GALLIPOLIS — After holding a virtual event in 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic, the annual Emancipation Celebration in Gallia County is set to return to in-person activities this year.
Known as the longest, continuous running celebration of the historical legislation, the event is scheduled for Sept. 18 and 19 at the Gallia County Junior Fairgrounds.
Each year, the Celebration welcomes a keynote speaker, this year featuring G. Michael Davis PhD, who is currently Chief in the Office of Recreation and Religious Services for the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction (ODRC).
Dr. Davis speaks as part of the afternoon program which starts at 2 p.m., Sunday, Sept. 19.
According to information provided by Emancipation Celebration organizers, in his current role, it is Davis’ responsibility to coordinate and provide central leadership for the development of institutional pro-social activities, religious services, and programs.
Prior to his current role he was the Bureau Chief of the Office of Reentry and Enterprise Development for the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction (ODRC). It is the responsibility of this office to guide and monitor reentry related programs and initiatives.
He has also served as the Deputy Warden of Special Services at the Pickaway Correctional Institution in Orient, Ohio and Deputy Communications Chief where his responsibilities included serving as agency spokesperson, preparing and managing internal communications, coordination and supervision of media and public relations activity for the agency.
Davis’ career in public service also includes holding the position of Crime Prevention Coordinator in the Law Enforcement Services Division of the Ohio Office of Criminal Justice Services (OCJS). OCJS is designated as the lead justice planning agency for the state of Ohio. While at OCJS he was involved in the development and coordination of training for criminal justice professionals in the areas of anti-terrorism, methamphetamine awareness, domestic violence, and refugee immigrant population issues.
During his employment with OCJS, Davis developed the Ohio Urban Crime Prevention Initiative, which provided a comprehensive strategy for the prevention of crime and increased public safety in high crime urban areas. The project received both federal and state funding support.
His ability to design and articulate comprehensive strategies that reduce crime and promote public safety through restorative practices has earned him an exceptional reputation around the state and increasingly the nation. In 2016, Michael was appointed to represent the ODRC on the Ohio Commission on Fatherhood. In this capacity he provides guidance and support for the welfare of children through the development of programs that support fathers throughout the state.
He is a member of the American Correctional Association, National Association of Wardens and Superintendents, and the International Leadership Association. Additionally, he serves as a consultant for the Office for Victims of Crime and the Bureau of Justice Assistance both offices within the U.S. Department of Justice.
Dr. Davis received his Doctorate in Leadership and Change from Antioch University in Yellow Springs, Ohio and holds a master’s degree in administration from Tiffin University. He is also a proud graduate of Central State University, a Historically Black College and University located in Wilberforce, Ohio.
More on this year’s Gallia County Emancipation Celebration in upcoming editions.