NEESES, S.C. — Pastors from all over the Palmetto State are preparing to gather at Claflin University to discuss the treatment, respect and well-being of the state's incarcerated population.

The University will host the 28th Annual Granville Hicks leadership Academy for Laity and Clergy January 30 - 31. 

The event is named after and honors the Rev. Dr. Granville A. Hicks, a 1957 Claflin graduate who has been recognized for his leadership as a pastor. Hicks was instrumental in creating programs to improve race relations, education and leadership development throughout South Carolina. 

The event this year focus on prison reform, with the goal to equip clergy for leadership in the church and around the community.

"The theme for the weekend is The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Color Blindness," says the Reverend Dr. Larry D. McCutcheon. "My hope is at the end of the day, these pastors will learn how to minister to incarcerated men and women and that we will find ways to help them better adjust to society when they return to their various communities. That’s the hope and the goal of this conference."

The conference kicks off this Thursday on campus and is also open to the general public. For more information, click here.

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