July is a time to celebrate independence, but not only from the shackles of British rule, apparently.
In the state of Georgia, July 2016 has been declared Re-entry Awareness Month, to highlight the plight of people released from prison.
The month-long observance is the brainchild of Waleisah Wilson, founder and director of NewLife-Second Chance Outreach Inc., a Columbus-based nonprofit that provides job readiness and referral services to formerly incarcerated residents.
Proclamations have been approved by Columbus Council and Gov. Nathan Deal, setting into motion a slate of activities.
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She said NewLife-Second Chance Outreach will also expand services to Russell County in July, and the kick-off for Re-entry Awareness Month will be held July 9, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., at Phillips Temple CME Church in Phenix City. Here’s a list of the first seven Re-entry Awareness Month events :
- July 6: Returning Citizens Support Group and Connections Meeting, 5:30 to 6:30 p.m., at NL-SCO, Inc., 416 12th St. July.
- July 9: Kick-Off and Fellowship Cookout, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., at Phillips Temple CME, 1310 Holsey Street.
- July 11: Returning Citizens Weekly Empowerment Conference Call, 7:30 p.m. ( Dial 1-302-202-1119 and enter access code 350794#). The calls will be held on Mondays for the rest of the month.
- July 12: Georgia Justice Project, "Understanding Your Criminal History," with an expungement clinic, 1 to 3 p.m., at the Columbus Public Library on Macon Road.
- July 14: A POV documentary screening of "The Return," 5:15 to 7:15 p.m., followed by a brief discussion on the barriers and challenges that returning citizens face, Public Columbus Library on Macon Road.
- July 15: Dine and donate fundraiser, 11 a.m. to 9 p.m., at Panda Express on Whittlesey Blvd. (Please show fundraiser flyer or mention support for organization.)
- July 19: A forum on "How to Interact with Law Enforcement," 3 to 5 p.m., at the Mildred Terry Library, 640 Veterans Parkway.
For more info about local Reentry Awareness Month activities, call NewLife-Second Chance Outreach at 706-478-1270.