NYC Sightseeing Pass

Meek Mill and JAY-Z are joining forces to fix the broken justice system with a new organization.

The hip-hop superstars appeared on stage in New York on Wednesday (Jan. 23), alongside New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft, Philadelphia 76ers co-owner Michael Rubin, and political activist Van Jones, to announce the launch of the REFORM Alliance.

The organization consists of leaders in business, government, entertainment, sports, technology, arts, and culture, whose goal is to shine a light on social and racial inequalities within the system and “give voice to the voiceless.”

Michael Rubin, Robert Kraft, JAY-Z, Meek Mill, and Van Jones

“The mission of the REFORM Alliance is to dramatically reduce the number of people who are unjustly under the control of the criminal justice system—starting with probation and parole,” reads a tweet from REFORM. “To win, we will leverage our considerable resources to change laws, policies, hearts & minds.”

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Meek, who was released from prison last April after spending five months behind bars following a probation violation, spoke about his experiences with the system and his desire to help others.

“Every time I started to further my life with the music industry, from traveling the world, performing worldwide, and actually making money to be able to provide for my family and take them out of that ruthless environment—every year there was something that brought me back to ground zero, and it was probation,” said the Philly rapper. “I always wondered what happened to the people that was in situations worse than mine.”

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JAY-Z applauded Meek for bringing attention to criminal justice reform, and shared his own experience growing up in Marcy Projects. “I grew up with this issue and seeing people way worse off than me,” he said, adding, “We’re all prisoners to this because until everyone’s free, no one’s free.”

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Robert Kraft recalled his visit to Meek in prison, which changed his perspective. “I didn’t sleep the rest of the night when I went home because here I’m thinking how out of touch someone like myself is with what’s really going on,” said the Patriots owner.

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Michael Rubin also revealed how Meek taught him that there are “two Americas” after witnessing him get sentenced to 2-4 years behind bars. In that moment, he realized that he was “dead wrong” about the criminal justice system.

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