“In Deep” author Angalia Bianca to speak at Mac

October 14, 2019 | 10:12 AM

The MacMurray College Bookstore welcomes author Angalia Bianca to discuss her autobiography, “In Deep: How I Survived Gangs, Heroin, and Prison to Become a Chicago Violence Interrupter,” on Monday, October 21 at 11 a.m. in Julian Hall. 

The event is free and open to the public. Bianca will be signing copies of her book in the MacMurray Bookstore from 1:15 to 2:15 p.m. You can purchase a copy of her book in the bookstore or at the event. 

Bianca received her GED while in Vienna Prison at Dixon Springs Boot Camp in 1994. In 1995, during a time when she was doing a stint in prison in Logan County, she started taking classes from a college that offered them to inmates inside the prison classrooms. That college was MacMurray College.

“What an honor it is to be invited to speak at the very college that I only dreamed of walking through those doors and attending,” Bianca said. Now, many years later, she will walk on campus as a violence interrupter, anti-violence activist, author and public speaker. 

Bianca grew up as a privileged girl from Oak Park, Illinois. She battled a 36-year heroin addiction, spent 12 years in a correctional facility, she was gang affiliated, ultimately disowned by her family and became homeless on the streets of Chicago’s west side for over 20 years. She turned her life around after her last release from prison and has reunited with her five children and family. Bianca has been sober since May 8, 2010 and has become a successful, self-sufficient, law-abiding, productive, taxpaying citizen.

Bianca has worked for CeaseFire/Cure Violence at the University of Illinois Chicago for 8 years and continues to deliver presentations on incarceration, gang violence prevention and anti-terrorism, substance abuse and social change at universities, high schools, state prisons, state and city legislation hearings/committees, and national conventions.

This year, Bianca will graduate from Northeastern Illinois University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in inner city studies. She has said many times, “I don’t think I ever would have gone back to college if it had not been for enrolling at MacMurray. MacMurray has given me a sense of pride and respect for education. Even though I may not have realized it back then, it stayed with me. That is why coming to speak at MacMurray means so much to me.”

Honors and Awards:

  • NASW 2017 Public Citizen of the Year 
  • Resolution for Bravery and Heroism for running into gang gunfire to save the life of a 15-year-old gunshot victim, presented by Mayor Rahm Emanuel, City of Chicago, 2016
  • Goodwill Ambassador of Peace for the Golden Rule, IChange Nations, 2016
  • Global Leadership Award, IChange Nations, 2016
  • Honorary Degree of Doctorate of Philosophy in Humanities, presented by United Graduate College and Seminary International for IChange Nations
  • UIC/Jane Addams College of Social Work Community Leadership Award 2016
  • Humanitarian Award, Illinois House of Representatives: presented by State Representative Kelly Cassidy for Invaluable Work and Dedication to the Communities of Chicago, 2013

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