Dear Friend,

“For me, the opportunity of a job has meant the difference between living and merely surviving,” explained 32 year old Tamisha Walker of Richmond, California. Despite having paid her debt to society, for 6 years, Tamisha has had to check a box on every job application stating that she was formerly incarcerated, basically ensuring that - no matter how qualified – she would be overlooked.

In his State of the Union speech on Tuesday, our President declared that our country does best when everyonegets a fair shot – when everyone gets to play by the same set of rules. Today, we are asking our President to ensure that our returning citizens get a fair shot as well.

Join us in urging on our President to ensure our formerly incarcerated community members have a fair shot – ask him to lead the way in reducing unfair barriers to employment for qualified people with arrest or conviction records through ‘banning the box’ on all federal job applications.

As a leader with CCISCO - a federation in PICO National Network - Tamisha is a founding member of the Safe Return Project, helping her community coming out of incarceration to establish a foundation and repair their lives, knowing first-hand the struggles our returning citizens face. Because no one should ever be defined by the worst thing they’ve done in their life.

Read the entire story here.