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Expanding 'ban the box' critical for Black youth in Philly, advocates say

October 16, 2018, Michael D'Onifrio - The Philadelphia Tribune

Mary Baxter thought her past was behind her.

Ten years after she served seven months in prison for two felonies, Baxter earned two degrees from the Community College of Philadelphia. Her next step: Transitioning to a four-year university.

(Mary Enoch Elizabeth Baxter's Testimony | photo by Mark Strandquist)

But when the Philadelphia resident began the application process, her past came flooding back: She had to reveal that she had a criminal record on applications.

“It didn’t matter that I had a 3.7 [GPA], it didn’t matter that I was a member of Phi Theta Kappa and I was in the student leadership … society,” said Baxter, 36. “None of it mattered when it came to that point. It was just me being defined by this one thing that I did that has continued to follow me over a decade since my release.”

Read the full story here!

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