February 28, 2017 – NEW YORK, NY – Since its launch two weeks ago, Race for Re-Entry founder Jen Lackard, has been to the United Nations Prison Ministry Conference on Poverty and Prisons, the Chapter & Verse movie premiere, and to meetings with the NYC Housing Authority (NYCHA) and NYC Department of Education (NYCDOE) to name a few, to stress the importance of New Yorkers joining together to raise re-entry awareness and to galvanize resources for men and women returning home from prison. Wednesday, March 1, 2017 will be no different in her journey except that it’s national Day of Empathy where Americans impacted by the criminal justice system nationwide will meet with lawmakers to share their experiences; and family members who have lost loved ones to violent crime, formerly incarcerated people, children of incarcerated parents, individuals who have overcome addiction, and many others will join together, across demographics and party lines. Jen will be one of them.
Not only is she a strong advocate for family preservation during incarceration; she and her family are directly affected as she struggles with maintaining a healthy marriage of 12 years and co-parenting her two young sons with an inmate in the federal correctional system. Instead of allowing the challenge to have an adverse effect, Jen uses her professional and personal experiences to positively impact the lives of others including running a telephonic support group for wives and starting a Prison Families Anonymous Support Group through the prison ministry she leads at Grace Baptist Church in Mt. Vernon, New York. Through this work, she founded the Race for Re-Entry to educate communities about the importance of healthy environments, sustainability, and fostering positive relationships between community members and law enforcement, all while raising awareness about the need to create a more cohesive network of coordinated services for individuals returning to local communities from incarceration.
The Race for Re-Entry is a 5K Walk Run Bike grassroots initiative with significant components, all taking place throughout the Bronx leading up to the actual day of the race, Sunday, April 23, 2017:
FitCamp (March 21 to April 20, 2017):
To promote healthy living within urban communities where nutrition, chronic conditions, access to healthcare and other health disparities exist, Race for Re-Entry will provide a free 30-Day FitCamp in partnership with the Bronx YMCA located at 2 Castle Hill Avenue. The FitCamp is designed to take people with a personal or professional connection to the re-entry movement and offer them a no-pressure, judgement-free atmosphere to connect with others who may also be hesitant to adopt a healthier lifestyle.
Community Lives Matter (the week of April 17, 2017):
To encourage trust-building relationships between law enforcement and community, Race for Re-Entry will host a series of events in an attempt to “reintroduce” the men and women back into the community throughcommunity conversations (two roundtable discussions) and a basketball game (in partnership with the 43rd Precinct and Community Board 9)
Race for Re-Entry Walk Run Bike (April 23, 2017):
Spanning the Bronx River waterfront, the 5K will begin in Soundview Park and cross through Pugsley Creek Park. Registration opens at 8 a.m. and the race starts at 10 a.m.
Re-Entry Resource Fair (April 23, 2017):
Immediately following the Race for Re-Entry Walk Run Bike, local re-entry providers will convene to educate and inform returning citizens about the various employment, housing, health, family, educational, and financial resources available to them throughout NYC. Participants will walk away with a plethora of resources from 50+ re-entry providers to assist in the successful transition of themselves and/or their loved ones.
As many are affected by incarceration, community members and groups are welcome to join Jen and her Race for Re-Entry movement. To register or get involved, please visit www.race4reentry.com. Facebook/Twitter/Instagram: @race4rentry
ABOUT RACE FOR RE-ENTRY:
Race for Re-Entry is a grassroots initiative striving to educate communities about the importance of healthy environments, sustainability, and fostering positive relationships between community members and law enforcement, all while raising awareness about the need to create a more cohesive network of coordinated services for individuals returning to local communities from incarceration. Launched in the Bronx, NY, this movement is the first ever multi-platform campaign of its kind to grace New York City focused on re-entry awareness. Race for Re-Entry is a fiscally sponsored program of United Charitable, a registered 501(c)(3) public charity.
ABOUT JENNIFER “JEN” LACKARD, THE FOUNDER OF RACE FOR RE-ENTRY:
Jen Lackard is the Founder of the Race for Re-Entry and Lead Organizer for the Re-Entry Meetup, an informal resource collaborative for men and women returning home from incarceration. She serves her community as President of the Station of Hope Prison Ministry at the historic Grace Baptist Church in Mt. Vernon, NY and as a Board Member of Bronx Community Board 9. Additionally, Jen prepares women to transition back into the community as a Re-Entry Facilitator for the New York Department of Corrections where she is developing a curriculum about money addiction using cognitive behavioral interventions. She is a Certified Substance Abuse Counselor (intern) and a graduate of the University of Michigan currently completing her Master’s degree in Labor Relations from Cornell University where she studies the intersection of re-entry and employment.
Media Contact: Sondra D. Roberts, GLOBALGOOD PR