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Cal leading his "From the Brain to the Bookshelf" workshop at the WORTH Center.

Calvin Burnett, affectionately known as Cal, is an African-American novelist, publisher, screenwriter and motivational speaker from Oakland, California. Cal was raised in a single parent home on the east side of Oakland, California and at an early age strayed down a negative path of violence, drug dealing, and substance abuse. He would spend over ten years (14-25) of his life running the streets, going back and forth to jail, and causing havoc throughout his community.

After the birth of his daughter Summer, Cal realized the life he was living would be detrimental to her livelihood and made a conscious effort to find his purpose. That purpose turned out to be the art form of writing. Weaving together captivating tales of struggle, redemption, and triumph became therapeutic. His bold, unique writing style is a reflection of his upbringing, wisdom, and real life experiences. What many consider a gift or talent, Cal passionately sees as a release of emotion in an authentic, unapologetic way. 

Cal's ultimate goal is to reach back to those still trapped in the matrix and offer his testimony as proof that anyone who commits to change can be delivered from what appears to be an unbreakable cycle. He has partnered with a number of outreach programs and nonprofit organizations sharing his knowledge, skills, and experiences with those in need. His proudest act of service came from developing a curriculum for a class he instructed called, The Fatherhood Circle Program. This class sponsored by the non-profit, Black Infant Health of San Francisco, taught absentee fathers skills and provided resources on how to reconnect with their children after hiatuses due to substance abuse, incarceration, inconsistent parenting, etc. Cal also led focus groups and conducted several workshops for incarcerated men and women in partnership with the CLEAN Program of Columbus, Ohio and W.O.R.T.H Center of Lima, Ohio.