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Press Release

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                             
October 27, 2011

NYC HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSIONER/CHAIR GATLING, NYC COUNCIL MEMBER ROSE, and ST. PHILIPS BAPTIST CHURCH PASTOR REV. DR. BAKER HOST'MAKING REENTRY OUR COMMUNITY GOAL' TO ASSIST THE FORMERLY INCARCERATED SUCCESSFULLY TRANSITION HOME

Over 25 NYC and Community Service Agencies Provide Information on Job Training, Employment Rights, Housing, and Legal Services

New York City Human Rights Commissioner/Chair Patricia L. Gatling, NYC Council Member Debi Rose, and St. Philips Baptist Church Pastor Reverend Dr. Tony Baker -- along with over 25 NYC and community service agencies -- today hosted a program for men and women on parole or probation in Staten Island. The program will assist them with successfully transitioning from incarceration to home. The event, Making Reentry Our Community Goal: Staten Island, which took place at the Stapleton Houses, provided over 200 parolees/probationers with valuable information on: Job Training and Skills Development; Housing; Getting a Job with the City of New York; Health and Counseling; Employment Rights; Emergency Assistance; and Legal Services. The parolees/probationers also received the Commission’s bi-lingual information and resource guide, Turning the Game Around: NYC Can Help.

Joining Human Rights Commissioner/Chair Gatling, Council Member Rose, and Pastor Rev. Dr. Baker were panelists from: Office of the Mayor/Center for Economic Opportunity – Dorick Scarpelli, Senior Advisor; Workforce 1 Career Center – Ulysses J. Grosso, Partner Coordinator; NYC Department of Citywide Administrative Services – Lisa Nakanishi, Chief Diversity and EEO Officer; Fortune Society – Stanley Richards, Chief Operating Officer; NYC Housing Authority—Karen Patterson, Project Manager; Legal Aid Society – Richard Blum, Staff Attorney; NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene – Jackie Cruzado-Quinone, Director of Program Operations; NYC Human Resources Administration/Department of Social Services – Kenny Charles, Senior Advisor to HRA Deputy Commissioner; ComALERT – LaNina N. Feloyde-Cook, Deputy Executive Director; and YMCA Counseling Services/YMCA of Greater NY – Alana Franklin, Senior Counselor.

Program participants also included: NYS Department of Corrections and Community Supervision; NYC Department of Probation; Staten Island Youth Justice Center; JCC; NAACP; Center for Employment Opportunities; NY Public Library; Health Plus; Community Health Action of Staten Island; St. Vincent’s Services; MFY Legal Services; NYC Office of Adult & Continuing Education; Staten Island Chamber of Commerce; Up and Growing Daycare, Inc.; Mobilization for Youth; Safe Horizons; and Beacon Christian Community Health. Against Da Grill owner Kurron Mangin provided refreshments.

“Today’s program provides Staten Island parolees and probationers released from New York’s jails and prisons with the tools and support they need to get back on their feet and succeed,” said NYC Human Rights Commissioner/Chair Patricia L. Gatling. “They face overwhelming obstacles upon release from prison, hindering their chances of a successful transition. I encourage them to use these much-needed available services we have brought here today. Also, I thank NYC Council Member Rose and Rev. Dr. Baker for their effort in today’s event and their generous support.”

“I am pleased to be here today. It’s so important that we address the basic needs of our parolees and probationers in order to ensure their ability to be productive members of our community. The tools and resources that are being provided here today will help stem recidivism,” said Councilwoman Debi Rose. “I am delighted to have worked with Commissioner Gatling and Rev. Dr. Baker by providing these men and women an opportunity to access the resources that will aid their re-entry into our communities.”

“I am proud to join with Commissioner Gatling and Council Member Rose in creating a better path forward for some of our most vulnerable Staten Island residents,” said St. Philips Baptist Church Pastor Reverend Dr. Tony Baker. “My message to our audience members today is that we are here for you, here to support you, and here to introduce you to the services you need to get back on track and reach your potential in life.” The half-day program -- Making Reentry Our Community Goal: Staten Island -- included two panel discussions on employment, and housing and social services. Audience members met other program participants who provided them with additional information on employment, health, housing, legal services, and substance abuse. The program was part of the Commission’s Employment Discrimination Program and Council Member Rose’s and Rev. Dr. Baker’s efforts to serve all Staten Islanders and its visitors. Individuals in New York City with arrest and conviction records are protected from employment discrimination under the City’s Human Rights Law. The event was also an opportunity to assess and deliver services the previously incarcerated need to successfully reintegrate into their communities.

The New York City Human Rights Law is one of the most comprehensive civil rights laws in the nation. The Law prohibits discrimination in employment, housing and public accommodations based on race, color, creed, age, national origin, alienage or citizenship status, gender (including gender identity and sexual harassment), sexual orientation, disability, marital status, and partnership status. In addition, the Law affords protection against discrimination in employment based on arrest or conviction record and status as a victim of domestic violence, stalking and sex offenses. In housing, the Law affords additional protections based on lawful occupation, family status, and any lawful source of income. The City Human Rights Law also prohibits retaliation and bias-related harassment (including cyberbullying). For more information on the Commission’s programs and services, please visit www.nyc.gov/cchr or dial 311.

Contact:

Betsy Herzog / bherzog@cchr.nyc.gov / 212.306.7530 -- 347.723.0938 c
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