We had the good fortune of connecting with Donnell Donny Wright and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Donnell Donny, we’d love to hear about how you approach risk and risk-taking
I believe that life is all a chance I have always been a risk taker as it empowers me to break through self imposed limit while allowing me to become more creative. While dreamers sleep often waiting for the right moment to take action I think those who take risks are more likely than not to be successful because we do not limit ourselves and are willing to put it that energy others are often hesitant. I feel that I experience the passion of life via risk taking, its like a fire burning that pushes me forward.

Knowledge is a key aspect in being successful and risk takers are wiling to undergo processes that will provide such knowledge that can navigate future steps through difficult situations. Risk takers reach for the stars in the mist of a storm often finding rare opportunities may may never have manifested had we waited.

Fear is a mental block that stops many form achieving their dreams and becoming successful, risk takers do not feel that fear, in our minds we are unstoppable. For me its not just the attainment of knowledge but the ability to discover more about myself and harness my inner strength. Taking risks eliminates the “what if”? and even if I fail I walk away the the experience and knowledge gained.

Some examples of risk takers include: Muhammad Ail, Neil Armstrong, Warren Buffet, Fredrick Douglas, Bill Gates, Dr. Martian Luther King, Rosa Parks, Annie Qakey, Sojourner TRruth and many others.

Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I grew up surrounded my music and the arts. My uncle Lex Monson was one of the first Black cowboys in the movies and actors on stage in theater, and I realized my vocal gift at a very young age often singing for relatives family and friends. Even throughout my decades of drug addition I never stopped singing to myself and believe the gift of song was a strong determination factor in my making it through those dark days. I always had the ability of creativity as I often wrote beautiful poetry to my elementary crushes. The biggest problem for me was a fear of singing in public as stage fright would paralyze me so for most of my life I was closet and shower singer. I got where I am today through unconventional means, Prison!

After numerous incarcerations I left Springfield MA for a rehabilitation in Worcester MA where I found recovery breaking the chains of addition as I got into Spirituality and the beginning of a new life. Everything was going well until a near fatal car accident changed everything in 2001. in which I sustained an aorta dissection. I was operated on and subsequently contracted a life threatening blood infection called cellulitis and phlebitis which spread to my brain causing blindness and limb extremity degradation. I went into the hospital at 250 lbs and in two weeks I was 85lbs.

I was finally released from the hospital but could not work and had no income, I had a portable machine surgically connected to my chest in administer medication and I fell a depression because I could not work and facing eviction and the lost of my car so I decided to sell drugs. What turn out to be just a temporary financial bridge turn into me becoming one of the biggest drug dealers in the city. Three years later I got busted and was facing 18 years in prison. Also a student pursuing a Business Degree my life was now in the balance because I got caught with guns and drugs and my life would never be the same again.

I was released on bail and put on house arrest during my court processing and the Judge told me that what I did while out on pre-trail probation would be considered during my sentencing. I committed an offense that carried mandatory sentencing so there was no doubt I was going to prison, the only question here was, for how long? During my house arrest which ended up being 2 1/2 years I completed a Business Degree, earned a Real Estate license as well as several certificates engaging in community service.

The judge advised me to go into prison and continue the good work that I started during pre-trial probation upon which he was impressed. He challenged me to be a light to those still suffering in the mist of darkness, do my time and come out a changed man. I went into that which was last bid determined to turn my life around by any means necessary, I faced many hardships, trail and tribulations in prison, I was in the belly of the beast as this was my very first time in State Prison. I overcame my challenges by taking all available rehabilitation program started men’s groups, I paid for and attended two colleges at the same time via distance learning earning a degree from Boston University Cum Laude.

I overcame my challenges but working from the inside out, this is where the InnerVizion Empowerment concept was born and began its development and testing in and amongst the most difficult of environments where people are often helpless, hopeless and broken. I want the the world to know that the InnerVizion Empowerment brand is about searching for the GOD within. It is a trauma-based program and the adoption of moral and ethical principles that are Spiritual in nature and is not affiliated with any structured religion. It is a journey into the realm of the inner self where many people find and meet themselves for the very first time and work on healing from the inside out.

Currently I am part owner of Monty’s Unisex Barbershop and Salon and work full-time as a Social Worker for the State of Massachusetts while running The InnerVizion Empowerment Center and its programs. Along with me team we assist the members of our community in a variety of ways, we have a program that assist homeowners with property needs like a new roof, siding, painting, heating and cooling systems and paving. We have an automotive assistance program that help our residents in getting needed auto repairs at a discount. We give empowerment event with speakers speaking on topics relevant to our community, and we assist individual of all ages with employment, training, and housing services in particular the formerly incarcerated and those suffering from substance abuse related issues.

If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
If my best friend came to visit, Friday evening, I would them out to eat at Crazy Sea Food Cajun Seafood and Bar. Then a night on the the town at Dewey’s Jazz Bar for a drink and talks about old times over soft jazz and a late night social hour. Saturday morning I would first take them on a Northern style nature walk and park hopping tour as New England has world renowned foliage. Up next is workout time! Tennis, hoops, bikes, hiking or whatever works up a good sweat. We would begin our evening early with a trip to Six Flags New England followed up by a visit to MGM Casino. I would have a show arranged with my fellow artists and musicians to put on a concert with me and all my friends performing their favorite songs.
Lastely, after a long weekend its time to give thanks, so our day would begin with prayer and worship to the GOD of our understanding. Our afternoon would consists of visiting the Basketball Hall of Fame, The Amazing World of Dr. Seuss Museum and dinner at one of our Soul food Restaurants.

Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
Yes, Ann Wright! My 94 mother and the teachings that she has given me throughout my lifetime has made me into the man GOD has destined for me to be. There was a time in my life when things were not so good. I was introduced to drugs and alcohol at the age of 9 or 10 years old. I started popping pills from the medicine cabinet and stealing homemade grape wine and moonshine from my father still in the basement. This lead me down the road to self destruction at a very early age with my first drug bust being in the 7th grade by the DEA where I was kicked out of school for two years!

I was hopelessly caught up in the grip of addiction and there came a time where everyone had lost hope and gave up on me, except for my mother who was fearless and would drive the streets late night when I didn’t come home. There were two occasions when she saw my car and came up into gang infested neighborhoods and crack houses with her bible looking for me! To my utter amazement the gang bangers dope fiends and crack heads would move out of her way like vampires running from the sunlight. She saved my life in ways and occasions and that is why she deserves recognition for my success, for without her there would be no me.

Website: innervizion.org

Instagram: donnywright5776

Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/donnell-r-wright-8404199b

Facebook: donny wright

Other: innervizionempowerment@gmail.com

Image Credits
Tony Bass City Beat TV

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