Think Tank at Graterford and Phoenix for many, many years, and involved in the majority, if not all, of the trainings that were held in the Philadelphia area. His passing is a shock and source of sadness for countless Inside-Out folks.
For the 28 years that Mu spent incarcerated, he claimed and fought for his innocence and, finally, through his own self-advocacy, proved his innocence and was released three years ago. Since then, Mu had been working at Phillips Black, a law firm in Philadelphia, focusing especially on researching wrongful convictions.
Mu received his undergraduate degree from Villanova University during his incarceration, as well as a Master’s Degree in Humanities from California State University, Dominguez Hills. He also earned a certification as a legal reference aide from the State of Pennsylvania. Besides his years of involvement with Inside-Out, Mu was deeply involved in restorative justice through the Let’s Circle Up program, serving as co-chair of the Steering Committee.
While all of the above describes dimensions of Mu, it doesn’t do justice to who he was in the world. He was deeply spiritual, smart, dedicated, welcoming, and had a wicked sense of humor. Mu also had a lightness about him that was infectious. We are lucky to have had him in our lives, however briefly. Let his spirit live on.