On July 28th, The Alexandria Reentry Council held their first “Fair Chance Business Summit” at Beth El Hebrew Congregation. More than 75 business and community leaders, including Alexandria City Councilwoman Redella S. ‘Del’ Pepper and Alexandria City Sherriff Dana Lawhorne turned out to hear United States Deputy Secretary of Labor Christopher Lu present a call-to-action for all members of the private sector to improve their communities by eliminating barriers for those with a criminal record and creating a pathway for a second chance.
The purpose of the Fair Chance Business Summit is to familiarize Alexandria’s business community with the White House’s Fair Chance Business Pledge. The event also served as an opportunity to convene a panel of business and non-profit leaders to discuss how they are investing in our community and eliminating unnecessary hiring barriers for individuals with criminal records. Today formerly incarcerated citizens currently serving State probation in Alexandria have an unemployment rate of approximately 65%.
The Alexandria Reentry Council is a collaboration of State, City, and community agencies and organizations that work together to assist those returning from incarceration in becoming contributing members of society. The Reentry Council seeks to build a stronger and safer Alexandria by developing community partnerships, raising public awareness, and offering effective and integrated services to residents returning home from incarceration.
The 3-part recording of this event can be found here: Fair Chance Business Summit 2016: Keynote & Guest Speakers, Fair Chance Business Summit: Panel on Employers & Employees 2016, and Fair Chance Business Summit: Panel Discussion on Resources 2016.
Video courtesy of Arlington Independent Media/Michael A. Shea