Prison labor forum scheduled for Thursday

April 2, 2014 

What’s the connection between prison labor and poverty? Some Columbus leaders will attempt to answer that question at a community forum 6 p.m. Thursday at the Columbus Public Library on Macon Road.

The event, sponsored by the Southern Anti-Racism Network and the Black History Museum and Archives, is an effort to raise awareness about incarceration in the community, and how it affects generational poverty, said Johnnie Warner, the museum’s director.

Gary Sprayberry, chair of the History and Geography Department at Columbus State University, will make a presentation, followed by community activists the Rev. Richard Jessie, Theresa El-Amin and Jerome Lawson, according to a news release issued by organizers. Tonza Thomas, NAACP Georgia State Conference Secretary, will be the moderator.

“Hundreds of prisoners are dispatched to do jobs that are done by public employees in most cities,” according to the release. “Ideas on improving the quality of life for Columbus residents living with poverty and unemployment will be shared.”

For more information call 706-575-3646, 762-821-1107 or email

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