An evening of conversation with Philadelphia's top reentry experts, a group of formerly incarcerated individuals who power the Reentry Think Tank
Slought is pleased to announce "We are powerful.," an evening of conversation with Philadelphia's top reentry experts, a group of formerly incarcerated individuals who power the Reentry Think Tank, on Wednesday, March 29, 2017 from 7:00-9:00pm. The event, organized with the Criminal Justice Bloc and the Goldring Reentry Initiative (GRI) at the Penn School of Social Policy & Practice, will feature remarks by Think Tank Fellows Joshua Glenn, Aaron Crump, Deana Bell, Jay Adams, Jym Baker, and co-organizers Courtney Bowles and Mark Strandquist.
In the United States, there are more than 70 million people with criminal records—more than the entire population of France. These records create obstacles to employment, housing, education, healthcare, and social mobility, while stigmatizing and shackling people to their past. These struggles are massive but also position former prisoners, and those with criminal records, as the reentry experts that society needs to listen to. While so much could be learned, this expertise is sadly often overlooked, dismissed, and silenced.
The Philadelphia Reentry Think Tank responds to this crisis and opportunity by connecting former prisoners from across the city with the region's top artists, civil rights lawyers, and other community experts to transform the stereotypes, social services, and policies that impact their lives, families, and communities. Think Tank Fellows are nominated by a different reentry organization from across the city and meet together weekly to create powerful media campaigns, consult with reentry sector stakeholders, and co-facilitate community-based social services.
Share a meal at Slought with members of the Think Tank and learn about the city's reentry crisis through the eyes of those most affected.
We the people.
The other side of America.
The 70 million plus with criminal records.
We exist in multitudes. We lead many lives.
We are 23, 57, 35 years old.
We are not criminals. We are survivors. Scholars. artists. The leaders you need. Your fathers Mothers, Daughters, sons. We are human beings. We deserve a chance to prove our worth.
We did our time. Let us become who we want to be.
Believe in me and I will be the best mother I never had. I will mobilize communities. Will make history. Will achieve all of my goals. Will be a role model for the youth!
But It's not black and white.
Some of us came home to housing. Some of us were homeless. Some spent 7 months trying to get an approved home plan while wasting away in halfway houses. Some of us struggle finding positive support from family and friends, while others came home to mentors, wives, husbands, and so many open arms.
I want you to remember that we need to change people's environment if we want to change their future. That people need community, not condemnation. That we need more support to become what we dream of.
That the world is wrong about us. That we've already come so far. That we need to forgive us. And so do you. That we can make differences in the lives of others. But we need a chance to prove our worth.
That we are powerful!