About REAP Business Forums
REAP Business Forums are composed of employers and potential employers, together with reentry organizations, and are aimed at developing strategies to improve hiring opportunities for formerly incarcerated people (FIPs) and people with a criminal record. These forums provide support and training to businesses and organizations by sharing insights on effective practices with a broader range of employers than has traditionally been reached.
REAP seeks to build a scalable model of civically-engaged businesses and employers, reentry organizations, academic institutions, and others that work in concert to provide career-track employment for this talent pool that:
- provides businesses wider access to the skills, productivity, and employment retention benefits of hiring from this employment pool as well as the financial incentives that are available;
- breaks down negative perceptions and other barriers to employment;
- reduces the recidivism rate through building long-term financial independence;
- fosters economic development in underserved communities; and
- builds the tax base through increased employment, wages, and profits.
Damon J. Phillips, former Co-director of the Tamer Center for Social Enterprise
Toney Earl, Founder and Executive Director, M.A.D.E Transitional Services
Mission of the Business Forum
To enlist businesses to provide FIPs with career-track jobs that lead to financial independence.
Business Forum Breakfast Series and Working Groups
The Business Forum breakfast series provides an opportunity for Working Groups to develop strategies for helping employers find skilled workers who may have a criminal history and resources that will support their decision to hire a formerly incarcerated candidate. Topics include:
1. Hospitals and healthcare career pathways
2. Expanding computer & tech sector employment
3. Employers & FIPs narratives, strategies, & data: marketing success
4. Knowledge & learning
5. Building the business case
June 8, 2022 — Healthcare Perspectives and Employee Training on Hiring
Employers, potential employers, reentry organizations, and others shared developing strategies to improve hiring opportunities in the NYC healthcare sector for people with past criminal records. Tonya Richards, chief diversity, equity, and inclusion officer at Columbia University Irving Medical Center, and Curtis Dann-Messier, director at NYC Health + Hospitals Peer Academy, discussed healthcare perspectives on hiring. Gyasi Headen, director of workforce development at Osborne Association, and Tara Gilbert, director of business development at STRIVE, discussed training employees for the healthcare sector. This event was hosted in partnership with the NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene. Watch the recording.
December 7, 2021 — REAP Hospitals Breakfast Meeting Series
This series is a roundtable discussion bringing together leading NYC-area healthcare institutions around the topic of hiring employees who were formerly incarcerated and otherwise justice-involved. Featured speaker Gyasi Headen, director of workforce development at the Osborne Association, shared the perspective of system-impacted individuals seeking employment and answered questions from healthcare system employers.
November 12, 2019 — REAP Hospitals Breakfast Meeting Series
This series is a roundtable discussion bringing together leading NYC-area healthcare institutions around the topic of hiring employees who were formerly incarcerated and otherwise justice-involved. Episode 4 of "The Outside” was premiered, and roundtable participants discussed foundational education and best practices for healthcare employers seeking to successfully recruit and employ individuals with past criminal records in a healthcare setting.
April 18, 2019 — REAP Hospitals Breakfast Meeting Series
This series is a roundtable discussion bringing together leading NYC-area healthcare institutions around the topic of hiring employees who were formerly incarcerated and otherwise justice-involved. Eric Eingold, Esq. of Youth Represent, highlighted common mistakes made by employers while conducting criminal background checks and discussed best practices to limit an employer’s legal exposure as the meeting’s featured speaker.
November 26, 2018 — REAP Hospitals Breakfast Meeting Series
This series is a roundtable discussion bringing together leading NYC-area healthcare institutions around the topic of hiring employees who were formerly incarcerated and otherwise justice-involved. Yariela Kerr-Donovan, senior director of strategic workforce development at Johns Hopkins Medicine, was the featured keynote speaker at this meeting.
May 22, 2018 — Making Hiring FIPs a Way of Doing Business: A Framework for Employers that Works
Featuring: Yariela Kerr-Donovan, Senior Director at Johns Hopkins Hospital and Health Systems
September 26, 2017 — Innovations in Employment: The Business Case for Hiring the Formerly Incarcerated
Featuring: Vice Media, Uber, and Buddha Booth, to discuss what motivates businesses to engage formerly incarcerated people, the potential resistance they face, and how to make the business case to boards, employees and customers.
June 29, 2017 — Business Forum Breakfast
Megan French-Marcelin, Policy Research Manager of the ACLU
Roberta Meyers, Director of National H.I.R.E. Network (Legal Action Center)
April 26, 2017 — Business Forum Breakfast
Koby Rotstein, Director of Business Development of Year Up
Lynn Allen, Technical Evangelist of Autodesk
March 1, 2017 — Business Forum Breakfast
Mike Brady, President & CEO of Greyston Bakery
Tariq Greene, Deputy Director of M.A.D.E. Transitional Services
Jordyn Lexton, Founder & Executive Director of Drive Change
Cisco Pinedo, Founder & President of Cisco Brothers & Co-founder of Refoundry
April 22, 2016 — Solutions to Post-Incarceration Employment and Entrepreneurship: The Role of Businesses and Universities
Go to website
Jeremy Travis, President, John Jay College of Criminal Justice
Ifeoma Ajunwa, Assistant Professor of Law, University of the District of Columbia; Ph.D. Candidate, Columbia University
Greg Fairchild PhD '02, E. Thayer Bigelow Associate Professor of Business Administration; Institute for Business in Society Academic Director, Darden School of Business, University of Virginia
Devah Pager, Professor of Sociology and Public Policy, Harvard University; Susan S. and Kenneth L. Wallach Professor, Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study
Michael Stoll, Professor of Public Policy and Urban Planning, Associate Director of the Center for the Study of Urban Poverty, UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs
Jose Zubizarreta, Assistant Professor, Decision, Risk and Operations, Columbia Business School; Affiliated Faculty with Department of Statistics, Columbia University
Bill Keller, Founding Editor-in-Chief, The Marshall Project
Lynn Allen, Technical Evangelist, Autodesk
John Dillow, Senior Product Manager, SkillSmart
Frederick Hutson, Chief Executive Officer, Pigeonly
Kathryn Wylde, President and CEO, The Partnership for New York City
Geraldine Downey, Professor of Psychology, Columbia University; Director, the Center for Justice, Columbia University
Ronald Day, Associate Vice President, Fortune Society
Paul Keefe, Supervising Attorney, New York City Commission on Human Rights
Victoria Sharp, MD, Former Director, The Spencer Cox Center for Health, St. Luke's Roosevelt Hospital
Pamela Valera, Assistant Professor, Sociomedical Sciences, Columbia University Medical Center