Ever since Meek Mill was granted bail in April last year after serving 5 months for a minor probation violation stemming from a crime he committed over a decade ago, he has made it his personal mission to be an advocate for prison reform.
On Wednesday in New York City, the Championships rapper, together with Jay-Z, Philadelphia 76ers co-owner Michael Rubin, New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft, social activist and CNN host Van Jones among others launched the Reform Alliance, a criminal justice organization aiming at reducing “the number of people who are unjustly under the control of the criminal justice system – starting with probation and parole.”
The organization, which confirmed Van Jones as its CEO, has pledged $50 million to the cause with the hopes of freeing one million inmates over the next five years, according to NBC Philadelphia.
“We’re gonna not just free more than a million people, we are going to free a country to be its best self. We’re going to free a country to find itself again, to find its heart and soul again,” Jones said at the launch.
“We’re going to put our love against the hate that built this system. We are going to put our hope against the fear that built this system. We’re going to put our compassion against a few of these cold hearts and we’re going to win.”
As fortunate as Meek Mill was while incarcerated – having powerful people pushing for his release including Jay-Z penning a powerful op-ed for the New York Times criticizing the criminal justice system, others, however, don’t have that privilege, which the rapper himself acknowledged.
“I’m one of the lucky ones, we have people who don’t have a voice,” Meek Mill said at the launch. “I’m here to speak on behalf of those people who don’t have a voice.”
Still on probation for his over-a-decade old crime, Meek Mill recently voiced his frustration with the criminal justice system via Twitter.
Take a look at photos some more photos of the event below: