Centenary marks Constitution Day with speaker September 20

SHREVEPORT, LA — Curtis Ray Davis II, an outreach paralegal for the Southern Poverty Law Center, will speak at Centenary to commemorate Constitution Day on Thursday, September 20, at 11:10 a.m. in the Whited Room. Davis’s presentation will draw on his own life experiences to focus on criminal justice reform and voting rights. The event is free and open to the public.

Davis is the founder of the Shreveport chapter of Voice of the Experienced (VOTE), a statewide organization advocating for voting rights for Louisiana citizens convicted of felonies. Davis served 26 years in the infamous Louisiana State Penitentiary at Angola for a second degree murder that he did not commit. During his quarter century behind bars, he worked to organize and educate his fellow inmates as well as the public on perceived injustices within the Louisiana criminal justice system. He also wrote programming for the prison’s Pre-release Exit Program, focusing on life skills such as money management, decision making, time management, relationship development, and communication dynamics.

Immediately following the reversal of his conviction and his release on July 8, 2016, Davis became a community activist. In addition to founding the Shreveport chapter of VOTE, he provided counsel for the most comprehensive de-incarceration legislation in Louisiana history, the Justice Reinvestment Act (2017), a ten-bill bipartisan effort that immediately produced a 20% decrease in non-violent offenders being sent to prison.

Constitution Day commemorates the ratification of the United States Constitution in September 1787 and is celebrated across the country with local events focusing on constitutional history and citizenship.

For more information, contact Assistant Professor of Political Science Mark Leeper at mleeper@centenary.edu


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