(Louis Goseland, Chair of First UU’s Social Action Task Force, keeps the congregation up to date on social justice issues where we can make a difference. Attend a Task Force meeting—every Sunday at 12:15 at the church–to know more about the issues we are addressing.)
“No longer can we ignore the evidence. There is a prison industrial complex that is designed to profit off the weak, our women, our children and our communities of color.”– Rev. David Carter
Rev. Carter joined grassroots leaders as well as Councilwoman Lavonta Williams and Sheriff Easter at Sunflower Community Action’s #banthebox community meeting.
Ban the box is the name of an international campaign by civil rights groups and advocates for ex-offenders, aimed at persuading employers to remove from their hiring applications the check box that asks if applicants have a criminal record. Its purpose is to enable ex-offenders to display their qualifications in the hiring process before being asked about their criminal records. The premise of the campaign is that anything that makes it harder for ex-offenders to find a job makes it likelier that they will re-offend, which is bad for society.
Ban the Box meshes perfectly with the message Michelle Alexander delivered in “The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness.” Her book was the Common Read for Unitarian Universalist congregations last year. She described her audience for the book as “people who care deeply about racial justice but who, for any number of reasons, do not yet appreciate the magnitude of the crisis faced by communities of color as a result of mass incarceration.”
Watch for more news from Sunflower Community Action about the organizing efforts to move Ban the Box forward with the City Council of Wichita.Louis Goseland