Saturday, March 22, 2014

2004 Gemeinschaft Grad To Speak At April 12 "Friend-raiser"

Speaker and activist Mercedies Harris
Here's an event to be sure to put on your calendar, Gemeinschaft's Spring Fundraiser Banquet, set for 6 pm Saturday, April 12, at the Park View Mennonite Church.

Gemeinschaft Home, one of my favorite community causes, is pleased to welcome back one of its graduates, Waynesboro Pastor Mercedies Harris, to be the keynote speaker at this year's event.

Harris, an ordained minister and a prison reform activist, was born September 13, 1960, in Brooklyn, New York. Married to Annetta Harris, they have one son and he is the stepfather to another son and a daughter.

Minister Mercedies Harris has a passion for helping others rebuild their lives just as he has been able to do with the support of groups like Gemeinschaft Home and through his strong personal faith. Today, he is a successful community advocate who has overcome substance abuse, homelessness, joblessness and nine incarcerations. He has an Associates Degree in Behavioral Health Care, and besides being an ordained minister, is also a Certified Substance Abuse Counselor, a Certified Pastoral Counselor, and a trained Civil Rights Restoration volunteer.

Harris was trained by the Advancement Project in 2012 through which he became a member and  founder of HollaBack and Restore Project dedicated to the restoration of civil rights of ex-offenders. Mr. Harris was appointed to the board of the Governor’s Work Force for that purpose, and was a key influence in the molding of the restoration process. His work was featured in the American Prospect Magazine (8/20/13) and in various news stations such as ABC, NBC and WHSV.

Mr. Harris is currently working on a project to open a transitional house for men and women similar to Gemeinschaft Home, one designed to likewise support successful re-entry of ex-felons into society.

Please contact Gemeinschaft at 434-1690, or the Gemeinschaft Home Facebook page to let them know you are attending. And be sure to invite others to join you for an evening of inspiration, entertainment and a great meal prepared by Brenda Leigh, the chef and mother-in-chief that all of the residents love.

P.S. To all of my local readers: Don't even think of not attending this event!
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