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Atlanta's historic Ebenezer Baptist Church holds record expungement to mark Juneteenth

The church where Martin Luther King, Jr. once preached hosted the event with Fulton County Solicitor General Keith E. Gammage.

ATLANTA — To mark this year's Juneteenth, now a newly-minted federal holiday, Atlanta's historic Ebenezer Baptist Church held a records expungement drive.

The event at the church where Martin Luther King, Jr. once preached was hosted along with Fulton County Solicitor General Keith E. Gammage, whose office said 100 people had been able to expunge misdemeanor criminal records.

"On this Juneteenth, when we finally celebrate it as a national holiday, a hundred people in Fulton County awaken with a clean criminal record and a renewed opportunity to pursue the great American Dream," Gammage said in a statement. 

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The Temple synagogue, Georgia Justice Project and MLK Sr. Collaborative were also involved in the effort.

"We celebrate Juneteenth by providing this life-improving service to those suffering from the burden of old, non-violent misdemeanor records that have been barriers to employment and housing thereby limiting their freedom," Gammage added.

Sen. Rev. Raphael Warnock, the Ebenezer Baptist Church pastor, sent his support to the effort in a video message.

"This day is really all about second chances. The truth is none of us wants to be judged for the rest of our lives by the worst mistake we've ever made in our life, we all want another chance," the senator said. "And so I'm so grateful we were able to expunge the records of people who are trying to get their lives going, go to the next level."