Rev. Dr. Cecil ‘Chip' Murray
The Save Our Sons Prison/Justice Ministry (SOS) will present the Rev. Dr. Cecil ‘Chip' Murray on Sunday, February 19, at 2:30 p.m., at Crenshaw United Methodist Church, 3740 Don Felipe Drive in Los Angeles. Rev. Howard Ashford is the host pastor.
Dr. Murray is the first in a series of speakers on the topic, ‘Mass Incarceration.' The term refers to rates of imprisonment that are so high, they have an adverse effect, not only on the individual, but also on the entire society.
The Rev. Dr. Murray is a graduate of Florida A & M University and Claremont School of Theology as well as a veteran of the Air Force. He served as pastor of First A.M.E. Church of Los Angeles for 27 years, building the congregation from 250 to 18,000 members and instituting social and economic programs worth millions of dollars.
In retirement, he is a Senior Fellow of the Center for Religion and Civic Culture and holds the John R. Tansey Chair of Christian Ethics in the School of Religion at the University of Southern California. Also, the USC Community Engagement Center bears his name.
Rev. Murray will introduce the topic of ‘Mass Incarceration' by utilizing his lifetime experiences as a pastor and his wisdom as a leader in community and social justice, and as an expert in religious issues in Los Angeles and nationwide.
The January SOS speaker, Fanya Baruti, a Community Interventionist with A New Way of Life Re-Entry Program, inspired the series. In discussing ways to help inmates and their families, he cited the effects of increasing rates of imprisonment on African American family life.
Now, one of every 15 (6.6%) African American men over 18 years of age are behind bars. The incarceration rate for white men of the same age is 1 in 106 (0.09%). One third (33%) of African American male high school dropouts under age forty are currently behind bars.
The ‘war on drugs,' mandatory minimum sentencing, and maximizing charges have led to disproportionately long sentences for minorities. At every stage of the ‘justice' system, Blacks are more likely to be arrested, more likely to be convicted, and more likely to receive harsher sentences than whites for the same crimes.
"Community members, please, come to Save Our Sons and let's work together to stop this new form of slavery that threatens to destroy us," said Dr. Delores Alleyne of SOS.
For information, call (323) 292-0141.