Common Inspires Prisoners With Video Call
(AllHipHop News) Rapper/actor Common has helped to lift the spirits of 130,000 California prisoners by taking part in a group video call to keep them updated about the coronavirus pandemic.
The "Selma" star, who is an advocate for prison reform, was invited to join the call by "Just Mercy" producer Scott Budnick, who originally intended the session as an informative chat and pep talk for inmates and prison staff.
Budnick says, "The idea was, let's do something for them to bring in hope and inspiration. Let's actually educate them on what's happening out here with the virus and what their families need to be doing and what they need to be doing, but also let them know that they're not forgotten."
For his part, Common encouraged those behind bars to take up meditation, therapy, and other calming techniques to maintain their mental health, and even led them in a breathing exercise.
They were also able to hear from former inmates Common and Budnick had previously met during a prison concert tour, and who had managed to turn their lives around following stints behind bars.
The discussion, which lasted almost two hours, was recorded, and now the footage has been shared with prison officials in five other states to provide a little inspiration and motivation, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
"It was just a deeply moving, inspiring call," adds Budnick, who founded prisoner advocacy non-profit the Anti-Recidivism Coalition in 2013.
Meanwhile, Common has also been doing his bit to help his local California community during the COVID-19 crisis, delivering a bag full of groceries to an elderly neighbor over the weekend.
He shared footage of his good deed on Instagram as he encouraged others to do the same.