Meek Mill, Kim Kardashian West, and Van Jones join forces on criminal justice reform
Variety and Rolling Stone on Friday announced they will co-host their first-ever Criminal Justice Reform Summit in Los Angeles next month, featuring guests like reality TV star Kim Kardashian West, CNN host Van Jones, and rapper Meek Mill.
When not arguing with her famous sisters over large bowls of salad, defending her husband’s antics on Twitter, or promoting her makeup line, Kardashian West has been busy fostering a new and refreshingly pure pet project, criminal justice reform. More recently, she successfully campaigned for the early release of Alice Marie Johnson, who served more than 20 years for a nonviolent, first-time drug offense, meeting with President Trump in Washington, D.C.
Rapper Meek Mill himself spent a lengthy stint in and out of prison for a drug possession charge that has haunted him for more than a decade, one many perceive as an extreme miscarriage of justice. Since his recent release, Mill has made it his mission to fight for those similarly trapped in the system over minor and oftentimes non-violent first time offenses.
Van Jones, who will keynote the summit, co-founded Dream Corp, which put forth the #cut50 initiative that works to decrease incarceration across the United States.
Also invited to speak are Girls and Get Out actress Allison Williams, Philadelphia 76ers and New jersey Devils co-owner Micahel Rubin, former New York Times and Marshall Project editor-in-chief Bill Keller, and Innocence Project board member and Lava Records CEO Jason Flom, among others.
The event, scheduled for November 14, will be co-hosted by the Coalition for Public Safety, Justice Action Network, #cut50, the Margaret and Daniel Loeb Foundation, and ARC.
“We are excited to create a forum for entertainers to educate the public about such a complex widespread issue alongside philanthropists, activists and politicians to reshape the current system,” said Claudia Eller, Variety co-editor-in-chief.
Guest Jones, a former Special Advisor for Green Jobs under the Obama administration, said he will focus his conversation on the “failings of the American criminal justice system.”
“Not only do we face a mass incarceration problem in the United States, but almost 60 percent of inmates currently in prison or jail are racial and ethnic minorities,” said Jones.
According to the Prison Policy Initiative, the United States locks up more people per capita than any other country. Right now, there are more than 6 million people in the correctional population. Of that, 2.3 million are African American, the NAACP has said. And those numbers, which are reaching epidemic proportion, have only been skyrocketing.
“We believe that a national effort to bring about criminal justice reform is one of the most important issues of our time,” Rolling Stone stated, announcing the summit this week.
The event will take place at the Jeremy Hotel in West Hollywood.