Giving Back to the Community
Many Americans celebrate “Black History” month in February by reminiscing on the past accomplishments of fellow blacks/African-Americans. This is one of the ways to celebrate and embrace the legacy and empowering history of black people in America and their contributions to our society. Sherri Jefferson of the African American Juvenile Justice Project (AAJJP) believes that another way to celebrate is to embrace the present and press toward the future.
To this end, she dedicates her time to participating in programs and events that edifies the current state of the black/African-American community. So, in the month of February and all year long, Sherri participates in numerous events in furtherance of this ideal.
February 4th – Sherri Jefferson served the Fulton County Juvenile Court as its Moderator for their event “A Conversation With Parents.” This event was held at Impact Church. Among many of the speakers present, the packed audience had the opportunity to engage Chief Judge Boyd, Fulton County Commissioner and Chairperson John Eaves, Senator Emanuel Jones, Fulton County Chief of Police and Gernarldo Wilson for Youth Advocacy. Parent advocates presented and the building was filled with service providers and vendors. This program was the first in a series of events to be conducted by Court Administrator, Alli Omotayo, Esq. and Rieko Ward, Director of Volunteer Services.
February 7th – Sherri Jefferson served as a speaker for the distinguished men of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Incorporated "Omega Day" aka Lobby Day 2017. “Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc. is the first international fraternal organization founded on November 23, 1911 on the campus of a historically black college. The founders are Edgar Amos Love, Oscar James Cooper Frank Coleman and Ernest Everett Just.”
The “Omega Capitol Day” event was inspiring, informative and innovative. The men gathered for several programs, which included attaining recognition by the House of Representatives, conducting a series of speaking panels and seminars that included a forum on Criminal Justice and Education. Bro. Antwan Walker moderated a forum on criminal justice and reform and Sherri Jefferson presented on the topic. Several members of the senate and house of representatives were present.
House Representative Calvin Smyre welcomed his fraternity brothers as well as hosted the event. The men of Omega Psi Phi participated in numbers and truly embraced their cardinal principles of manhood, scholarship, perseverance and uplift. Sherri Jefferson is honored to be selected to serve as their speaker and thanks their leadership for the opportunity to share wisdom and knowledge about our criminal justice system and what we can do to effectuate change from within our community through accountability and responsibility.
February 17th and February 27th – Sherri Jefferson was honored to present before the esteem co-chairman Bert Reeves and the committee of the Georgia House of Representatives Non-Judiciary Committee in support of H.B. 341. This legislation will hold “Johns,” the men who buy sex from underage children and victims of sex trafficking (sexual enslavement and servitude), accountable and responsible. The legislation mandates criminal punishment that is punishable by up to 20 years.
On behalf of #FemaleNOTFeemale initiative and AAJJP, Jefferson presented her support of the legislation as well as made her own recommendations about the importance of addressing the “demand side” of sex trafficking and servitude. Jefferson also wrote an article for world news (wn.com) regarding H.B. 341
The legislation has passed the House and awaits presentment before the Senate for final enactment.
Notwithstanding these events, Sherri Jefferson spent time engaging fathers of their rights regarding legitimation and custody. Too often, fathers are legally forced to pay child support with no other role in the lives of their children. Sherri offered fathers an opportunity to learn how to petition the court for legitimation AND seek parenting time and joint legal and physical custody, where permissible, and in the best interest of the child.
February 24th – Sherri Jefferson attended “Blended Heritage.” Unique to the celebration of “Black History,” “Blended Heritage” is an event that is hosted by the Fayette County Public Library system under the auspice of Director Christeen Snell. She hosted an extravaganza that unified the diverse community around the premise of song, interpretative dance, and classical performances. This showcase of talents and gifts enables understanding of black culture offered through different lenses. The evening culminated with violinist, extraordinaire Ken Ford.
On the morning of February 24th, Jefferson spent the day offering free services to the elderly who need information about Advance Directives and Durable Power of Attorney (including the proposed new Georgia law).
Giving back to the community is a great form of recognition and celebration of the legacy of our ancestors.