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Prison Summit to feature Ambassador Andrew Young and Children’s Defense Fund

unnamed-17Strengthening The Black Church for the 21st Century will welcome hundreds of participants to the 2016 National Prison Summit on Mass Incarceration beginning October 27-29 at Concord Church, 6808 Pastor Bailey Dr.  Conference organizers say area judges, lawyers, prison ministry experts, national and local leaders and experts will address mass incarceration over a 3-day event that will educate and equip local churches, groups and organizations to help persons impacted by incarceration, returning citizens and those in prison.

Organizers say the statistics are staggering in every area as it relates to incarceration.  Nearly 3 million children in the US have a parent in prison, the number of incarcerated women increased by more than 700% rising from a total of 26,378 in 1980 to 215,332 in 2014 and the real life stories of returning citizens unable to find work are staggering. “The crisis of mass incarceration is real and has some very real consequences on the community,” said Dr. Fred Allen, Summit Convener. “The first step is to bring awareness and to educate on this issue, Allen said.  There are a myriad of opportunities being offered during the Summit to engage various aspects of the Dallas community around this issue.”

THURSDAY, Oct. 27, 8 am – Are we pushing our Children into Prison?

A Pre-Summit Intensive for Educators titled The School To Prison Pipeline:  What Every Educator Should Know will be conducted the Children’s Defense Fund Nashville Freedom School Project.  More than 100 area teachers, principals and administrator’s will become aware of the severity of this issue and learn practical ways to disrupt and dismantle this pipeline.

FRIDAY, Oct. 28, Noon, Strengthening Families, Building Communities 

The official Summit kicks off Friday, October 28 at Noon with a free luncheon celebrating parents, family members and guardians who are parenting through incarceration.  The panel will include wives of pastors and politicians who found themselves parenting because of incarceration. These women and others impacted in a very personal will share their stories of how incarceration impacted their family.  It culminates with an opening night reception followed by the SBC21 IMPACT AWARD Ceremony.  Summit Host Pastor Bryan L. Carter is the keynote speaker and Congresswoman Eddie Bernice Johnson will bring greetings during the opening night session starting at 7 pm.

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37772-421029SATURDAY, October 29 8 am – Civil Rights Icon Ambassador Andrew Young 

As the Country is voting to elect a new President, National Civil Rights Icon Ambassador Andrew Young is expected to encourage the summit attendees to exercise their right to vote, but to also make a commitment to challenge legislators around the issue of mass incarceration.  He will close out a day of teaching and training around topics like, Criminal Justice Reform:  The Church, The Community and The Criminal Justice System; The ABCs to Starting a Prison Ministry; Walk With Me:  Life Development and Mentoring for Returning Citizen, The Art of Transformation, Criminal Justice Reform Continues…How You Can Help and more.

Summit organizers have partnered with an ecumenical group of denominations including organizations.  Partners include Concord Church, The Potter’s House, The United Methodist Church, St. Luke “Community” UMC, Preston Crest Church of Christ, Movement Day Greater Dallas, UNITE and many more.

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