Tuesday, May 19, 2015

A Book Club of Leaders: The "Read to Lead" Book Fair

There are times when it makes sense to get off the couch and leave that good book for later. A book fair is one of those times.

The Prince George’s County Drug Policy Coalition, Inc., and the Literary Group of Sisters 4 Sisters Network, Inc. pulled off an incredible event at “Read to Lead” Book Fair on May 9 at the Mall at Prince Georges in Hyattsville.

Amid shopping and eat treats, guests were at the edge of their seats as they listened to widely known authors and perused through nearly a dozen book stations in the center of the hall.

The event was free and open to the public.

“I am thrilled that so many community members came out to meet and hear from our featured authors.  It was wonderful that White House Correspondent, April Ryan, shared her stories about her love for reading and writing which added to the excitement of this year's event,” said Dr. Valencia Campbell, President of the Prince George’s County Drug Policy Coalition, Inc.

“Moreover, we are thrilled to provide our community with the stories and experiences of authors whose books cover inspirational themes, self-help, biographical, workplace and contemporary political issues.”

Other Featured Authors Included:

1. Dr. Hattie Washington, An Inspirational Memoir of Lessons Learned Through Faith, Family and Favor

2. Dr. Vernon L. Farmer,   (Editor) and Evelyn Shepherd-Wynn (Assoc. editor)

3. Ella Curry,  A Reason to Believe

4. Lillie West, Daily Dose of Divine Inspiration for Mothers

5. Paula Claude Williamson, The Thorns and Petals of Life

6. Dr. Ellen Williams Harris, Grits and Gumbo

7. Mary C. McShan,  The Homeless Bachelor

8. Donald K. Hawkins, My Life According to the Promise

9. Cynthia Greene, Don’t Get Married If .  . .

10. Yvonne Medley, The Prison Plumb Line

11. Avia Mebane, Amorette

12:  Ms. Christie Jones,  Are We Home Yet?

13.  Ms. Sandra Williams, Look with Me

The Prince George’s County Drug Policy Coalition, Inc. provides community based support to families within the County with a focus on students obtaining higher education and living a drug free lifestyle. Visit their website at www.pgcdpc.com for more information.

The Literary Group of Sisters 4 Sisters Network, Inc. provides a platform for women to network and develop their writing goals through workshops and community events.

The link to the article from The Prince George's Suite Magazine can be found below:

Friday, April 3, 2015

Call For Authors: The “Read to Lead” Book Fair

Literacy is the ability to read, write, speak and analyze words. This basic skill set is essential to every leader. Literacy is essential not only to functioning within society, but it’s also essential to reaching one’s full potential as a contributing part of society including serving as a community leader.

Image result for prince george's county drug policy coalition logo

Read to Lead are gateway to literacy programs, resources and events throughout the year. It brings together partners in business, education and public service to support and produce events that raise literacy awareness and celebrate reading.

Image result for sisters for sisters network, inc logo

The “Read to Lead” Book Fair focuses on the  power of writing to inspire and stimulate readers of all ages. The deadline for authors to submit your author's form and book is April 17, 2015!  The event is sponsored by the Prince George's County Drug Policy Coalition, Inc. and the Literary Group of Sisters 4 Sisters Network, Inc. Please go to the link below to complete the fillable application.


Image result for reading

Sunday, March 22, 2015

PGCDPC 2015-2016 Empowering Future Leaders Scholarship Application

      The Prince George's County Drug Policy Coalition, Inc. is pleased to announce the "Empowering Future Leaders Scholarship" for the 2015-2016 academic year.

      The Prince George's County Drug Policy Coalition, Inc. is a nonprofit organization that promotes policies and laws that embrace the public health nature of drug abuse. Through our scholarship program, we provide community-based support to families within the county with a focus on students obtaining higher education and living a drug free life.

      The scholarship form can be downloaded by clicking on the link below at:

      PGCDPC 2015-2016 Empowering Future Leaders Scholarship

     The application forms are due Friday, May 1, 2015. All qualifying applicants will receive a notice of an award.

        The Prince George’s County Drug Policy Coalition, Inc. represents one of many local affiliates of the National African American Drug Policy Coalition, Inc. Our national organization consists of a coalition of 25 preeminent organizations. Through the support of our national organization, interested organizational partners, and grassroots members like you, we hope to prevent and reduce illegal drug abuse and related crimes in Prince George’s County.

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Prince George’s bill offers inmates a second chance

Prince George’s residents with criminal records may have an easier time getting their foot in the door with a potential employer now due to new legislation passed by the county.

“This is an historic bill that will make it easier for our returning citizens to seek employment,” said Robert “Bob” Ross, president of the Prince George’s chapter of the NAACP.

County Bill 79, the “ban the box” bill, a reference to the box applicants are required to check on their applications if they have a criminal record, was passed unanimously Nov. 19 by the Prince George’s County Council.

The bill prohibits most employers from requiring an applicant disclose their criminal record or conduct a criminal record check on an applicant until after a first interview has been conducted.

If an employer rescinds an offer of employment to an applicant based on their criminal record, they must notify the applicant and provide them a copy of their criminal record report, giving them three days to present any evidence of inaccuracies in the record.

“If we don’t give people second chances, then they don’t have the opportunity really, to live productive and meaningful lives,” said Councilwoman Mary Lehman (D-Dist. 1) of Laurel. “They’ll be much more likely to return to crime and drive up recidivism rates.”


The law provides exemptions for public safety, programs that provide services to minors or disabled adults, or to positions that, “in the judgement of the county, have access to confidential or proprietary business or personal information, money or items of value, or involve emergency management,” according to the legislation.

It does not apply in cases where criminal background checks are expressly authorized by federal, state or county legislation.

David Harrington, president of the Prince George’s County Chamber of Commerce, said the chamber expressed concerns, but that those were addressed in the amending of the bill to clarify that it applies to prospective, not current, employees.

“We are in support of the intent of the bill, and that is to provide an opportunity for people to be able to speak their case for employment,” Harrington said.

Councilman Obie Patterson (D-Dist. 8) of Fort Washington sponsored the legislation. Patterson said that during his former occupation as a parole commissioner, he witnessed the difficulty former convicts had in obtaining jobs.

“It was almost impossible for these individuals to get a fair chance at even low-paying jobs,” Patterson said.

Patterson said that 11 states and over 50 jurisdictions, including Baltimore, Washington D.C., and Montgomery County, have passed similar legislation.

“We think it is due time,” said Fred Price Jr. of Cheverly, a member of the Prince George’s Republican Central Committee.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Raising Monies To Better Raise Children


Prince George's County Drug Policy Coalition Raises Another $12,000 For Youth

By PGS Media

This is one of the best ways to spend a Saturday afternoon. While many were raking leaves and prepping for Halloween, some 100 Prince Georgians were raising money for local students to take their next steps in life.
The Prince George’s County Drug Policy Coalition, Inc., held its Annual Gala and Auction, October 25 (photos). Proceeds will benefit the Coalition’s “Empowering Future Leaders Scholarship Program.”
Donations and funds received totaled some $12,000.

Each year the Coalition presents scholarships to high school and college students in Prince George’s County. All applications are considered by a PCGDPC Scholarship Committee. A major determining factor in the selection process is the applicant’s commitment to the community.
“Through our scholarship program, we provide community-based support to families within the county with a focus on students obtaining higher education and living a healthy and drug free life,” says Dr. Valencia Campbell, President of the Prince George’s County Drug Policy Coalition, Inc. She explains that at the core of the Coalition’s service is a strong emphasis on self-help initiatives.
This funding will be earmarked for the June 2015 gala event to aid the students.
Other determining factors include the personal circumstances and achievements, educational goals, and the likely impact of the scholarship on the applicant’s life. To date, the coalition has awarded $50,000 in scholarships to students.

But Saturday’s event was a big hit. Stellar performances were turned in by the Entourage Band (jazz) and The Potomac Players (theater).
And the auction was a winner, too.  
“We auctioned a lot,” Campbell says modestly. Artwork included donated works reflecting President Obama, floral art, canvass work, watches, trips (domestic and abroad donated by Windham). Larry Poncho Brown artwork auctioned. There were signed books by authors including Congressman Clyburn, Omar Tyree, President Bush and former Secretary of State Colin Powell.
Also auctioned were five Negro League baseballs along with several Nordstrom’s and other gift baskets gift baskets and gift cards and Washington Redskins parking lot tickets. Annie’s Art Gallery donated a President Obama painting. Washington Gas made a donation to support the event. There was an iPad raffle and the YMCA donated short term memberships.

Some of the elected officials and community leaders in attendance include:
Maryland State Delegate Kris Valderrama
Delegate Elect Tony Knotts
Councilman Obie Patterson
Mayor Jacqueline Goodall, Forest Heights
Dr. Richard Lucas, Vice President, Bowie State University
Alice Holt, Democratic Central Committee Member
Hazel Robinson, President Tantallon Square Area Civic Assoc.
Earl O'Neal, President of South County Economic Development Assoc.
Lonise Bias, International Motivational Speaker, Pres. of Bias Speaks

Sponsors and donors Included:
Washington Gas, Gerards, Sharpers Florist, Annie's Art Gallery, Wyndham Vacation Resorts, Metamorphosis Dress Shop, Greenbelt Marriott, YMCA Potomac Outlook, AGEM Facility Manager, Dr. Geren Gatlin, Bravo Marketing Group.

The Coalition would like to thank the Prince George's Suite Magazine for showcasing our Gala and Silent Auction. the link to the online article is shown below.

http://www.pgsuite.com/PGCDPC Gala and Silent Auction

Monday, November 10, 2014


The Prince George's County Drug Policy Coalition would like to thank everyone who attended and contributed to the Annual Gala and Auction on Saturday October 25, 2014. The evening included a bevy of entertainment featuring Jazz performances from the Entourage Band, and a theater production from the The Potomac Players, as well as delicious array of Hors d'Oeuvres and a silent auction to cap off the evening. 

The cruise winners were Norceia Daughtridge, of Clinton, Maryland.  Ms Daughtridge is the former President of Crossland H.S. PTSA and a member of St. Paul United Methodist Church. She won the cruise from Dr. Geren Gatlin who is with Wyndam Hotels and Resorts. The winner of the I-Pad raffle was Mr.  Rydell Smith, Food and Nutrition coordinator, Perry Street Preparatory Public Charter School. He was sold the winning ticket by Ms. Jennifer Lucas, Esq. The Coalition would like to say a special thank you to photographer Mr Maurice Fitzgerald who took beautiful pictures of the event. 

Please take some time to enjoy the pictures from the Fundraiser below. which was  held at the Manor on the Potomac in Fort Washington, MD.

Coalition members Valencia Campbell, Cheryle Mines and Linda Thornton Thomas 
with some student volunteers.

Coalition members Julisa Robinson and Valencia Campbell.

Jivon Jackson discussing his new theatre group, The Potomac Players.

Mayor Jacqueline Goodall, Forest Heights.

Colaition member Jennifer Lucas and family Dr. Richard Lucas and son.

Maryland State Delegate Kris Valderrama and Alice Holt, Central Committee member.

SCEDA President, Earl O'Neal and coalition members

Coalition member Eric Twiggs and guests.

Councilman Obie Patterson speaking to some guests.

Aaron Riley Potomac YMCA

Dr. Lonise Bias enjoying the auction.

Coalition President Valencia Campbell standing next to cruise winner, Ms Norceia Daughtridge 
                                               Along with Dr. Geren Gatling and his wife.

Delegate Elect Tony Knotts speaking with some of our guests.

 Mr. Rydell Smith, I-Pad raffle winner


Coalition member Leticia Forrest viewing some auction items.

Coalition member Eric Twiggs (on the left) and his wife Angie

Coalition members Valencia Campbell and Pat Jackson with Councilmember Obie Patterson
and his staffer Shirley Anglin

The photographer, Mr Maurice Fitzgerald can be contacted at 301-248-3358 or 301-996-1954 as well as mgfitzgerald1@hotmail.com.  We appreciate your continued support of the Prince George's County Drug Policy Coalition. We look forward to seeing all of you soon at our many upcoming events.

Thursday, November 6, 2014

A Call to Action II of the My Brother's Keeper Initiative

Anyone concerned with the economic future of our country, our communities, our families or our county should know that empowering all of our youth, changing the trajectory of boys and young men of color will make a better future for all of us.

My Brother's Keeper is a multi-sector effort launched by President Obama to help put boys and young men of color on a pathway to success by building education, mentor and job opportunities in traditionally under-served communities.

The My Brother's Keeper Initiative will work to:

                             ENSURE ALL CHILDREN ENTER SCHOOL COGNITIVELY,                
                                            PHYSICALLY, SOCIALLY AND EMOTIONALLY READY

                             ENSURE ALL CHILDREN ARE READING AT GRADE LEVEL BY 3RD                                                      GRADE


                                                  OR TRAINING



                            HELPING OUR 18-25 YEAR OLDS TO GET BACK ON PATH

The meeting will take place Saturday, November 8th, 2014 from 1:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. At 5508 Arapahoe Drive, Forest Heights, MD 20745 (Exit 3 I-495)


For details and information, please RSVP Shawkins@forestheightsmd.gov or call 301-839-1030

Wednesday, October 1, 2014


The Prince George’s County Drug Policy Coalition, Inc., will hold its Annual Gala and Auction on Saturday, October 25,  2014 in Fort Washington, MD (5PM - 8 PM).  Admission tickets are $25 per person and can be purchased by contacting pgcdpc@hotmail.com.  Proceeds from the GALA will benefit the Coalition’s “Empowering Future Leaders Scholarship Program”.

Please join us for an elegant evening of Jazz (Entourage Band), theater (The Potomac Players), Hors d’Oeuvres, and a silent auction.” Together, we can help fifteen more students fulfill their dreams!

You may purchase tickets below by clicking on the link for secure payment at Brown Paper Tickets. 

Sunday, July 27, 2014

U.S. Sentencing Commission Supports Early Release For 46K Drug Felons

WASHINGTON (AP) — Tens of thousands of federal inmates serving time for drug crimes may be eligible for early release under a cost-cutting proposal adopted Friday that would dramatically reduce the nation’s prison population over time.

The U.S. Sentencing Commission, which earlier this year voted to substantially lower recommended sentences for drug-dealing felons, voted unanimously to retroactively apply that change to prisoners now behind bars.

More than 46,000 inmates, including many who have already served a decade or longer in prison, would be eligible to seek early release under the commission’s decision. A judge would review the case of each prisoner seeking to get out early to decide if the release would jeopardize public safety. The releases would start in November 2015 and be phased in over a period of years.

The commission, an independent panel that sets sentencing policy, estimates sentences would be cut by an average of 25 months.
“The magnitude of the change, both collectively and for individual offenders, is significant,” said commission chairwoman Patti Saris, a federal judge in Massachusetts.

Advocates of the early-release plan say it would cut prison costs – nearly one-half of the federal prison population is locked up for drug crimes – and scale back some of the harsh sentences imposed during the country’s war on drugs. Prisoner advocacy groups immediately trumpeted the change, calling it a matter of fundamental fairness.

“This vote will change the lives of tens of thousands of families whose loved ones were given overly long drug sentences,” Julie Stewart, president of Families Against Mandatory Minimums, said in a statement. The sentencing change comes amid a broader rethinking of criminal justice policy that the Justice Department, under Attorney General Eric Holder, has embraced.

With an eye toward addressing sentencing disparities rooted in the 1980′s-era fight against crack cocaine, and cutting a prison population that’s roughly 32 percent above capacity, the Justice Department has issued new clemency criteria designed to encourage thousands of additional inmates to seek an early release. Last year, Holder directed federal prosecutors to avoid seeking mandatory minimum sentences – which limit the discretion of judges to impose shorter sentences – for nonviolent drug offenders.
“This is a milestone in the effort to make more efficient use of our law enforcement resources and to ease the burden on our overcrowded prison system,” Holder said in a statement.

The proposal adopted Friday is actually more expansive than one advanced by Holder last month, which would have applied to roughly 20,000 drug inmates who have limited criminal pasts and who did not use a weapon during their crime.

Though sentencing guidelines are advisory rather than mandatory, judges still rely heavily on them in deciding on prison sentences. The guidelines recommend sentences that factor in the types and quantities of the drugs. The commission in April voted to lower recommended sentences across all drug types, meaning, for instance, that a cocaine package of a given size would now be linked to a shorter range of punishment than before.

Congress has until November to voice opposition to the commission’s plan, though advocates consider that unlikely. Courts at that point could begin considering petitions from prisoners seeking to get out of prison. Early releases wouldn’t begin until a year later.

This is not the first time the sentencing commission has supported an early release for drug offenders. In 2011, the commission voted to retroactively apply a law that reduced the sentencing disparity for crack versus powder cocaine.

Commission members said they believe they have taken steps to ensure public safety, such as requiring a judge to sign off on a defendant’s early release. They also voted to delay the release until next year to give judges enough time to consider whether defendants are good candidates to be let out early.

Among those attending Friday’s hearing was Adrienne Willis of Camp Springs, Md., who said her 47-year-old son, Bernard Gibson, might be among those who benefit. She said he’s already spent 18 years at a federal prison in Virginia for a drug-dealing conspiracy and still has more time to serve.

“I thought that prison was supposed to rehabilitate people,” she said. “If someone’s been in prison for 18 years and they’re not rehabilitated, whose fault is that?”Some, though not all, judges have joined advocacy groups in championing the change.

“Even though retroactivity and individualized assessment for all eligible persons is time intensive and administratively burdensome, it is the right thing to do so that we can again ensure that our criminal justice system is fair to all concerned,” U.S District Judge John J. McConnell Jr. of Rhode Island wrote in a letter to the commission.

But some prosecutors, including some within the Justice Department, have raised public safety concerns. A group of federal prosecutors, the National Association of Assistant United States Attorneys, said the move would lead to higher crime and give defendants little incentive to resolve their cases through plea deals.

“The strong sentencing scheme that has been in place in place over the last 25 years in our country has contributed to the lowest crime rates in more than a generation,” the organization wrote.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Dr Campbell profiled in Forest of The Rain's Weekly Parent and PGCPS EduSocial Network Educational View 

Access to Higher Education and Beyond: What You Can Do Now

Prince George's County Drug Policy Coalition President, Dr Valencia Campbell, was recently recognized by Forest of the Rain. Forest of the Rain is an educational affairs organization. It was founded in 1995 with a mission of expanding the conversation on and about education, fair housing, and academic research.

Dr Campbell's work was highlighted in this week's Parent and PGCPS EduSocial Network Educational View. Her Educational View is entitled, "Access to Higher Education and Beyond: What You Can Do Now."

An excerpt from the article states: "Valencia is the author of Advice from the Top: What Minority Women Say about Their Career Success. The Washington Post Gazette, Prince George's Suite Magazine, and the Virginian Pilot are among the print media that featured her book. She was selected to discuss her book at the Congressional Black Caucus Author's Pavilion, World Children's Festival, and the National Press Club Book Fair and Author's Night."  

Please click on the link below to view the full article as well as Dr Campbell's audio footage at the bottom of the page:

Saturday, July 5, 2014


On Thursday June 19, the Prince George's County Drug Policy Coalition held our "Empowering Future Leaders Scholarship Breakfast" at the Clarion Hotel in Oxon Hill, MD.

The Mistress of Ceremonies was Ms Tracee Wilkins, Prince George's County Bureau Chief of News Channel 4

Our guest speaker was Dr Ivory Toldson, Deputy Director White House Initiative on Historically Black Colleges and Universities

Also in attendance was The Honorable Obie Patterson, Prince George's County Council Member District 8.

Below are some photographs taken at the event. The Coalition awarded many scholarships worth $1,000 each to deserving high school seniors and college students in District 8. The Prince George's County Drug Policy Coalition would like to express our gratitude to all who were in attendance as well everyone who continues to support our work in our communities. We would also like take a moment to thank Mr Maurice G. Fitzgerald for taking the photographs below. Please take a moment to click "Like" on our Facebook, Prince George's County Drug Policy Coaltion,  to remain updated on issues related to drug policy, criminal justice, and education, as well as our many upcoming events. We look forward to seeing you at future Coalition events.

Dr Ivory Toldson, Deputy Director White House Initiative
on Historically Black Colleges and Universities

Student Awardees and Coalition Members

Mistress of Ceremonies was Ms Tracee Wilkins

Maryland State Senator C. Anthony Muse

Dr Toldson, Senator Muse, Maryland State Delegate Jolene Ivey,
Coalition President Dr Valencia Campbell, Student Awardee,
and PG County District 8 Councilman Obie Patterson

Mayor Eugene Grant

Councilman Obie Patterson

Senator Muse and
Judge Arthur Burnett, President of the National African American
Drug Policy Coalition (NAADPC) 

Dr Campbell, Duke Haggins,
and Ronald Blakely

Coalition Members Dr Campbell, Duke Haggins,
and Ronald Blakely

Dr Valencia Campbell with a citation from
the Maryland General Assembly

Coalition Member Ms Cheryle Mines

Entourage Jazz Band Members

The Prince George's County Drug Policy Coalition, Inc. represents one of many local affiliates of the National African American Drug Policy Coalition, Inc. Our national organization consists of a coalition of 25 preeminent organizations. Through the support of our national organization, interested organizational partners, and grassroots members like you, we hope to prevent and reduce illegal drug abuse and related crimes in Prince George's County.