Support criminal justice reform and I will match your donation up to $50,000
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Growing up in an affluent suburb of Philadelphia, I lived much of my young life unaware of the two very different systems by which the United States is governed: one that works for privileged, largely white people and the other that works against those — largely people of color — that do not have the same privilege and opportunity.
I’ve been on the receiving end of privilege more times than I can count. I’ve been pulled over multiple times and often would get away without a ticket — including one time when I’d forgotten my driver’s license.
Compare that experience to a story I first head at a TED talk several years ago given by Adam Foss, a former assistant district attorney in the Suffolk County District Attorney’s office in Boston, Massachusetts. He’s an activist for criminal justice reform and founder and executive director of Prosecutor Impact, a non-profit organization that has the core “mission of improving community safety in the United States through a better understanding of the most important actor in the criminal justice system: the criminal prosecutor.”
From Adam, I learned about a young man named Kalief Browder, who at 16-years-old was accused of stealing a backpack. He couldn’t afford bail, so he was thrown into Rikers Island prison in New York City for three years awaiting a trial that he never got. He spent two of the three years in solitary confinement and tragically committed suicide after he was finally released from prison.
This opened my eyes to the sad reality that the United States of America is still a terribly unequal place, one where skin color still has a profound impact on the course of a person’s life. Black people only make up 12% of the population of the U.S. but represent almost 50% of all incarcerated people in the country.
In recent months we’ve seen millions of people take to the streets to make it known that they’ve had enough of this broken system, and it’s inspired me to use my platform to get involved and hopefully make a positive impact in the community.
Today I’m announcing that TPG has launched a new campaign to raise money for the Prosecutor Impact organization to help improve the outcomes of the millions of people that are caught in the U.S. criminal justice system. I will personally match donations dollar for dollar up to $50,000.
About Prosecutor Impact
Founded in 2016 by Adam Foss, Prosecutor Impact aims to improve people’s lives and keep them out of the criminal justice system by looking at the root causes of why we have so many people of color in that system today.
As a former prosecutor himself, Foss knows that they are the single most important player in the justice system. PI focuses on three main objectives to further its mission: training and culture building; data and evidence collection and policy advocacy that leads to institutional change and criminal justice reform.
It hopes that prosecutors across the country — with access to training, technology, data and incentives — will learn to achieve outcomes that, according to the organization’s website, will “improve the safety of the community, repair harm of victims, improve the long-term health of the community and hold those who commit crimes accountable in ways that increase their chances for success in the community.”
You can learn more about Prosecutor impact here, and be sure to check out the video below that explains the problem that the organization addresses and more about how it achieves its mission.
How we’re giving back
I met Adam in 2016 and have been inspired by his life and work ever since.
I believe in this cause and applaud the organization for going right to the root causes of one of the enormous problems our country faces instead of treating a symptom.
It’s hard work, and it’s going to take a concerted effort by every one of us, which is why we’ve launched this campaign to raise money for this very worthy cause.
As I said earlier, if you choose to donate, I’ll match your contribution dollar for dollar up to $50,000. Please consider donating if you can. We at TPG and those at Prosecutor Impact are very grateful for your support.
Photos courtesy of Prosecutor Impact.
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