April 2023 Newsletter
April is Second Chance Month – ReWork the Bay April Newsletter
In 2021, President Joe Biden declared April as “Second Chance” month for formerly incarcerated persons who have reentered their communities. This is an opportunity to recognize the challenges they face and celebrate how our Bay Area community shows up in ensuring everyone has the tools they need to (re)build full lives with dignity, security, and agency in their work, home, and communities.
Over 600,000 people are released from incarcerating institutions every year. Despite having served their time, the stigma of a criminal record can hold future opportunities in confinement indefinitely. This stigma impedes access to employment, housing, higher education, civil duties, community support, and more. While one of the goals of the justice system is to reduce recidivism, the lack of support for people returning to their communities sparks a devastating cycle that can lead to future involvement in the justice system.
We cannot build whole thriving communities rooted in equity and joy without second chances. The work of welcoming our neighbors back home is crucial to building a Bay Area that works for everyone. We are so grateful for organizations like our Equity at Work Council members, Creating Restorative Opportunities and Programs (CROP) and Rubicon Programs for their efforts to create a Bay Area that invests in people over punishments. Through their advocacy and outreach, initiatives like Ready 4 Life and the Richmond Reentry Success Center have helped rebuild communities, reunite neighbors, and restart lives.
This month, we join CROP in encouraging you to educate yourself about the challenges people face with reentry. Help us advocate for Second Chances. After achieving healing and rehabilitation, people who are formerly incarcerated should have the same opportunities as everyone else to earn a family-sustaining wage, live in safe and secure housing, and be recognized for their true and whole potential as a human being.
Brianna + Rob