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How to successfully co-parent after separating

Updated October 14, 2022 at 8:44 AM ET

This is Part 1 of the TED Radio Hour episode Finding Another Way. Check out Part 2 and Part 3

After nine years and the birth of their son, Ebony Roberts and Shaka Senghor ultimately separated. But they made a vow: despite the conflict that led to their split, they'd still co-parent as a team.

About Ebony Roberts

Ebony Roberts is a writer, educator, activist, and researcher. She is currently the principal consultant and founder ofQualOne Research. Previously, Roberts served as program director for #BeyondPrisons, an organization designed to uplift the voices of those impacted by the criminal justice system. Her work in prisons led her to meet Shaka Senghor, who at the time was serving a 17-40 year sentence for second-degree murder. Their correspondence and the love that grew through letters and visits is chronicled in her memoir, The Love Prison Made and Unmade, which was named a Notable Memoir by The New York Times.

Roberts is a former school administrator and has taught undergraduate and graduate courses in psychology and teacher education at Michigan State University and the University of Michigan. She has developed social studies curriculum for middle and high school students and is the co-author of Building Bridges, a workbook for children with an incarcerated parent.

About Shaka Senghor

Shaka Senghor is a writer and consultant. He is currently the head of diversity, equality, and inclusion for TripActions, a travel management company.

In 1991, Senghor went to prison for committing second-degree murder. He spent 19 years in different prisons in Michigan, seven years of which were in solitary confinement. He was released from prison in 2010. Today, Senghor is a best-selling author, lecturer at universities, and leading voice on criminal justice reform.

Prior to TripActions, Senghor was the MIT Media Lab Director's Fellow and a former Fellow in the inaugural class of the W.K. Kellogg Foundation's Community Leadership Network. He's the recipient of numerous awards, including the 2012 Black Male Engagement Leadership Award, the 2015 Manchester University Innovator of the Year Award, the 2016 FORD Man of Courage Award and the 2016 NAACP Great Expectations Award. He was recognized by OWN (the Oprah Winfrey Network) as a "Soul Igniter" in the inaugural class of the SuperSoul 100. He has taught at the University of Michigan and shares his story of redemption around the world.

Senghor is the author of memoir Righting My Wrongs: Life, Death, Redemption In American Prison, which was published in 2016 and debuted on The New York Times and Washington Post bestseller lists.

This segment of the TED Radio Hour was produced by Christina Cala and edited by Sanaz Meshkinpour. You can follow us on Facebook @TEDRadioHour and email us at [email protected].

Copyright 2023 NPR. To see more, visit

Manoush Zomorodi
Manoush Zomorodi is the host of TED Radio Hour. She is a journalist, podcaster and media entrepreneur, and her work reflects her passion for investigating how technology and business are transforming humanity.
Christina Cala
Christina Cala is a producer for Code Switch. Before that, she was at the TED Radio Hour where she piloted two new episode formats — the curator chat and the long interview. She's also reported on a movement to preserve African American cultural sites in Birmingham and followed youth climate activists in New York City.
Sanaz Meshkinpour
[Copyright 2024 NPR]