In December 2019, the Reentry Chronicle [newspaper] sponsored a community Reentry Task force meeting at: The Grace Baptist Church in Mt. Vernon, NY. An panel was comprised where community members were empowered to address elected officials with their questions and concerns. On this panel of all black elected officials were: 4 City Council members, a U.S. Senator, a Mayor, a District Leader, and a Commissioner. The Senator was asked a question about education and reentry. He replied: "I recently visited one of the State prisons. I literally walked through and talked to some of the men. I spoke with a gentleman that was fortunate enough to attend college while inside. First, his level of intelligence and vernacular was amazing. I thought I was talking to an English professor. What stood out to me were two things: #1. It was because of his education that he now clearly understood the nature of his offense, how it impacted his community and he now knows that alternatives exist, as opposed to criminal activity once he is released. Something that he had no clue existed pre-incarceration and #2. Even in prison, he is the first person in his entire family to attend college."
As you read this, take a moment to think about the impact of that revelation. Fortunately, the gentleman that the Senator was speaking to would be release with enough of his youth to possibly start a family and/or pay his intelligence and education forward. Many will never get that chance.
GRAAFICS ask these two questions to ALL fraternities and sororities, not only the Divine Nine: #1. The first generation (unfortunately incarcerated) college student; would his introduction to college in society prevented his criminal activity? and #2. What would it look like if YOU (our leaders in education, organization and unity) openly adopted and aggressively supported the movement to keep black and brown youth alive, out of prison, educated and working?
Are YOU a member of one of the Divine 9 or any fraternity or sorority? What would it look like it YOU took the lead and held yourself accountable for doing more for someone that looks like you?
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