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Let’s put an end to the New Jim Crow

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Dr. Boyce Watkins and Russell Simmons have gathered a coalition of supporters from various walks of life to stand together to correct the serious injustices of the prison industrial complex.  Rehabilitation and even punishment are acceptable in themselves, but when a nation builds an entire economy around the unjust incarceration of millions of its citizens, that nation is serving as a tool for its own demise.  Families are destroyed when citizens are given extraordinarily long prison sentences for even the smallest crimes, and the failed War on Drugs has created an entire generation of lost children, who’ve grown up without the support and guidance of two loving parents.

The appeal to President Obama and Attorney General Eric Holder is not written as an attack, but with the goal of persuading the Obama Administration to lend its considerable resources to productive efforts to help solve the problem.  If you support this initiative and would like to join our efforts, please sign up at this link. 

As Dr. Boyce Watkins said, “This is not a sprint, it’s a marathon.  We’re in this for the long haul.”  So far, the effort has gotten the attention of media outlets world-wide, for it’s the first time such a vast coalition of public figures, scholars, faith leaders and activists have come together for such an important cause.  We truly have the chance to make a difference.

incarceration

Celebrities and public figures who’ve signed onto the letter thus far: 

 

CIVIL RIGHTS LEADERS & ADVOCATES

Julian Bond

Dr. Benjamin Chavis

Rev. Jesse Jackson, Rainbow PUSH

Benjamin Todd Jealous, NAACP

Avis Jones-Deweever, National Council of Negro Women

Maria Theresa Kumar, VotoLatino

Donna Leiberman, NYCLU

Margaret Moran, LULAC

Marc Morial, National Urban League

Ethan Nadelmann, Drug Policy Alliance

Rev. Al Sharpton, NAN

Rashad Robinson, Colors of Change

Anthony Romero, ACLU

Michael Skolnik

Julie Stewart, Families Against Mandatory Minimums

Susan Taylor

Dr. Boyce Watkins

Brent Wilkes, LULAC

Vanessa Williams, National Conference of Black Mayors

Rev. Lennox Yearwood, Hip-Hop Caucus

Renaldo Pearson, Founding Fellow & President, Emerging Millennials Leadership Alliance

 

ENTERTAINMENT

La La Anthony

Roseanne Barr

Russell Brand

Jim Carrey

Cedric The Entertainer

Margaret Cho

Affion Crockett

Rosario Dawson

Mike Epps

Omar Epps

Jamie Foxx

Tyrese Gibson

Jon Hamm

Hill Harper

Woody Harrelson

Amber Heard

Dule Hill

Ron Howard

J Ivy

Terrence J

Eugene Jarecki

Kris Jenner

Scarlett Johannson

Kim Kardashian

Khloe Kardashian-Odom

Kourtney Kardashian

Sanaa Lathan

LL Cool J

Nia Long

Eva Longoria

AnnaLynne McCord

Michael Moore

Keya Morgan

Jay Pharaoh

Dominic Purcell

Tim Robbins

Chris Rock

Susan Sarandon

Sarah Silverman

Russell Simmons

Vanessa Simmons

Jada Pinkett Smith

Will Smith

Tika Sumpter

Gabrielle Union

Denise Vasi

Estella Warren

Kerry Washington

Pauletta Washington

Marlon Wayans

Jesse Williams

Jeffrey Wright

 

FAITH COMMUNITY

Bishop James Clark

Bishop Noel Jones

Bishop Clarence Laney

Bishop Edgar Vann

Dr. Iva Carruthers

Deepak Chopra

Father Michael Pfleger

Rabbi Robyn Fryer Bodzin

Rabbi Menachem Creditor

Rabbi Nina Mandel

Rev. Jamal Bryant

Rev. Delman Coates

Rev. Leah D. Daughtry

Rev. Dr. Fredrick Haynes

Rev. Michael McBride

Rev. Dr. W Franklyn Richardson

 

MUSIC INDUSTRY

David Banner

Eric Benet

Andre “3000” Benjamin

Big Boi of Outkast

Case

Charlamagne tha God

Sean “Diddy” Combs

Chuck D

DJ Envy

DJ Pauly D

Ani Difranco

Jermaine Dupri

Missy Elliot

Estelle

Jason Flom

John Forte

Ghostface Killah

Ginuwine

Keri Hilson

Jennifer Hudson

Ice-T

Luke James

Trinidad James

Lyfe Jennings

Jim Jones

Talib Kweli

John Legend

Ryan Leslie

Joanna “JoJo” Levesque

Kevin Liles

Ludacris

Lil Wayne

Natalie Maines

Angie Martinez

Nicki Minaj

Mya

Q-Tip

Busta Rhymes

Steve Rifkind

Samantha Ronson

Rick Ross

RZA

Timeflies

Katrina “Trina” Taylor

Teyana Taylor

Angela Yee

 

BUSINESS LEADERS

Sir Richard Branson

Ron Busby, US Black Chamber of Commerce

Daymond John – Founder, Fubu/Host of the TV Show “Shark Tank”

Chip Rosenbloom, Owner St. Louis Rams

Bobby Shriver

 

ELECTED OFFICIALS

Congressman Tony Cardenas

Congressman Keith Ellison

Congresswoman Marcia Fudge

Congresswoman Barbara Lee

Congressman Bobby Rush

Congressman Bobby Scott

 

ATHLETES

Brendon Ayanbadejo

Allan Houston – Assistant GM, New York Knicks

Israel Idonije

Lamar Odom

Etan Thomas

Isiah Thomas

Mike Tyson

 

FASHION INDUSTRY

Tyson Beckford

Selita Ebanks

Kenza Fourati

Kimora Lee Simmons

Veronika Verekova

 

MEDIA

Chris Broussard

Chuck Creekmur, AllHipHop.com

Ed Gordon

TJ Holmes

Dylan Ratigan

Jim Wallis, Sojourners

Dave Zirin

 

ACADEMIA & THOUGHT LEADERS

Rick Adams, Chair – Institute of the Black World 21st Century

Michelle Alexander – The Ohio State University

Dr. Carlton Brown, President, Clark Atlanta Univ.

Dr. Ron Daniels – President, Institute of the Black World 21st Century

Prof. Michael Eric Dyson- Georgetown University

Dr. Christopher Emdin – Columbia University

Dr. Michael Fauntroy – George Mason University

Dr. Eddie Glaude – Princeton University

Airickca Gordon-Taylor, Founding director of the Mamie Till Mobley Memorial Foundation

Dream Hampton – Author of the best-selling book, “Decoded”

Dr. Jawanza Kunjufu

Dr. Marc Lamont Hill – Columbia University

Naomi Klein

Dr . Wilmer Leon – Howard University

Dr. Julianne Malveaux

Dr. John E. Maupin, Jr., President, Morehouse School of Medicine

Kevin Powell

Ricky “Freeway” Ross

Dr. Tyra Seldon, Co Chair, Education Over Incarceration (EOI)

Dr. Beverly Daniel Tatum, President, Spelman College

Dr. Alicia Taylor-McLaughlin, St. Francis University

Terrie Williams, Author of the best-selling book, “Black Pain”

Dr. John Silvanus Wilson, Jr., President, Morehouse College

Professor Ronald S. Sullivan Jr., Director, Harvard Law School Criminal Justice Institute

 

Please join our initiative at this link.  

James

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