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Old 12-18-2018, 07:21 PM
 
Location: Germantown, Philadelphia
6,216 posts, read 3,048,381 times
Reputation: 3932

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One of the bright spots on the urban horizon these days is the collection of initiatives and firms engaged in what's dubbed "social impact development."

This form of building aims not only to make its investors money, it also aims to produce tangible benefits for people who live in communities that have been ravaged by disinvestment or lack resources to revive themselves.

I just read a story that demonstrates that there are other ways to run a business for social impact. Philadelphia supermarket owner Jeff Brown has done quite well by questioning the conventional wisdom about things like opening suburban-quality supermarkets in low-income neighborhoods and hiring returning convicts to work in them. As a result, his company, Brown's Super Stores, has become a force for community betterment in the neighborhoods where he operates supermarkets under the ShopRite and Fresh Grocer banners. (ShopRite, which also owns the Fresh Grocer trademarks, is a wholesale cooperative owned by the independently owned supermarkets it supplies. Wakefern Food Corporation, which owns the ShopRite trademarks, is run on a democratic "one owner, one vote" basis.)

He has succeeded by actually listening to the people who live in the communities he wants to serve and asking them what they want in a store. His hiring of ex-convicts stemmed from just such a listening session. When The Philadelphia Inquirer reported on this initiative of his, commenters heaped scorn on them, failing to understand that their attitude guaranteed that the people Brown hired would remain "criminals" for life.

Might we make more progress tackling the problems facing much of the city if more of us took Brown's approach? Read these articles and get back to me:

How a Grocery Store Operator Models Social Design | Next City
Why a Philadelphia Grocery Chain Is Thriving In Food Deserts | The Salt | NPR
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Old 12-18-2018, 08:35 PM
 
Location: Kennett Square, PA
1,782 posts, read 2,752,720 times
Reputation: 2898
Highly Inspiring! Based on the article you posted, I just read everything I could on this marvelous organization, as I teach at a Juvenile Detention Center and take every opportunity to give future hope to my students! Thanks for posting.
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Old 12-19-2018, 05:02 AM
 
34 posts, read 15,636 times
Reputation: 88
I'm all for giving people who paid their debt to society a second chance.
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Old 12-19-2018, 05:56 AM
 
Location: Germantown, Philadelphia
6,216 posts, read 3,048,381 times
Reputation: 3932
Quote:
Originally Posted by S688 View Post
I'm all for giving people who paid their debt to society a second chance.
Based on the comments in response to the Inquirer story on Brown's second-chance program (which, you may note from the stories I did share, spawned a nonprofit foundation aimed at training returning convicts for legit work), not enough people understand that they deserve one.

Guess they want to keep them criminals for life, then complain about how evil these people are.

The best quote in the Inquirer story came from an ex-convict working in one of Brown's stores who made a perfectly valid point that should be obvious:

"The same skills you use to move crack you can use to move mac and cheese."
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Old 12-19-2018, 06:04 AM
 
10,273 posts, read 5,934,396 times
Reputation: 3628
Quote:
Originally Posted by MarketStEl View Post
Based on the comments in response to the Inquirer story on Brown's second-chance program (which, you may note from the stories I did share, spawned a nonprofit foundation aimed at training returning convicts for legit work), not enough people understand that they deserve one.

Guess they want to keep them criminals for life, then complain about how evil these people are.

The best quote in the Inquirer story came from an ex-convict working in one of Brown's stores who made a perfectly valid point that should be obvious:

"The same skills you use to move crack you can use to move mac and cheese."
They should get their right to vote back too.
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Old 12-19-2018, 06:11 AM
 
Location: Germantown, Philadelphia
6,216 posts, read 3,048,381 times
Reputation: 3932
Quote:
Originally Posted by kyb01 View Post
They should get their right to vote back too.
Can't rep you on this, but what you said.
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Old 12-19-2018, 06:20 AM
 
10,273 posts, read 5,934,396 times
Reputation: 3628
Quote:
Originally Posted by MarketStEl View Post
Can't rep you on this, but what you said.
Perfect example of getting their rights fully restored in many cases is the story (I'm sure you know about it)of the guy who was in prison for 39 years years for a crime he did not commit.
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Old 12-19-2018, 06:52 PM
 
Location: Philadelphia/South Jersey area
3,130 posts, read 1,619,018 times
Reputation: 11353
Quote:
Originally Posted by MarketStEl View Post
Can't rep you on this, but what you said.
I did it for you. I've been going to Browns for a number of years now. Had no idea. Great story.

Lol, and I am picking up a sweet potato pie for my holiday dinner
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Old 12-19-2018, 08:05 PM
 
Location: Mid-Atlantic
27,268 posts, read 25,865,265 times
Reputation: 34125
Quote:
Originally Posted by kyb01 View Post
They should get their right to vote back too.
Yes, they should. It's not as if they no longer have an opinion because they've been in prison.
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Old 12-20-2018, 08:26 AM
 
Location: Philadelphia Pa
669 posts, read 453,089 times
Reputation: 659
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gerania View Post
Yes, they should. It's not as if they no longer have an opinion because they've been in prison.
Well I think the general idea is that once one burdens society with one's crime and subsequent cost and trouble of incarceration, that the individual loses his/her right to make decisions pertaining to society. However, while in theory this sounds fair, considering how broken our legal and prison systems are, I completely agree with the other posters on this thread.

Last edited by Pennsport; 12-20-2018 at 09:53 AM..
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