Fat Joe Honored For Community Activism In New York

Hip-Hop veteran and Terror Squad leader Fat Joe will be honored for his support of developmental programs for children whose parents have been incarcerated.

The South Bronx, bred rapper will be honored at the1st Annual Dinner and Awards Gala of In Arms Reach (IAR), which takes place on Thursday (November 29) at The Great Hall of CUNY’s City College in Harlem.

Also being recognized is former New York Giants linebacker Carl Banks, retired New York State Supreme Court judge Hon. Jerome W. Marks and Dr. Stanford A. Roman, Jr., Dean of City College of New York’s Sophie Davis School of Bio-Medical Education.

R&B singer Trey Songz will be the featured entertainer for the gala.

"My community has been the foundation of everything I’ve ever accomplished in music and my business ventures," Fat Joe said of being honored. "It's the role of Hip-Hop to give voice to the most overlooked, and it's the role of every responsible person to look into the community and be a positive force to as many as we possibly can."

IAR, whose honorary chairman is Capitol Music Group Chairman and CEO Jason Flom, is a non-profit community-based art, counseling, prison visitation and academic mentoring organization, which exclusively serves children in various communities of New York.

The organization was launched in 2002 by Terrence Stevens, who is confined to a wheelchair and virtually paralyzed from the neck down due to muscular dystrophy.

"Children of incarcerated people face some of life's harshest challenges, including poverty, violence, limited opportunities for a good education, and a future that seems to hold little promise," Stevens added. "The incarceration of a parent often places children at an increased risk of substance abuse, truancy, and other anti-social behaviors."

According to statistics released by IAR, over 2.5 million children are denied access to parental guidance, because that parent is in prison.

"I'm proud to help bring awareness to this segment of youth, at a time when so many of our families in the minority community remain separated by the system," Fat Joe said.