Our April 13th Second Chance Employer Symposium, in partnership with A Chance to Thrive and Council for Court Excellence, was an opportunity to exchange ideas around fair chance hiring, working with employers to further opportunities for returning citizens, and promote equity in the workplace.
Resources, Resources, Resources!
Check out our participants' shared materials for fair chance hiring and retention, as well as our speaker bios to learn more about all their amazing work around equitable employment!
April 13, 2023
Transformative Justice Solutions has organized an upcoming educational event in partnership with Council for Court Excellence and A Chance to Thrive.
Through this forum, we will explore the ways employers consider formerly incarcerated citizens for positions of employment and create inclusive workplaces that foster equitable opportunities and economic mobility, with an eye on successful initiatives in and outside of the DMV region.
We encourage hiring managers, DEI professionals, and human resources staff from ALL industries to join us in person at Deloitte for breakfast, networking, a keynote speaker, panel of employers and job trainers, and a robust breakout session to help you design best practices for second chance hiring that fit your workplace.
It's #SecondChanceMonth and I want to share a little bit about why I'm an ally in prison reform.
People ask me these questions a lot. "Why criminal justice reform? Have you been to prison? Have you had family members in prison?"
The answer to those questions is no. I don't have to have personal experience to be an ally or care about human rights.
I was born with a lung disease and had a double lung transplant at age 22. I grew up with acute awareness of my mortality and a questioning outlook on powerlessness, injustice, and human suffering. I feel empathy with anyone who feels like they don't have autonomy over their body. I know what it's like to be born into something that, in many ways, can determine the course of your life for you.
In college, my roommates and I threw a party on Halloween. Every house down and around the block was throwing parties. But our party, in a rural New York college town where most residents and students were white, was mostly attended by Black students and people of Color. Guess what? Nothing out of control happened. Everyone was respectful. No one was wildly drunk or using drugs or fighting. Yet - we were the ONLY party to get broken up by the police.
When you start questioning power dynamics, you start seeing the people who are actually under its thumb. After my transplant, I began volunteering to tutor returning citizens in reading and GED prep, and their stories hit me like a ton of bricks. People who grew up five minutes away from me had been born into very different circumstances.
I kept digging and learning more, reading about mass incarceration, solitary confinement, plea deals, disparate prosecution rates by race and income, and the correlation between literacy and incarceration. The more I worked with the incredible, resilient people affected by the system, the more I learned how deeply it destroys families and communities. And this cause won me over. I got my Masters in Criminal Justice and committed my career to it.
Now when people ask if I'm personally affected by the criminal justice system, I say yes. I say yes because my neighbors are, my friends and coworkers are, the people I'm rooting for are. I say yes because our future children very well may be, and none of us should be immune to someone else's suffering. I say yes because, as MLK once said, an injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.
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