Updated: April 11, 2013 6:21AM
Growing up in Chicago’s now-demolished Robert Taylor Homes on the city’s South Side, Terry Banies learned at an early age that “black men weren’t supposed to live past the age of 23,” he said.
Banies said he “tried to prove them right” — but fortunately did not succeed.
“I’ve been blessed to have two lives,” he said.
Well into his “second life,” Banies is completing his bachelor’s degree in social work and applying for admission to the master’s program at Governors State University in University Park.
He is one of several panelists featured at an open forum, “Generating Hope: Struggles, Challenges, Change ... Facing Life in Spite of Our Past.”
The forum will focus on the challenges of the formerly incarcerated and their family members.
Lorri Glass, associate social work professor at GSU, and the program coordinator, said the university is trying to increase awareness of the issues with which students with criminal backgrounds must live and how their situations affect their career options.
“Our goal is to provide information, support and resources for those facing this challenge, as well as hope. The importance of hope can never be taken for granted,” Glass said.
The forum is free and open to the public. It will be held from 3 to 5:30 p.m. March 11, in Engbretson Hall at Governors State University, 1 University Parkway, University Park.
For more information, email Glass at firstname.lastname@example.org.