Amir Junaid Muhadith (formerly known as Loon) was chosen to serve as the inaugural Fellow in the REFORM Alliance’s Fellowship Program. The former Bad Boy Entertainment recording artist will work closely with REFORM executives on the Advocacy and Communications team to receive hands-on experience in policy creation, policy writing, coalition-building, research, digital organizing, and more.
This new position with the program comes about three months after Muhadith was granted an early release from federal prison following his nine-year incarceration for conspiracy with intent to traffic heroin. He is currently on probation.
“I can personally relate to the stress of navigating life on supervision with the risk of reincarceration, so I’m grateful for the opportunity to use my experience to help REFORM and collaborate on ways to make a lasting impact on the system,” stated Muhadith. “It’s imperative that we provide people on probation with the support, training, and counseling to truly succeed rather than resort to punitive punishment.”
Muhadith began connecting with REFORM Alliance Chief Advocacy Officer Jessica Jackson while he was still behind bars. Jackson advocated for his compassionate release under the federal First Step Act following the COVID-19 outbreak in the prison system. She partnered with Weldon Angelos and several other activists to petition for Muhadith’s release in July.
“Amir’s firsthand perspective and strategic thinking will be invaluable to helping us improve an ineffective and destructive supervision system,” comments Jackson. “In the short amount of time he’s been released, Amir has already impressed us with his ideas and commitment to creating positive change.”
That’s why we’ll keep fighting 💛 pic.twitter.com/B68htohwJh
— REFORM Alliance (@REFORM) October 29, 2020
Last month, the REFORM Alliance announced new hires. Janet Choi (Chief Content and Communications Officer), Adia Smith Parker (Senior Director, Development), Meagan Bond (Senior Director, Creative Campaigns), Geoff Holtzman (Director of Communications), Britton Smith (Senior Organizing Strategist), Colleen Donnelly (Director of Digital), Jasmine Wadsworth (Advocacy Chief of Staff), and Yesenia Valdez (Special Assistant to the President and Chief Growth Officer) joined the criminal justice reform organization.
2020 also saw the REFORM Alliance celebrate a big legislative win in the state of California. Governor Gavin Newsom signed the AB 1950 bill. The law caps probation terms to a maximum of one year for misdemeanor offenses and two years for felonies. REFORM Alliance worked with AB 1950’s primary sponsor, Assemblywoman Sydney Kamlager-Dove (D-Los Angeles), to gain support for the legislation in California’s State Assembly and State Senate.
Hip Hop artist Meek Mill and Philadelphia 76ers partner Michael Rubin are the Co-Chairs for the REFORM Alliance. Founding Partners for the collective includes Roc Nation founder Shawn “Jay-Z” Carter, New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft, Vista Equity Partners CEO Robert Smith, Third Point CEO Daniel S. Loeb, Galaxy Digital CEO Michael E. Novogratz, Brooklyn Nets co-owner Clara Wu Tsai, and Arnold Ventures Co-Chair Laura Arnold. CNN commentator Van Jones is REFORM’s CEO.