Deborah Jiang-Stein is a national speaker and founder of The unPrison Project a 501(c)3 nonprofit working to empower incarcerated women and girls with life skills and mentoring to prepare for a successful life after prison. Born heroin-addicted to an incarcerated mother, Deborah is the author of the memoir, Prison Baby, published by Beacon Press, described as  “One woman’s struggles—beginning with her birth in prison—to find self-acceptance, proving that redemption and healing are possible, even from the darkest corners. “

 Today, Deborah chronicles the challenges and stigmas that plagued her, all compounded with her multi-racial identity. Her journey of transformation, and the search to overcome adversity, led her to find triumph against great odds. She’s re-framed herself into the positive force she is today: writer, entrepreneur, speaker, and mother.  From rebellion to survival, Deborah conveys through her unique perspective, that although progress is not always linear, it is always possible. djs278

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Personal Statement:
I love to roller skate and shoot pool.

From the trenches of multiracial America.



13 thoughts on “Bio

  1. Arturo Cantante


    I’m an old guy whose college major was quantitative genetics. There’s a positive genetic phenomenon known as hybrid vigor. Hybrid vigor is the superior genotypic and phenotypic expression of genes due to the crossbreeding of parental stock from different genotypes. I think that you may be the result of such a superlative admixture. Unfortunately, there are not enough people from such an occurrence. Once the people of the world, if it lasts that long, reach the phenotypic expression that is like yours, there may be peace among the populations.

    The world’s problems are due to bad genetic practices, mainly inbreeding. It is the cause of the attitudes of “I’m better than you because I believe in the right things, and you better believe that way too.”

    Thanks for enlightening me and making my day with your story.

    Art, IBM (Italian By Marriage, but not by ancestry)

    1. Dana

      That’s just another cheap argument in favor of some kind of eugenics, and it’s a load of crap. It doesn’t matter what your racial background is, if you were born to a well-nourished family and got proper nutrition yourself. You still usually turn out well-developed and mentally healthy. What you call “inbreeding” would have been more often the norm than the exception during the time in our species development when we all lived in small, scattered tribes. We still survived and thrived.

  2. muttslikeme Post author

    Hello, Art, thank you for writing, and for reading my blog.

    I’m fascinated with quantitative genetics, and love what I learned from you here. Hybrid vigor, that could be a new tag line for me. I’m going to share this with my audiences, especially since I share how as a child I felt “less than” because of my unlikely blends.

    Your reference to peace in the world moves me. Thank you.

    You’ve made by day, Art, with your note here, some pieces I’ll never forget.

    Much gratitude,

  3. e2

    Shal-om Deborah,

    Do you identify specifically as a Chinese BuJew? “Cause I know of a Japanese BuJew by the name of Danny Katz, a Synth-Pop musician. Plus, there are HinJews making an impact.

    Looking forward to familiarizing myself more with your background story and work. I happen to identify with the burgeoning J.O.C. [Jews of Color] movement Stateside, besides having worked with Gifted Youth in a previous incarnation. I suppose I’m a BabJew, short for Babaylan-Hudyo.

    I’ve gone ahead and listed your links on various sites. “Wild Mind” is befitting for this generation.

  4. Jay Johnson

    Deborah, you’re amazing! We will be at your Judson event in NYC on May 6 … with tutus on! We’re posting all about your afternoon on Design2Share too (April 26 the post goes “live” on our home page). Much love, and can’t wait to see you! Congratulations on the book – and our school, the New York Institute of Career Development (our new third school, opening up soon) will be launching a new course the end of the year/beginning of 2013 called “The Complete Course in Fiction & Memoir Writing” and we’d love to interview you for it. xo Jay

    1. Deborah Jiang Stein Post author

      Jay, great to hear from you. Looking forward to seeing you May 6 and thanks for sharing the event with your Design2 Share network! Email me for interview info. Thanks for thinking of me. See you soon, tutu and all.

  5. Samantha Seger

    A few weeks back you made a presentation and had an interview at the Northwestern Connecticut Community College, I mentioned to you how my mother was incarcerated since I was four. You told me to email you and inform you of her facilty, so you could dontate books. Your story truley inspired me to write her again and I’m so thankful for that. She is located in the Niantic Womens correctional facility.

  6. Dena

    I just finished listening to your story on STRANGERS. I am moved and so thankful I was able to hear your story. Thank you for sharing it.

    I am most happy you were able to reconnect with your adoptive mother. She reminded me of my mother and what a true example she was of the type of mother everyone dreams of; one who is there until the end, no matter what. I am glad you were able to appreciate her before it was too late.

  7. Meri

    Hello, i believe that i noticed you visited my blog so i came to return the desire?.I’m trying to find things to enhance my site!I guess its good enough to make use of some of your

  8. Dan

    We are all driven by our own passions. Race, genetics, color, etc. has very little to do with any of it. It’s about you. Racial pride is akin to racial prejudice, we’re all better than that. Stay strong, be real, be you and don’t make up reasons/excuses for who/what you are, just do it.

  9. Christine Kiama

    I work in Substance Abuse Treatment Center in NH and our clients have been incarcerated. Specifically women unit is for pregnant women and their children between 0 to 12 years.Could you be willing to come and talk to them or donate some books.
    Thank you,



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