Rahim Buford was paroled in 2015 after 26 years of incarceration and now uses his voice to advocate for decarceration and transformative justice. A native of Nashville, Rahim was arrested at age 18 and lived more than half of his life in seven different prisons across Tennessee. During that time, he completed coursework at Lipscomb University, Ohio University, and Vanderbilt Divinity School.
Rahim was a co-founder of SALT (Schools for Alternative Learning and Transformation), an inclusive undergraduate program that provides a safe learning space for non-traditional students at Riverbend Prison. While incarcerated, he also self-published his book, Save Your Own Life. Upon his release, Rahim received a scholarship to American Baptist College and worked part-time as a Children’s Defense Fund organizer in Nashville. In 2017, he founded Unheard Voices Outreach to assist currently and formerly incarcerated navigate reentry. Rahim graduated summa cum laude with a bachelor’s degree in 2019. He managed the Nashville Community Bail Fund from 2018 to 2021.