Meek Mill and Jay-Z launch criminal justice reform organization 'to speak for all the people who don't have a voice'

"We want to change outdated laws, give people hope and reform a system."

January 23, 2019, 3:56 PM

On his "first day out" of prison, Meek Mill pledged to fight for others. Months after the Philadelphia Supreme Court ordered his release in April, the rapper continues to make good on his promise.

Joining forces with leaders in the music, sports and business world, including hip-hop mogul Shawn “Jay-Z” Carter, Meek announced on Wednesday the launch of REFORM Alliance, a new criminal justice reform organization chaired by himself and his friend, Philadelphia 76ers owner Michael Rubin.

"I'm here to speak for all the people who don't have a voice," Meek Mill, whose full name is Robert Rihmeek Williams, said at the event.

"I got caught up in the system and 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 their ruthless environment, every year or two was something that always brought me back to ground zero and it was probation and I always wondered what happened to people in situations worse than mine," he said.

The organization, which will be led by longtime criminal justice reform advocate and CNN commentator Van Jones, aims to "drastically reduce the number of people who are under control of the criminal justice system by changing laws and public opinion," according to a press release shared with ABC News.

Jay-Z applauded Meek's activism and said the rapper's story "sparked the match for the nation."

Jay-Z applauds @MeekMill's activism and says the attention that Meek brought to the issue of criminal justice reform "sparked the match for the nation."

"We're all prisoners to this because until everyone's free, no one's free," Jay-Z says at the launch of @REFORM

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