Can we get a round of applause for musician John Legend? Legend, 36, is perhaps, one of the few artists that aren’t afraid to use their celebrity influence and for a great cause.
Still relishing from the high of winning a Grammy award for his Selma nominated featured song, “Glory,” with fellow musician Common, the singer has just announced his FREE AMERICA initiatives, to aid in putting a stop to the mass incarceration rate in the country.
“We have a serious problem with incarceration in this country,” Legend said in an interview. “It’s destroying families, it’s destroying communities and we’re the most incarcerated country in the world, and when you look deeper and look at the reasons we got to this place, we as a society made some choices politically and legislatively, culturally to deal with poverty, deal with mental illness in a certain way and that way usually involves using incarceration.”
Legend’s campaign began on Monday with a stop to a Texas correctional facility and will continue on to a California state prison. He’ll also host a criminal justice event Washington, D.C., later this month. The campaign will include help from other artists not yet announced.
“I’m just trying to create some more awareness to this issue and trying to make some real change legislatively,” he said. “And we’re not the only ones. There are senators that are looking at this, like Rand Paul and Cory Booker, there are other nonprofits that are looking at this, and I just wanted to add my voice to that.”
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