(AllHipHop News) Nearly 75% of the United States prison population is made up of black males (1.5 million people). Philadelphia native and The Roots associate Dice Raw is making an effort to support some of those black men after they have served their time in prison and help prevent other black boys from becoming future inmates by establishing August 29th as "M.I.A. (Mass Incarceration Awareness) Day."
Dice partnered with Black Male Engagement (BMe) to create the Philly event being held in Mayor Michael Nutter's Reception Room at City Hall. There will be a panel discussion focusing on lessening the overwhelming number of African-American men that are sent to prison each year.
"The purpose of the event is to minimize the negative conversations about Black males and the prison system and to maximize the positive conversations about Black males who were in the prison system and are now dedicating their life in making a difference for the next generation," read a statement about M.I.A. Day. "Panel organizers hope to help the community stop talking about issues and begin the conversation around existing solutions."
Panelists confirmed to appear include:
Mike Gross (Master of Ceremony)
Tayyib Smith (Moderator)
Shaka Singhor (Guest Speaker) Author, BMe Detroit Winner, Founder of The Atonement Project
Will Little (Guest Speaker) Poet, and Founder of Poetree N Motion
Dice Raw, Producer/Performer for the Grammy Award-winning Hip-Hop band, The Roots.
Joseph Douglass, Mentor, Employment Coordinator for Impact's Ex-Offender and Parenting of Services Dept.
Aja Beech, Author & Board Member, Pennsylvanians for Alternatives to the Death Penalty
Biz Porter, Marketing Guru & Hip-Hop Historian; Ex-Felon
Reuben Jones, Founder and President of Frontline Dads
KDot, Performing Artist; Ex-Felon
Dice Raw will also screen his documentary Jimmy's Back: The Men Behind The Music at M.I.A. Day.His upcoming album Jimmy's Back will feature appearances from several rap artists that have been incarcerated. The project was inspired by Michelle Alexander's book The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness.
Watch Dice Raw's documentary below.