San Francisco, CA – Acclaimed writer and advocate, Luis J. Rodriguez, will give the keynote address at the San Francisco Safe Communities Reentry Council 2nd Annual Reentry Summit, “Working Together to Support San Franciscans After Incarceration,” on Wednesday, September 19, 2007 from 8:30AM to 4PM at Jack Adams Hall, César Chávez Student Center, San Francisco State University. Rodriguez, who will address reducing violence in our communities through successful reentry, is schedule to speak from 12:15PM to 1:15PM.

Rodriguez is best known for his 1993 memoir of gang life, Always Running: La Vida Loca, Gang Days in L.A., which explores the motivation of gang life and cautions against the death and destruction that inevitably claim its participants. An international best seller—with more than 20 printings, around 250,000 copies sold—the memoir has earned a Carl Sandburg Literary Award, a Chicago Sun-Times Book Award, and was designated a New York Times Notable Book. The American Library Association has named Always Running as one of the nation’s 100 most censored.

Rodriguez is also recognized for helping start a number of prominent organizations, such as Chicago’s Guild Complex, one of the largest literary arts organizations in the Midwest; Rock a Mole Productions which produces music and art festivals, CDs and film; and Youth Struggling for Survival, a Chicago-based non-profit community group working with gang and non-gang youth. In addition, he is one of the founders of the small poetry publishing house Tia Chucha Press, as well as Tia Chucha’s Café & Centro Cultural—a bookstore, coffee shop, art gallery, performance space, and workshop center in Los Angeles.

“We are thrilled to have Luis Rodriguez as our keynote speaker,” says Public Defender Jeff Adachi. “The 2nd Annual Reentry Summit is about creating opportunities for people who have the will to turn their lives around. Rodriguez is a survivor, who through sheer determination was able to obtain the tools necessary to transcend social barriers and achieve mainstream success. Creating equal opportunities for people who have already paid their debt to society, so that they may do the same, is a necessary component to achieving justice.”

The Safe Communities Reentry Council (SCRC) was convened in 2005 by Public Defender Jeff Adachi and Supervisor Ross Mirkarimi. The goal of SCRC is to implement policies and programs that reduce recidivism and facilitate successful reentry into society for probationers and parolees returning to San Francisco communities.

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