Following his release from prison in April 2018 after serving 5 months for a minor probation violation over a crime he committed over a decade ago, 32-year-old African-American rapper Robert Rihmeek Williams known in the music and entertainment industry as Meek Mill has spent a great deal of his time and social influence as an advocate for prison reforms.
The award-winning rapper has been very vocal about the unjust treatment meted out to black men detailing his experience with the law as a black man and how more needs to be done to release unjustly detained Americans and his efforts have not gone unnoticed.
On June 10, 2019, the Southern Philadelphia native was honoured by the New York University’s McSilver Institute for Poverty, Policy and Research with the Social Justice Award. The annual event is held to identify and honour “vanguards for Social Justice who are prominent in their fields and unafraid to use their platforms to help create a more equitable and just world.”
Speaking at the event, Meek Mill said “I’m honoured by this recognition, When I was released from prison last year, I knew I had a responsibility to use my voice to speak up for the voiceless and fight for criminal justice reform. The change will take time, but me and my team at the REFORM Alliance are committed to making a real difference and fixing a broken justice system.”
In January, he teamed up with billionaire hip hop artist Jay Z to launch the Reform Alliance, a criminal justice organization aimed at reducing “the number of people who are unjustly under the control of the criminal justice system – starting with probation and parole.” The organisation pledged to raise $50 million dollars with the hopes of freeing one million inmates over the next five years.
For his work in music and social justice and reform, Meek Will was honoured with the Meek Mill Day by the Philadelphia City Council on March 14, 2019, which followed a week-long celebration of the rapper turned activities.
Still concentrating on releasing music, Meek recently released a cinematic video for his Championships cut “Oodles O’Noodles Babies,” which tells the story of a black family living in poverty. He is set to go on tour later in June.