The photos tell a story of resilience, unity, and commitment to transformation. The images captured during the 3rd Annual Reentry Keys Economic and Healing Summit, held on June 21-22, 2023, bear witness to a remarkable gathering of minds, spirits, and purpose. In the face of adversity, this diverse community came together from all agencies, uniting in a joint mission: championing the rights of justice-impacted individuals and navigating the path toward successful reintegration into society.
This year’s summit held a unique significance. It was dedicated to the memory of Josefa Salinas, the late Vice President of the Board at Ronnies House, who was a tireless advocate for justice reform and a beacon of hope to many. Her legacy serves as a poignant reminder that change is possible, and it is through this lens that the summit sought to bridge economic empowerment with healing strategies. As attendees worked collaboratively, the influence of Josefa’s enduring vision for a more equitable society was palpable.
The healing journey and reentry process require a robust support, advocacy, and resource provision framework. That is precisely what the attendees aimed to provide. A myriad of voices from all sectors, including reentry providers, government agencies, and the justice-impacted community, were woven together to form a vibrant tapestry of discourse and collaboration. This concerted effort was a testament to the belief that collective action can significantly reduce recidivism, guiding justice-impacted individuals toward a prosperous future.
It was the justice-impacted voices, however, that led the way. Sharing their experiences and insights, they offered an essential perspective on the challenges and opportunities in the reintegration process. Their voices were not just heard; they resonated, serving as a powerful call to action, reminding all attendees of the transformative potential of second chances.
The summit’s blend of economic empowerment strategies and healing methodologies demonstrated a holistic approach toward reentry and reintegration. Through panels, breakout sessions, and open forums, participants could learn from and interact with individuals who have lived the realities of reentry, non-profit leaders driving the change in this sector, and policy-makers who can shape the framework for justice reform.
Melan Salinas, Josefa’s Son, talked about his mom’s contribution to the community and the work of Ronnie’s House as Vice President of the Board of directors for the past four years.
Looking back at the 3rd Annual Reentry Keys Economic and Healing Summit, we are optimistic about the future. The commitment and drive that characterized this event prove we are on the right path. We have honored the memory of a great leader, Josefa Salinas and sown the seeds for a future in which every justice-impacted individual has the chance to heal, grow, and contribute positively to society.
The spirit of collaboration, empowerment, and healing from this summit will continue to shape the journey toward a more equitable and inclusive society. It will inspire us, guide us, and fuel our mission. Because we all deserve a second chance.