Catchings educates campus on fair housing, expungement
CLARKSDALE – Coahoma Community College students enjoyed coffee and pastries as they received information about a host of legal issues, from the Fair Housing Act to Mississippi expungement laws, during Monday’s “Coffee with Entrepreneurs” series.

Catchings educates campus on fair housing, expungement

Press Release from Coahoma Community College Public Relations; (662) 621-4061 - Brittany Davis-Green - bdavis@coahomacc.edu

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Tue Apr 28, 2015

CLARKSDALE – Coahoma Community College students enjoyed coffee and pastries as they received information about a host of legal issues, from the Fair Housing Act to Mississippi expungement laws, during Monday’s “Coffee with Entrepreneurs” series.

The event, hosted by Division of Enrollment and Student Services’ Career Service and Placement Center, featured attorney Jessica Catchings of the Mississippi Center for Justice (MCJ), a nonprofit, public interest law firm committed to advancing racial and economic justice.

A native of Jackson, MS, Catchings opened by sharing with students that she began her own educational journey at Hinds Community College where she was able to join the prestigious Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society and secure a full scholarship to Jackson State University. After receiving a bachelor’s degree in History, Catchings attended the University of Mississippi School of Law, receiving a Juris Doctorate.

Prior to completing law school, she interned with United States Magistrate Judge S. Allan Alexander of the Northern District of Mississippi and assisted Mississippi Innocence Project attorneys in petitioning the Mississippi Supreme Court to overturn the convictions of wrongfully incarcerated prisoners.

Today, Catchings serves as a foreclosure prevention staff attorney at MCJ’s Jackson office.

Catchings said she’s always been open to exploring different career paths and encouraged students to do the same.

“The key is to be open—have a plan, but be open,” she said.

 In honor of April’s designation as Fair Housing Month, Catchings explained to students that they are all entitled to housing despite their race, religion, national origin, familial status, color, gender or disability.

She also educated students on steps they could take if they feel their rights have been violated.

“It’s happening each and everyday, whether we realize it or not.”

Catchings concluded by offering students information about Mississippi’s expungement laws, giving a run-down of what criminal records may be erased from public records, and detailing the Re-Entry and Expungement Services available at the Mississippi Center for Justice.

For more information about services offered by the Mississippi Center for Justice, visit www.mscenterforjustice.org

CLICK HERE to view more photos from the event on CCC's Facebook page.