Jay Z Joins Effort to Bail Out 100 Dads for Father’s Day

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Jay Z with Kalief Browder

It’s a Father’s Day 100 Dads won’t soon forget.

Because they’ll get to spend it with their kids instead of cell mates. All thanks to new father of three (you prob haven’t heard) Jay Z, backing Color of Change’s fundraising effort to bail out 100 Dads today.

The racial justice org did the same thing last month for moms.

Sadly it’s needed given that one in 9 children have a parent behind bars. A truth bomb Jay Z launched in his penned TIME article, For Father’s Day, “I’m Taking on the Exploitative Bail Industry.

In the think piece Jay Z shares the heartbreaking reality of being locked up with no way out:

 If you’re from neighborhoods like the Brooklyn one I grew up in, if you’re unable to afford a private attorney, then you can be disappeared into our jail system simply because you can’t afford bail. Millions of people are separated from their families for months at a time — not because they are convicted of committing a crime, but because they are accused of committing a crime.

And why the rap mogul has made it his mission to take on the exploitation of the bail bond industry:

 …when I helped produce this year’s docuseries, Time: The Kalief Browder Story, I became obsessed with the injustice of the profitable bail bond industry. Kalief’s family was too poor to post bond when he was accused of stealing a backpack. He was sentenced to a kind of purgatory before he ever went to trial. The three years he spent in solitary confinement on Rikers ultimately created irreversible damage that lead to his death at 22.

The sad reality of nearly 700,000, on any given day, that get locked up without a conviction or a way to pay for their freedom.

Thankfully, there are some that found a way out today.

Happy Father’s Day!!

TGIF! Colin Kaepernick Continues Giving Tour |Obama Donates $2M to Chi-Town Jobs Program

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Happy Cinco De Mayo, Blinkers!

It couldn’t come at a better time…because it’s feel good Friday, y’all.

So grab that Corona with lime–dont forget the tacos–settle in and let’s recap some of the good things that went down this week.

Starting with our favorite quarterback Colin Kaepernick, sans a team. (Insert rant: will somebody pick this dude up already?)

Colin’s giving tour landed in front of the New York State Parole Board on Sunday, where the former 49er handed out custom suits to recently released prisoners looking for jobs.

Colin’s doing the damn thing when it comes to helping out in the community. Keep up the goodworks, CK.

Now for some Obama news that doesn’t involve “health” or “care” ’cause ain’t nothing feel good about that ish.

Anyway, Barack and Michelle Obama announced making a $2 million donation to create 800 summer jobs in Chicago on Wednesday.

“One of the things that we’ll be starting this year is Michelle and I are personally going to donate $2 million to our summer jobs programs here in the community,” he said at the South Shore Cultural Center. “[It’s] so that right away young people can get to work and we can start providing opportunities to all of them.”

So take that, all you salty Democrats (**cough Bernie Sanders cough**) who chastised Obama for filling his pockets with Wall Street dollars. A cash grab former presidents have done for decades, mind you. At least Obama is doing it to help out his adopted city. To prevent more violence from coming out of Chiraq.

One Summer Chicago will be hosting summer jobs for the teens.

Cheers to more people like Obama.

Central Park Five & Shawn Carter College Scholarship Foundation

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It’s very rare to have a movie stay with you–have its images, dialogue and message tattooed on your brain. For me it’s happened only a few times (and I’m a huuggeee movie fan-action, suspense, horror, romance, independent, etc. you name the genre, I’ll watch it.) the most recent was when I saw “The Central Park Five.” A Ken Burns documentary about five black and latino teenage boys falsely convicted of raping and torturing a white woman in Central Park in the late ’80s. No movie has stirred me like this one, not even Spike Lee’s “Do The Right Thing” and I’m always so livid when Radio Raheem gets murdered at the end.

Despite the similar vein of injustice both films travel down, the big difference is one is scripted and fictional and the other an actual event that my mother remembers reading about in the newspaper as a seven-year-old version of myself was propped on her lap. The Central Park Five is real. It’s documented, not just in news stories but on the faces of these four boys (The fifth boy didn’t want to be filmed in the doc, viewers only heard audio) that rapidly transformed into men while incarcerated, but the anguish of time lost, a childhood not fully realized and abuse by authority, that pain is still visible in their eyes. And justified considering their wrongful conviction lawsuit against New York City remains unsettled.

But what I’m most impressed about was their will to be better. They managed to push past what reporters, cops, lawyers and native New Yorkers’ labeled them as: psychopaths, thugs and a ‘wolf pack’ and plan for an uncertain future. They each completed GED programs that were offered in the prisons. Received high school diplomas. Fast forward Six to 13 years later they are free. Their convictions were vacated in 2003, due to DNA evidence that linked someone else to the crime.

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When labeled an undesirable it’s never easy to find a new path or someone or something that is willing to pave one. Shawn (Jay Z) Carter wanted to create one. The Shawn Carter Scholarship Foundation was conceived in 2002 and its mission is to offer college scholarships to students who have been previously incarcerated but want to rise higher in their educational pursuits. Along with single mothers, students that attend alternative schools, those who earned a GED and have a grade point average of 2.0.

The foundation’s organizers–made up of Jay Z’s mother Gloria Carter, educational workers and community activists, say they highlighted this group of students because they are usually ignored by the Board of Education.

Interested applicants must complete the online application by May 31st 2013. Click here to apply.

Sources:

Bed-Stuy Patch

PBS