John Legend is using his talents to address a social cause. The Academy Award-winning singer has announced that he is launching a campaign to end mass incarceration, FREE AMERICA.
“We have a serious problem with incarceration in this country,” Legend told the Associated Press. “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.”
The first things on Legend’s agenda will be to perform at a correctional facility in Austin, TX and then to attend a press conference with state legislators to talk about Texas’ criminal justice system. The Grammy-award winner will also co-host a criminal justice event with Politico in Washington, DC and pay a visit to a prison in California.
More artists will be added to the campaign in the future.
“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.”