Faith re-entry conference to be held Saturday at NCCU
Antioch Builds Community will host its 2014 Faith Re-Entry Conference: Creating Partnerships with Local Congregations on Saturday at N.C. Central University.
Antioch Builds Community is a nonprofit led by the Rev. Michael D. Page, pastor of Antioch Baptist Church.
At the last conference, held in 2012 at Antioch Baptist, speakers and guests who had spent time incarcerated talked about struggles and ways to survive and thrive in Durham once they re-entered the community.
For this year’s conference, the guest speaker will be U.S. Rep. Danny K. Davis (D-Illinois), the sponsor of the Second Chance Act of 2007, a grant program for re-entry of offenders. The act focuses on jobs, housing, substance abuse/mental health treatment and families. The Second Chance Reauthorization Act of 2013 was introduced to Congress in November.
The conference begins at 9 a.m. Saturday in the Alonzo Elder Student Union at NCCU, 1801 Fayetteville St., and Davis will speak during the luncheon. Other speakers will discuss faith-based programs to reduce recidivism. The conference ends at 2 p.m.
Page said the conference is Antioch Builds Community’s continued attempt to engage the faith community in the dilemma of helping people re-entering the community to overcome hurdles.
“It takes many people. The community has to embrace these individuals so these people won’t go back,” Page said, to the life that results in prison. “We have so many human resources in our congregations who can provide advocacy and help in their efforts,” he said.
Page said congregations can help those returning to the community in basic ways like developing resumes and accessing services and needs like bus passes, basic shelter and “anything to help you start over in life.”
“It’s really a critical mass that can make a difference in their lives and the choices they make,” Page said.
Page said that people with criminal records deserve an opportunity to rebound and get back into the work force. He said he is glad that Second Chance Act sponsor Davis is coming to speak at the conference.
Registration is $25 and includes lunch and materials. For information or to register, visit www.antiochbuildscommunity.com or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Attendees may also register and pay at the door.