WACO (March 13, 2014) A Mission Waco Lawyer is taking the phrase “orange is the new black,” to brand new heights.
If you’ve seen 34-year-old Kent McKeever walking around Waco, you might agree that his fashion sense is turning heads.
For Lent this year, McKeever traded his usual wardrobe for an orange prison jumpsuit, wearing it whenever he makes his way into the community every day until Lent is over.
"I wear it to work, to church, pretty much everywhere," McKeever said.
McKeever has worked with Mission Waco since 2012, providing little to no cost legal services for many ex-convicts in Central Texas.
“The shocking reality is that 65 million Americans have some sort of criminal record," McKeever said.
"They can't get jobs, they don't have good housing, they seldom get an education to better themselves, and in many situations they can't even get basic social services."
McKeever credits his clients for influencing him to walk 40 days in their shoes, and he hopes to break down some daily social barriers those with criminal records face in America along the way.
“We need to care for them and show compassion and understand their situation so we can help them have another chance, and not just a second chance but a fair chance," McKeever said.
The lawyer admits that he has received both praise and dirty looks. He’s been wearing the suit for 8 days and recalls taking his family to the movies where he got the most reaction so far.
“I walked in and people were definitely turning their heads, wondering why I was holding my daughter’s hand,” McKeever said.
But McKeever welcomed the looks, and says he tries to explain his cause to anyone who asks, and to him that’s a victory.
“It's been an eye opening experience for me to get a little glimpse of what so many people in our society who get pushed to the margins are feeling like," he said.
"It changed the way that I see the world and I'll never forget that."
McKeever is blogging about his experience.