Neil White has been a newspaper editor, magazine publisher, advertising executive, and federal prisoner. He operates a small publishing company, writes plays and essays, and teaches memoir writing. His memoir, In the Sanctuary of Outcasts (William Morrow), chronicles the year he was imprisoned in the last leprosarium in the continental United States, where he met people he would never have engaged with on the outside. As he fumed about the unfairness of his incarceration and the end of life as he knew it, his new friends guided him with their own life experiences and helped him regain values he had nearly forgotten. Of all the lessons he learned in that unusual place, the one that resonates deepest is that the most valuable friends -- the ones worth knowing best and keeping -- are those covered with scars. He discovered the secret to happiness, leading a fulfilling life, and the importance of fatherhood in the most unlikely of places.
White was an ordinary guy who weighed the measure of his worth by appearance. He desired nice cars, homes, and clothing. He loaned money to family and friends. He was active and generous in his church, but his bank account couldn't keep up with his addiction to an appearance of perfection, so he began moving money from one account to another to avoid bouncing checks. Soon, what started out as moving money from one account to another to cover expenses became something bigger, something illegal: kiting checks. Eventually, he was caught, convicted of fraud and sent to prison.
White shares his journey with audiences all over the country at venues ranging from universities, churches, historical societies, libraries, and various community organizations. He is the ideal speaker for our contemporary times as we face a society crippled by white-collar crime and greed, and cast a wary eye on the round-the-clock news coverage and analysis that dominates our televisions. White's experiences in and out of prison have granted him no small measure of perspective that make his tale truly inspiring as well as important and educational.
White is the former publisher of New Orleans magazine, Coast magazine, and Coast Business Journal. He is the recipient of over 27 publishing and advertising awards. He lives and works in Oxford, Mississippi. One of his current projects is a magazine that teaches financial literacy to kids. His children, who were seven and four at the time of his incarceration, are now college students.
In the Sanctuary of Outcasts: What I Learned as a Prisoner in a Leper Colony
Transformation Among Society’s Outcasts
Minimum Security Federal Prisons — How They Work & How We Can Make Them Better
White Collar Offenders: How Do They Think? How Can They Be Effectively Rehabilitated and Repay Society?
Journalism Ethics: How the Quest for Profits Affects the News You Receive
Facing and Recovering From Stigma
Parenting When Your Life is Compromised
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