Who is MARC
Connecting people with resources to grow, Michael Taylor takes a community lens to everything he does as the director of MARC, a nonprofit focused on helping people readjust to life after prison. I had the pleasure of working with Michael over the past couple of months and even had the honor of presenting 48in48 at the Metro Atlanta Reentry Coalition (MARC) August meeting. During that meeting, each community member shared their goal to provide capacity-building opportunities and support each other’s missions in the reentry community, focusing on web development, cognitive arts, food, and safe housing.
MARC participated in 48in48’s first Social Justice Website Build Event this past June, where we built over 40 sites focusing on nonprofits founded and run by Black, Indigenous, People of Color (BIPOC) and nonprofits that concentrate on fighting for social justice. In fact, MARC’s new website won an Honorable Mention award.
MARC, a multi-jurisdictional body of members, contributes to reentry efforts in the Metro Atlanta area. MARC was founded around 2018, with a foundational relationship around the film called Released, in conjunction with the US attorney’s office. John Horn, former U.S. attorney of North Georgia, worked with local filmmaker Forrest Tuff to created Released. The film’s goal was to bring awareness to the challenges of reintegration in Atlanta and MARC was established as a network to address these challenges.
Since 2018, MARC has grown and now works with a network of organizations to increase access to resources, the capacity of services, and job training for returning citizens throughout eight counties in Metro Atlanta. Every month MARC brings these changemakers together in a meeting like the one I attended to introduce leaders in the nonprofit capacity and reentry space.
Who is Michael Taylor?
Over the past few months, Michael Taylor, Director of Metro Atlanta Reentry Coalition, worked with 48in48 to create their new website, which will serve as a single source of reentry events for the coalition.
With a background in business recruitment and business development involving reentry employment, Michael was tasked with scaling the MARC member base and opportunities.
“ My goal as chairman of the organization is to increase collaborative efforts across metro Atlanta in terms of reentry work and serving those returning from the community in terms of incarceration.”
One of the organizations MARC partners closely with is the Atlanta branch of CEO. Michael Taylor, Director of MARC, also heads the Atlanta branch of CEO.
What is CEO?
The Center for Employment Opportunities (CEO) is a national organization that helps 600,000+ people with the transition home from prison every year. As the CEO Director in Atlanta, Michael is focused on reducing recidivism, and they achieve this by offering support services for job seekers with past convictions.
CEO works with pathways to reentry. The first path focuses on job readiness and training for work. After completing the entry, pathway members are introduced to different employment pathways. Members are automatically given transitional employment on a work crew.
These crews work four days a week, are paid daily, and are encouraged to save through a savings match from CEO. On their day off, participants focus on securing full-time employment with a job coach or business account manager. Together they work on interview skills, conviction questions, and job readiness. When speaking with Michael, he emphasized how vital the CEO community is and their lifetime commitment to members saying, “Once CEO, always CEO. If they lose their job, we want them to come back.”
If a former pathway member loses their job, they are encouraged to rejoin CEO and make that connection. Each individual is committed to every individual’s success.
GreenLight Fund Atlanta
Another member of the Metro Atlanta Reentry Coalition is GreenLight Atlanta, a Philanthropic Venture focused on funding and facilitating innovative nonprofit organizations that address the most pressing issues. With the goal of addressing Atlanta’s most persistent poverty challenges, Greenlight Atlanta sponsors Citizen Reentry as part of their portfolio
Over 3,000 people return to Atlanta each year from prison, and the recidivism rate is over 30% (GreenLight Source). GreenLight works to create equal opportunities for these individuals and reduce the recidivism rate.
48in48 Impact on MARC
Michael and the team were “pressed to get a new website, as MARC’s platforms increase.” The Metro Atlanta Reentry Council is focused on trying to bring more and more people to the organization to share their events, specifically targeting increased membership and community engagement.
Michael highlighted that MARC has “increased awareness” with their new site. More people are reaching out, and that is really getting the coalition excited to learn more about web development. Michael says,
“48in48 is a no-brainer if you are looking for help in website development.”
As the world begins to open up, MARC is focused on adjusting its programming to create more opportunities for support in the reentry community. This includes working with back-to-school mentorship programs.
Moving into the fall of 2021, MARC is growing its member base and increasing opportunities to connect. One opportunity Michael highlighted was with Integrity CDC, an community development nonprofit in Atlanta. Together MARC and Integrity CDC are planning a reentry summit in October. MARC is also partnering with Live on Purpose ATL, and New Life Second Chances to continue providing more opportunities within the reentry community.
If you want to learn more about MARC, check out their new site at https://metroatlantareentry.org/ and consider donating or joining their program.