FAMU to host national ‘Ban the Box’ forum


ORLANDO –  Florida A&M University (FAMU) will host a national forum titled, “Ban the Box: Eliminating Barriers to Reentry” on Nov. 12 at 6 p.m. at the FAMU College of Law in Orlando.

The forum will bring together panelists from a cross-section of professions, including academia, entertainment, law, and advocacy, from around the nation to discuss the ramifications of “banning the box” – preventing premature or illegal consideration of criminal background information in higher education and the workforce – and the role it may play in preventing rehabilitated ex-offenders from re-entering society as productive citizens.

(“The box” refers to the checkmark made on a “box” in many job applications that ask whether an applicant has been arrested or convicted of a crime.)

Judge Greg Mathis, a social activist and star of the award-winning show “Judge Mathis” will join a group of academic and legal scholars, social activists, and community leaders to bring awareness to the issue.

The symposium will feature famed civil rights attorney Theodore “Ted” Shaw, the Julius Chambers Distinguished Professor of Law and the director of the Center for Civil Rights at the University of North Carolina. Shaw is one of the nation’s foremost civil rights litigators and has presented affirmative action cases before the U.S. Supreme Court several times during his accomplished career.

Anthony Dixon, Ph.D., FAMU alumnus and author of numerous books including “Up From Incarceration,” which chronicles his journey from prison to a doctoral degree, and Western Carolina’s Bardo Distinguished Professor Kofi Lomotey, Ph.D., who will discuss the role of higher education in providing reentry opportunities, will join Mathis and Shaw.

FAMU alumnus and Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum; FAMU alumnus Umi Selah, executive director of the Dream Defenders; Sharon Ames Dennard, Ph.D., clinical psychologist, community activist, and business owner; and former Orlando Judge Belvin Perry will round out the panel.

More than 19 states and 100 cities and counties have passed “ban the box” laws.  Also, momentum is gaining for similar federal legislation.

To register and learn more about the forum, go to: bit.ly/famubanthebox.


  1. Institutional Racism. The Trade Unions discriminate! The steam fitters apprenticeship programs; one or no African Americans. Do you know a Black Electrician, or a Black Plumber? Or even know any other Black that knows one? We are disenfranchised in every skill, and the Whites say, “why don’t they help themselves, start businesses? Right as long as it’s a skill-less business. It’s mostly White Blue Collar with the skills they don’t want Blacks to have.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here