East Hampton resident Shawn “Jay-Z” Carter is joining forces with fellow rapper Meek Mill, Patriots owner Robert Kraft, 76ers co-owner Michael Rubin, Nets co-owner Clara Wu Tsai and more partners to create the REFORM Alliance. This new initiative will be dedicated to freeing those unfairly held within the justice system.
On January 23, a press conference was held at the John Jay College of Criminal Justice for the board to announce its launch and discuss the problem the REFORM Alliance wants to correct: Millions of Americans are held within the parole-probation circuit and can’t seem to escape it due to technicalities and unclear law.
Co-creator Mill experienced that firsthand when he was 19 and arrested under false evidence. His co-creator and longtime friend, Rubin admitted he was skeptical on Mill’s claims about an unbalanced system, until Mill was sentenced to 2–4 years in prison for a technical parole violation (performing wheelies on a dirt bike) in 2017.
— REFORM ALLIANCE (@REFORM) January 23, 2019
According to Vulture.com, REFORM CEO Van Jones explained that they’re going to be working with justice reform groups instead of overriding them, and utilizing both political parties, “This started out as a buddy movie and it’s now become the Avengers.” The goal of the initiative is to remove 1 million people from the criminal justice system within the next five years, and these influential figures want to use their collective resources to accomplish that.
The partners have already come together to raise $50 million for REFORM Alliance, and funds will continue to pour in thanks to Jay-Z’s position as PUMA Basketball Creative Director. PUMA will donate 100% of net proceeds from the sale of the new Clyde Court Reform sneakers to the foundation.
Jay-Z stressed to the audience that their intentions are purely to make this country safe. “We don’t want people that are in charge of policing the areas to be in danger either. We want to be very clear, if someone commits a crime, they should go to jail,” he said. “But these things are disproportionate and the whole world knows it.”
Learn more at reformalliance.com.