REFORM Alliance | Justice For All #FightDifferent / by Hussein Abdullahi

Rapper Meek Mill and Jay-Z have partnered up to launch a criminal justice reform organization called “REFORM” alliance; The organization aims to contribute towards the advancement of America’s criminal justice reform system. They will abolish out-dated laws that marginalize African-Americans, as well as encourage citizens to change their perspectives on America’s justice system. REFORM is looking to reduce the large prison population by freeing one million people over the next five years. At the head of council is activist and former White House Councilmen Van Jones, who will serve as the CEO. The REFORM Alliance also includes Philadelphia 76ers owner Michael Rubin, New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft, Brooklyn Nets co-owner Clara Wu Tsai, Daniel Loeb, Michael Novogratz, and Robert Smith. Prior to launching their organization the founding partners committed to $50 million pledge for their efforts. It’s time to educate people about the various injustices that exist in America’s justice system.

Photo by: ABC News

Photo by: ABC News

We our going to put our love against the hate that built the system... and we’re going to win
— Van Jones (Reform Alliance CEO)

Now let’s tap into the statistics of America’s criminal justice system. According to Bureau of Justice Statistics, 6.6 million individuals are in the U.S. criminal justice system and 4.5 million of those people are on probation or parole. America spends a lucrative amount of money annually on correction; 80 billion dollars to be exact. Currently, America’s incarceration rate is more than 5 times higher than the rest of the world. A contributing factor is that individuals are sentenced to lengthy terms of post incarceration and probation, then trapped in an on-going cycle that targets people in African-American communities. In America It’s no secret that women are being incarcerated at higher rate that males and a shocking 80% of women who go to prison are mothers. We are witnessing the demise of great African-American families because of a broken criminal justice system. It’s about time we stand together to put an end to this problematic situation. REFORM will be responsible for implementing a systemic reform in place so millions of individuals can’t be labelled as a statistic.

Photo by: Zimbio

Photo by: Zimbio

Everyone knows someone in this country, whether it’s a family member or a close friend or now even me, who has experienced incarceration, post-incarceration or even per-trial detention.
— Topeka.S

Unfortunately, Meek Mill fell a victim to the injustices of America’s criminal justice system. In 2017 Meek Mill’s case received national notoriety as it raised issues against sentencing and probation. Meek Mill was sentenced to 2-4 years in jail for a technical probation violation. Meek Mill’s probation has stemmed from a 11-year case that occurred back in 2007. In 2008 Meek Mill was sentenced to 11-23 months in prison with 8 years of probation. Since then, Meek Mil has been arrested on several occasions for minor technical violation. The sentence seems to be pretty unjust under most circumstance, but Judge Brinkley has been biased toward Meek Mill. Judge Brinkley has imposed unjust sentences against Meek Mill depriving him from the right to work and spend time with his family. Several rumours circulated around the courtrooms stating that Judge Brinkley made inappropriate requests to Meek in private, which included a shout-out on a song. Unfortunately, Judge Brinkley denied those allegations. Ultimately, this case was a representative example on how America’s criminal justice system entraps African-Americans every day. Meek Mill’s first-hand experience with the criminal justice system has catapulted him to a power symbol within the Reform movement. His voice has become very influential as he looks to represent a large representation of individuals who’ve been victims of the criminal justice system.

Photo by: NBC News

Photo by: NBC News

I don’t want you to judge me off the way I look, or the way I may talk, or the way I carry myself. I want you to judge me off my actions!
— Meek Mill

Jay-Z has become an avid spokesman for the prison reform system, his platform has inspired our generation to contribute towards various social issues in America. His ability to influence a large audience of people is immaculate and with him at the forefront of the Reform Alliance we are hopeful in seeing dramatic changes in the criminal justice system. Jay-Z has pushed the conversation forward about biased policing and mass incarceration that have teared down communities, families, and lives. Jay-Z and Meek Mill have committed to decrease the rate of incarceration among African-Americans. The two have developed a admirable bond predicated off loyalty, support, and reliability. Jay-Z was the sole contributor during the #FREEMEEK movement and stressed the importance of fighting for his freedom. Jay-Z has worked alongside Meek Mill during stages of his career and is a fan of his craft. Jay-Z is currently working on a six-part documentary series featuring Meek Mill, which will release August 2019. From the streets of Marcy Projects to GRAMMY award-winner, now Jay-z is running a different race that will empower the people within our communities and across the globe.

For me I’m from Marcy Projects, I’m from Brooklyn and this has been apart of my life. These are communities that we’ve grown up in... So I grew up with these issues.
— Jay-Z

Reform Alliance


Special Thanks: @tidal, @reform, @rocnation, @NBC

CEO: Van Jones

CO-Chairman: Michael Rubin, Meek Mill

Founding Partners: Jay-Z, Robert Kraft, Clara Wu Tsai, Daniel Loeb, Michael Novogratz, Robert Smith