While April was Second Chance Month, Oakland County continues to recognize the importance of raising awareness about the obstacles faced by more than 70 million Americans with a criminal record and unlocking opportunities for them to succeed.
Fair and equal justice in Oakland County requires opportunities for rehabilitation and redemption.
Approximately one in three American adults has a criminal record, which drastically limits their access to work, education, housing, and other things necessary to reach their full potential. A recent study conducted by two University of Michigan Law School professors found that those whose criminal records are set aside experience “a sharp upturn in their wage and employment trajectories.”
The 10th 40 Under 40 class honors young professionals who live and/or work in Oakland County. These individuals exemplify Oakland Together—Oakland County Executive David Coulter’s vision for a community working together to leverage its strengths, address its challenges, and find value in working with regional partners.
Two of Oakland County’s top leaders and community members highlighted the progress made by Black Americans and the ongoing challenge of achieving freedom and liberation in the 156 years since enslaved people in Galveston, Texas, learned the Civil War had ended during a virtual gathering held earlier this month.
The occasion; a panel discussion titled, “Juneteenth: Then and Now,” highlighted the continued presence of racism in America and challenged the notion that Black Americans had already accomplished justice at a time when police brutality, health disparities and other systemic challenges persist in the United States.
The panel, which streamed live Thursday, June 17 on Facebook, called attention to the history of Black citizens in the U.S. and challenged the community to consider how past events continue to influence the present-day realities for Black Americans.