Tairu takes message about banning the box to Flagler NAACP

Filed under DAYTONA BEACH, FLGR-PALMCOAST

Mykal “Myke” Tairu has sparked a trend in having the convicted felon box removed from job applications in Flagler County.

Last month, the Florida Program Coordinator with the Vincentian Re-Entry Organizing Project addressed members of the Flagler County NAACP. The project, based in Apopka, is partnered with the Catholic Campaign for Human Development and the Society of St. Vincent de Paul.

Tairu “bounces” around the state, bringing individuals like NAACP members, city and community leaders together with former incarcerated individuals to address the “ban-the- box” campaign.

Mykal Tairu is looking to have removed the convicted felon box from job applications in Flagler County.
(PHOTOS BY JEROLINE D. MCCARTHY/DAYTONA TIMES)

“When someone goes to apply for a job, and they get to a portion on the application that says, ‘Have you ever been convicted of a felony?’ and if they have a record, they check ‘yes’ on that box, and so what happens to that application?” he inquired. “It goes in the trash,” he answered.

The Vincentian Re-Entry Organizing Project researched the issue, establishing a policy that would give an individual with a record the opportunity to at least present himself before being disqualified.

‘A passionate advocate’
Tairu earned a master’s of religion degree from Yale Divinity School and a bachelor’s degree from Bethune-Cookman University following his studies in philosophy.

He is married to Shanicka Tairu, a Daytona Beach public school teacher.

Tairu frames a picture of growing up in the Washington, D.C., area without knowing his dad, who is incarcerated and college educated, and young Tairu becoming “a passionate advocate for criminal justice and ex-offenders’ rights, as well as being exposed to the harsh discrimination that ex-offenders face once they have satisfied their incarceration.”

Nudging to push forward the “ban-the-box” policy, it passed in Daytona Beach minus the job applications from the police and fire departments for obvious reasons. It also passed in Orlando, New Smyrna Beach, St. Petersburg, Miami-Dade County, Tallahassee, and other locales in our nation.

‘Open up doors’
The policy does not eliminate background checks, and should not be the “thing” to eliminate someone from getting a job, especially when the charge has nothing to do with the duties of the employer.

Tairu was full of hope in seeking to have the effort locally organized.

He was confident that “many of us in the room have loved ones or friends, who have been filtered through the so-called criminal justice system, and we understand that something has to happen,” he said.

“If we want folks to re-enter back into society,” he continued, “we have to open up doors and create opportunities for them to become contributing members of society.”

New Beginnings program in jeopardy
There’s the tie-in of another discussion at the NAACP meeting. It involved a helpful program on the chopping block in this year’s budget for Flagler County schools.

In addition, Flagler Citizens emailed us regarding the subject and that New Beginnings is a program that provides GED and parenting programs for Flagler dropouts who have young children up to 3 years old.

The program helps young mothers get a new start by helping them get their GED. It helps young families in Flagler County strive toward a productive and successful future.

New Beginnings can no longer rely on the childcare program at Bunnell Elementary School because that service no longer provides supervision for children up to 3 years old. The program is seeking funding for two teachers to provide child care for infants to 3 year olds.

Join the fight to get quality child care for the children and provide a new beginning for their parents.

Let’s help to save this program by calling the school board member in your district so parents can get the quality childcare for their children.

The phone number is 386-437-7526.

The School Board members are: Chairman Trevor Tucker, District 4; Colleen Conklin, District 3; Andy Dance, District 1; Vice-Chair Janet McDonald, District 2; and Dr. Maria Barbosa, District 5.

Laundrie to speak at March 28 meeting
The Flagler County NAACP will hold another meeting come March 28, 6 p.m., at the African American Cultural Society, 4422 North U.S. 1, Palm Coast.

Branch President Linda Sharpe Matthews announced that Centennial Chairman Carl Laundrie will speak on the Flagler County Centennial Celebration.

All are invited to learn of the events to celebrate the 100th anniversary, which will take place April 29 at the Flagler County Government Services Building.

For further details, contact the branch at 386-446-7822.

Maxine Hicks’ 90th birthday party was brought together by her nieces, Chaplain Carmen Caldwell and Naomi Hargrave along with friends, William Jones and the Rev. Annette Weaver, who is not shown in the photo.

A 90th celebration for Maxine Hicks
It’s all about Maxine Hicks since she had an incredible 90th birthday, celebrated March 17 in Daytona Beach at Cheddar’s.

The guest of honor was surrounded by nieces Naomi Hargrave and Chaplain Carmen Caldwell of the Flagler County Sheriff’s Department. The occasion translated to the appropriate birthday greeting, which brought together the guest of honor’s friends, William Jones and the Rev. Annette Weaver.

The scope of her life stems from growing up in Louisburg, N.C., and the last sibling from 11 to be living.

She retired as an administrator with the Exxon Corporation in Paterson, N.J., and relocated to Florida nearly 24 years ago.

Mrs. Hicks loves the Lord, reads her Bible daily, and thereby keeps the faith. She is impassioned as a spiritual mother, a lady who enjoys dressing up, and always having treats in her purse.

The out-of-town guests arriving from Georgia were the honoree’s daughter-in-law, grandson, Julian Hicks, and his bride. And with all praises to God, the honoree was blessed with one son, two grandsons, five granddaughters, and five great-grandchildren!

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As always, remember our prayers for the sick, afflicted and bereaved.

Celebrations
Birthday wishes to Evangelist Robin Campos, March 24; Vicki Seward, March 26; my son, Christopher, in Cambria Heights, N.Y., March 27; Barbara Jackson, March 28; Cynthia L. George-Pegues and Shirley Jones, March 29.

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