Meek Mill, Jay-Z, Michael Rubin and more found REFORM Alliance to reshape the criminal justice system

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Meek Mill at Made In America | photo by John Vettese for WXPN

Philly rapper Meek Mill had an interesting quote in his recent Guardian Music interview, where he seemed a bit uncertain about stepping into a new role as a criminal justice reform activist.

“I don’t want to become the face of [reform] because I’m not a perfect person,” he says. “I want to be a good father [he has two children, Rihmeek and Murad, with his former girlfriend Fahimah Raheem], make a lot of money and help bring change if I could. I’m always attached to my neighbourhood.”

Even so, his time in the prison system in recent years — and the uncertainty of what the future holds following his April parole — has Meek speaking out about the criminal justice system and how he feels it should be changed at every opportunity he’s presented, from a quick spotlight on The Ellen Show to a probing interview with Trevor Noah on The Daily Show.

Today, he’s taking it a step further with the announcement of REFORM Alliance, a new organization to “[advance] criminal justice reform and [eliminate] outdated laws that perpetuate injustice, starting with probation and parole.”

Joining him to co-found the organization are rapper Jay-Z (whose Roc Nation management company reps Meek) and political commentator Van Jones, as well as Philadelphia 76ers owner Michael Rubin — a huge ally to Meek during his incarceration — New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft, Brooklyn Nets co-owner Clara Wu Tsai, and other backers from the tech and finance worlds like Daniel S. Loeb of Third Point LLC,Michael E. Novogratz of Galaxy Digital, and Robert F. Smith of Vista Equity Partners.

According to a statement from Meek, “Creating the REFORM Alliance is one of the most important things I’ve ever done in my life. If you thought my case was unfair, there are millions of others dealing with worse situations and caught up in the system without committing crimes. With this alliance, we want to change outdated laws, give people hope and reform a system that’s stacked against us.”

(h/t Pitchfork)

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