The Summit

Next Level National Prison Summit

SBC21 National Prison Summit Goes Virtual!
Calling Pastors, Leaders and Lay Persons working with Incarcerated Persons and Returning Citizens
#BetheHope October 29-31

NASHVILLE, Tenn. October 5, 2020 /SBC21/ – Strengthening the Black Church for the 21st Century (SBC21) and its Title Sponsor, The Securus Foundation, will virtually present the 5th National Prison Summit on Mass Incarceration, October 29-31 on the WHOVA Virtual Event Platform.  The 2020 theme is #BetheHOPE, and organizers say that the 2 ½ day teaching and learning event will feature relevant topics, with strategic and practical trainings for the local church.  In addition, tools will be presented to enable communities to organize and implement ways to end mass incarceration, support persons impacted by the jail and prison systems either directly or indirectly and organize and create effective social justice.  The summit will promote advocacy, criminal justice reform, and working within the church congregation to reimagine and build healthy communities.

Two special features for this year’s summit will focus on entrepreneurship for formerly incarcerated persons and the impact injustices have on women by offering a special intensive titled #SayHerName!

The #BetheHOPE keynote speaker is NY Times Best Selling Author, Inspirational Speaker Chef Jeff Henderson.  Chef Jeff says he trafficked drugs and was living the so-called American Dream at the expense of his community.  While serving 10 years in prison, the renown Chef discovered his passion for cooking and since his release has cooked up an empire and is now helping to change the lives of young people across the nation.  Chef Jeff will inspire and teach leaders practical ways to reach and serve second chance citizens.

“God is calling us for such a time as this,” said Rev. Dr. Michael L. Bowie, Jr., summit convener and executive director for SBC21.  “This is real ministry that can yield tangible results to disciple God’s people and equip local church leaders, pastors, laity, reentry professionals, community leadership and elected officials from across the country to serve the incarcerated, returning citizens and persons who have been impacted by mass incarceration.”

Whether or not you have a prison or social justice ministry, #BetheHOPE Virtual National Prison Summit is the place where we will empower churches and prison ministry teams with dynamic teaching from experts from across the country.   The statistics around incarceration continue to be staggering with an increasing number of young people being pushed into a flawed criminal justice system. Participants will learn techniques to engage local leaders to impact systemic injustices in their community.

Topics for general sessions and other features will include:

  • #BetheHOPE Virtual Exhibit Halls
  • #SayHerName Intensive featuring Panel and Workshops
  • Opening Night Worship Experience featuring Bishop Noel Jones of City of Refuge Church in Los Angeles, California
  • EntrePRAYneur Reboot: Changing the Narrative for second chance citizens
  • E.A.L. Workshop presented by The Securus Foundation
  • Telling Your Story: Writing Workshop for Chaplains, Volunteers and persons serving incarcerated persons and second chance citizens
  • The ABCs of Starting a Prison or Social Justice Ministry: Knowing the difference
  • Pastors with a Badge: A Conversation with Pastors who Police
  • Reimaging Community Corrections: Best Practices for Supporting Individuals on Community Supervision
  • From Advocacy to Legislative Reform
  • Angel Tree, A Program of Prison Fellowship: Restoring One Family at a Time
  • Developing Effective Government Community Partnership s
  • And more

#BetheHOPE, registration is only $15 dollars, limited to 500 people and is now open @  More details about the speakers, sessions and offerings are available about #BetheHOPE 2020, visit

About the National Prison Summit

The National Prison Summit is an ecumenical movement to equip pastors, leaders with cutting-edge strategies, training and best practices to make a difference in their local communities around policy, criminal and social justice reform and advocacy

Nearly 5000 individuals have attended this ecumenical bi-annual gathering since its start in 2012. The Summit has attracted collaborative partners, groups and organizations since been held across the country, including places like Wichita in Kansas, Dallas, Texas, Atlanta, Georgia, Nashville, Tennessee and this year it was to occur in Compton, California.  Obviously due to the pandemic, the pivot to a Virtual Experience was in order.

What is The Summit?

The 2020 #BetheHOPE National Prison Summit on Mass Incarceration is filled with 2-1/2 days of inspiring teaching, national networking, and policy and impact development designed to empower, encourage, and equip those who work in the areas of mass incarceration, restorative justice, reentry and family outreach. Cutting-edge strategies and best practices from experts from around the country will be taught to allow your ministry and organization to be equipped to impact lasting systemic reform.

Who should attend?

Persons who want to make a difference in the lives of the current and formerly incarcerated, and the broader community including: Church prison ministries, educators, community members, detention workers, formerly incarcerated and persons affected, law enforcement, probation workers, social justice organizers, advocates, parents and family of the incarcerated, elected officials, pastors and lay leaders, state and federal workers, mental health workers

What will you learn?

#BetheHOPE attendees will be exposed to cutting edge strategies and learning that will allow your ministry to impact lasting and system reform. There is something for everyone at the this year’s Virtual National Prison Summit – make a commitment today to #BetheHOPE for your church and community.

The Issue

The epidemic of incarceration has reached an all time high, especially for people of color. According to, while people of color make up 30% of the United States population, they account for 60 percent of those imprisoned. The report says that the prison population grew by 700 percent from 1970 to 2005, a rate that is outpacing crime and population rates.

The Method

How we have or have not responded to the issue of incarceration will be the focus of this National Prison Summit on Incarceration. The bible commands us to pray for people in prison as though we were in prison with them. We are required to minister to the least and the lost. Ministry is about empowering others with the Word of God and sending forth people to make a difference. Join the leading experts who will offer connections and strategies on how your church, ministry, organization or family can make a difference in the lives of those who are living behind bars.

The Mission

Our mission is simple, to teach you what we know is effective and that is relevant and transformative. We are gathering to give you the tools and techniques necessary for progress on your journey to impacting lives!