Skip to main content

Wayne Pray


Wayne Pray, affectionately known as Akbar, is a writer and columnist who has become a beacon of hope for at-risk urban youth across the country. Born on March 22, 1948, he rose to notability as a convicted drug kingpin from Newark, New Jersey. Pray was sentenced to life without possibility of parole in 1990.

In prison, Pray wrote the book The Death of the Game, which warns youth of the detrimental realities associated with the street life. He is also a columnist and regular contributor to Don Diva magazine, a contributing writer to Nikki Turner’s Tales From Da Hood and coauthor of The Street Chronicles with Nikki Turner. Pray’s writing has become a part of the curriculum in several Newark Public Schools, and has been praised for its powerful and impactful message.

In addition to his writing, Pray is the CEO and Founder of Akbar Pray’s Foundation For Change (APFFC), a nonprofit organization dedicated to redirecting the lives of at-risk urban youth. The organization provides a wide range of support services, including job training, education, mentorship, and conflict resolution.

Pray’s work has not gone unnoticed, as he has gained the support of numerous prominent figures, including former mayor of Newark Ken Gibson, current mayor of Newark Ras Baraka, and president of the Newark chapter of the NAACP, Debra Gregory. Pray has also received support from members of the Newark Board of Education, as well as Representative of FEDCURE for the state of New York and two former Wardens of FCI Otisville.

He has completed over 60 Program Certificates, chaired the NAACP’s Lewisburg branch, and established what was purported to be the largest inmate-based, staff-approved program in the federal prison system.