• Grand Rapids Events Illuminate Second Chance Month

    West Michigan has a proud history of supporting second chances. 

    Come out for these events to celebrate second chances and build support for second look legislation. And be sure to sign the petition below to show that people across Michigan support second chances.

  • Unlocking the Narrative: Building Safe Communities for all

    On April 25th we hosted a presentation by Insha Rahman, Vice President for Advocacy and Partnerships at the Vera Institute of Justice and Director of Vera Action where she discussed insights in national and Michigan research on crime and safety messaging. Discover effective strategies to shape the narrative, and beat tired “tough on crime” opposition with proven “serious about safety” messages that promote sound policies and motivate voters. View the event slide presentation here.

    Unlocking the Narrative: Building Safer Communities for All – April 25, 2024 with Vera Action.
  • MI Learning Community: Bridging Connections and Building Alternatives to Incarceration

    Join the MI Learning Community!

    Are you an organizer or practitioner championing community-based public safety solutions such as alternative emergency response, violence intervention, or police accountability? Would you like to connect with peers across the state to share what works and elevates your game?

    Then this learning community is for you.

    Mark your calendar for the next session on June 26th. Register now to secure your spot!

  • Advocating for Change: Tore Price’s Story of Fatherhood and Second Chances

    As Father’s Day approaches, we turn our attention to a story that resonates deeply with families across Michigan. Fatherhood, with all its joys and challenges, takes on an added layer of complexity for men who have been incarcerated. One such story is that of Tore Price, an advocate, public speaker, and former incarcerated father who has navigated the difficult path of maintaining a relationship with his child from behind bars.

    Tore Price was sentenced to 10 years in prison, leaving behind his 2-year-old son. During his incarceration, he faced the question: How can one maintain a meaningful relationship with their child while serving time? 

  • 8 Ways to Have a Successful Legislative Visit: Making the Most of Your Interaction

    Attending a legislative visit is a chance to talk with your elected representatives. You can advocate for issues that matter to you and your community. You may be welcoming them to your organization, school, or neighborhood. It’s key to make the most of this meeting. Here are eight ways to ensure a successful visit that leaves a lasting impact.

    1. Plan Ahead

    Start by planning the logistics of the visit, including scheduling, location, and agenda. Work with the legislator’s office to find their availability. Also, find out the topics they want to discuss. Prepare a detailed agenda outlining the sequence of events and divide enough time for each activity.

    2. Define Clear Objectives

    Identify the main things you want to achieve during the legislative visit. You could raise awareness about an issue. You could showcase your organization’s work. Or, you could advocate for policy changes. Tailor your messaging and activities to align with these objectives to maximize the impact of the visit.

    3. Engage Stakeholders

    Involve stakeholders from your organization, community, or group. Include them in the planning and execution of the visit. Encourage diverse participation. It will ensure that it represents a broad range of views. It will also provide chances for meaningful interaction with the legislator.

    4. Prepare Talking Points

    Develop concise and compelling talking points to guide discussions during the legislative visit. Highlight key messages, relevant data or statistics, success stories, and actionable policy recommendations. Prepare to address potential questions or areas of interest from the legislator.

    5. Showcase Impact

    Use the visit as an opportunity to showcase the impact of your organization’s work or the importance of your cause. Share success stories, testimonials, and examples. They prove the value of your efforts and show the real impacts of laws.

    6. Cultivate Dialogue

    Encourage open and helpful dialogue during the visit. Do this by creating a welcoming and inclusive atmosphere. Give attendees chances to ask questions. They can also share their experiences and offer input on relevant issues. Foster a spirit of collaboration and mutual respect to ease meaningful engagement with the legislator.

    7. Follow-Up

    After the legislative visit, send a thank-you letter or email. In the letter, express appreciation for their time and participation. Repeat key messages and commitments from the visit. Also, provide any relevant info or resources. Continue to engage with the legislator and their staff to build and sustain a productive relationship over time.

    8. Evaluate and Learn

    Take time to check the success of the visit and identify lessons learned for future engagements. Ask for feedback from participants, stakeholders, and the legislator’s office. Use it to assess the visit’s impact and find areas to improve. Use this feedback to improve your approach. It will make your future interactions with legislators more effective.

    Legislative visits offer a chance to meet elected officials. They are a chance to highlight key issues and make real change. You pave the way for a productive visit by planning and setting clear goals. You involve stakeholders and craft compelling points. And, you show impact. It will not only further your goals but also strengthen your advocacy.

  • Virtual Event: Strategic Communications in Criminal Legal Reform

    Are you the one running the show on your organization’s social media? Do you handle website updates like a champ? Are you the go-to person for getting your cause in the news spotlight?

    If you said yes to any of these, we’ve got something interesting lined up just for you! 

    Join us on Tuesday, May 7th from 11:00 AM – 1:30 PM via zoom for an insightful digital deep dive presentation by Progress Michigan.

    The event will include a 90 minute presentation on how to make the most of organic and paid media followed by a group question and answer session. 

    After the presentation, we invite you to join MI-CEMI and the Voting Access for All Coalition as we host a discussion on shaping the a future communications roundtable. Don’t miss this opportunity to connect with others working in the same field. Register now to secure your spot, HERE.

    We look forward to your participation!

    In Community,