DALLAS (March 13, 2018) – On Sunday, March 25, New York Times best-selling author of SOAR and criminal justice proponent T.D. Jakes will host the 2018 Texas Offenders Reentry Initiative (T.O.R.I) graduation ceremony with special guest speaker, Angela Rye. Rye is Principal and CEO of IMPACT Strategies, a political advocacy firm in the nation’s capital and a noted political commentator. This year, nearly 100 T.O.R.I. graduates will have the opportunity to cross the stage for graduation.
Texas leads the country in mass incarceration rates and the T.O.R.I. program provides a solution to newly released ex-offenders to provide hope and lower recidivism rates. Over the past decade, T.O.R.I has aided more than 10,000 ex-offenders by providing a two-year curriculum that results in job, housing, and educational opportunities.
Executive Director of the T.O.R.I. program, Tina Naidoo, remarked, “The annual ceremony is a demarcation of a fresh start and an opportunity to secure a brighter futures for their families. The certificate of completion is a tangible reminder of their efforts to build new lives.”
WHEN: Sunday, March 25, 2018 at 9 a.m. CDT
WHERE: The Potter’s House of Dallas, 6777 W. Kiest Boulevard, Dallas, Texas 75236
8:30 a.m. – Bishop T.D. Jakes and Angela Rye to pose for photos with T.O.R.I. graduates
8:40 a.m. – Angela Rye to make brief remarks to press and bloggers in attendance
9:00a.m. – T.O.R.I graduation program begins
o T.O.R.I. graduates procession in with elected officials, local law enforcement and clergy
o Special guest, Angela Rye delivers message to graduated ex-offenders
o Bishop Jakes personally hands graduates diploma
Inequities Persist in Criminal Justice, Poll Finds
As a backdrop to the graduation, thoughts and public views under the banner of “Conversations with America” (CWA) an annual public-opinion survey conducted by Bishop Jakes to gauge America’s thoughts, concerns underscored the most pressing issues today as they relate to criminal justice reform.
According to the latest CWA survey seven in 10 Americans universally believe the nation’s criminal justice system is “headed in the wrong direction” despite recent and persistent cries for improvement. Moreover, perceptions vary greatly – and often starkly along racial lines – around the causes and remedies to inequality in policing, courts and corrections.
Since 2004, more than 10,000 ex-offenders have successfully completed the one-year program that gives them the tools and knowledge to successfully reintegrate back into society and remain crime-free. The unique model which T.O.R.I. implements has resulted in invaluable insights shared with many of the leading authorities within our nation’s justice system.
Media Interview/B-Roll Opportunities:
Tina Naidoo, executive director of the T.O.R.I. program
Angela Rye, founder and CEO of Impact Strategies
T.O.R.I. 2018 graduates
Dignitaries in attendance
About The Potter’s House Located in Dallas, The Potter’s House is a 30,000-member nondenominational, multicultural church and humanitarian organization led by Bishop T. D. Jakes, twice featured on the cover of Time magazine as “America’s Best Preacher” and as one of the nation’s “25 Most Influential Evangelicals.” The Potter’s House has four locations, The Potter’s House of Dallas, The Potter’s House of Fort Worth, The Potter’s House of North Dallas, and The Potter’s House of Denver. www.thepottershouse.org. About Texas Offenders Re-entry Initiative (T.O.R.I.) Founded in December 2004 by Bishop T.D. Jakes, under the umbrella of the Metroplex Economic Development Corporation (MEDC), a nonprofit 501(c) (3) organization that bridges economic voids in urban America, T.O.R.I.. is an intensive 12-month case management program that offers six core services that the majority of formerly incarcerated clients need, including: employment, housing, education, family reunification, health care and spiritual guidance. Since its inception, T.O.R.I. has served more than 10,000 formerly incarcerated individuals who have returned home to Texas.www.medc-TORI.org.