Grammy and Oscar award-winning singer and musician John Legend is using his celebrity for the greater good, and has launched a campaign to end mass incarceration. The ‘FREE AMERICA”‘campaign is a multi-year initiative that will feature a performance by John Legend at a correctional facility in Texas, followed by a press conference with state legislators this week.
Legend tells the Huffington Post how America has a serious problem with incarceration:
“It’s destroying families, it’s destroying communities and we’re the most incarcerated country in the world.”
Legend says referring to statistics that show America locks up more of its citizens than any other country in the world. “And when you look deeper and look at the reasons we go 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.”
Legend’s speech at the Academy Awards this year brought awareness to the issue of mass incarceration, and has streamlined his efforts at getting some attention on the topic. “There are senators that are looking at this” he exclaims, “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.” Legend went on to win the Oscar for best original song with rapper Common for “Glory” from the film “Selma.”
Other visits throughout Legend’s ‘FREE AMERICA’ campaign include a trip to a California state prison, as well as co-hosting a criminal justice event in Washington, D.C. There are also several guests are slated to make an appearance throughout the campaign but will be announced later. We love seeing celebs fight for a cause, kudos to Mr. Legend!