written by Shayleen Kennedy
Every year, hundreds of thousands of individuals are released from prisons and jails all across the country. These individuals are distinguished as “Returning Citizens.” The transition from words like “ex-convicts,” “ex-offenders,” and “felonies” to “returning citizens” signified our understanding/acknowledgment that the men and women coming home from incarceration have rights. They are citizens.
Part of being a citizen is understanding and exercising your civic responsibilities. For those grappling with the barriers to reentry, these duties often seem insignificant or even irrelevant. However with North Philadelphia having the largest concentration of Returning Citizens in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania; it is not insignificant. There is power in a singular voice and power in numbers.
Which is why the 2019 Re-Entry Summit & Resource Fair is absolutely vital. This will enable those directly affected to understand the power they have. As a returning citizen, you have rights and your voice is essential.
We strongly encourage returning citizens to attend the 2019 Re-Entry Summit & Resource Fair. Held on Friday, June 14th, from 9:30 am- 3pm at the Howard Gittis Student Center (1755 North 13th street, Phila, PA). The event will consist of a Legislative panel, which includes State Senator Sharif Street and a peer panel of Civically engaged ‘Returning Citizens”. Followed by breakout sessions; where individuals will be able to discuss civic responsibility and voice their opinions.
Finally, the event will conclude with a resource fair that will provide individuals with supports and referral sources needed to overcome barriers. This is the opportunity for anyone hindered by a criminal record to obtain the assistance they require. For more information or to Register call: 215-204-1993 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Lunch will be provided and returning citizens are strongly encouraged to attend.