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Actor Hill Harper delivers keynote address for T.D. Jakes’ T.O.R.I.—Texas Offender Reentry Initiative—graduation [VIDEO]

GETTYArticle By Rebecca Johnson // EEW Magazine Reporter

Over the past decade, T.O.R.I.—Texas Offender Reentry Initiative—a program founded by mega pastor, Bishop T.D. Jakes, has helped 10,000 ex-convicts get reintegrated into society.

On Sunday, at the Potter’s House in Dallas, 120 men and women received diplomas and were treated to a keynote speech by award-winning actor Hill Harper.

The 49-year-old best-selling author of Letters to an Incarcerated Brother energetically admonished graduates to kick fear to the curb and give themselves permission to succeed in life.

“I will not allow fear to stop me from making the choices that I know I can make instead, I will act with my heart, with courage, with energy, with a plan!” the audience repeated with a shout at Harper’s command.

He continued, “Put God first. I will win in my life and in so doing, give others permission to win as well!”

The class of 2016 is looking forward to winning and staying out of the prison system once and for all.

 “By getting people back on their feet and self-sufficient, bringing families back together, offering hope, those are the key elements that keep people from going back,” said Tina Naidoo, T.O.R.I.’s executive director in an interview with NBC 5 in Dallas.

Statistically, 52 percent of inmates released from jail go back within three years. But, impressively, only about 11 percent of those who go through the T.O.R.I. program end up behind bars again.

“A very touching group of 120 graduates,” wrote Jakes, 58, on Twitter. “The sky is the limit for each of you.”

T.O.R.I. provides comprehensive services for ex-convicts like employment, housing, education, family reunification, health care and spiritual guidance.

Watch Harper’s full commencement address below.

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