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T.I. teams up with Atlanta church to help end mass incarceration

KC Orcutt

 // Jun 18, 2019

T.I. // Artist Instagram

Continuing in his long-standing tradition of being committed to giving back to the community, T.I. is now partnering on a new endeavor rooted in political activism and a necessary call-to-action regarding criminal justice reform.

As reported by the Associated Press, the Atlanta rapper and entrepreneur is teaming up with Ebenezer Baptist Church to host a three-day conference addressing mass incarceration.

The historic church, which was home of the late Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., is playing host to the talks this week through Wednesday (June 19).

According to a statement from Reverend Raphael Warnock, the goals of the End Mass Incarceration Conference revolve around helping communities fight the rise of the prison industrial complex that unfairly impacts people of color.

Additionally, the church announced that T.I. will be participating in helping to bail out dozens of poor and working-class citizens from jail in the Atlanta area.

According to reports, the initiative has two stages, beginning with this week's conference, with its implementation phase running through May 30, 2023. The second phase will help provide training and resources to those in the faith-based community, helping bring a more visible resistance to the U.S. prison system.

In addition, members of the Central Park Five, also known as the Exonerated Five, will be in attendance and participate in the three-day conference.

"This conference is very important in ending mass incarceration and the systemic issues around black and brown people," Yusef Salaam, one of the men wrongfully convicted and later exonerated of assault and rape of a woman jogging in Central Park in 1989, shared with The Root.

"Since the film, When They See Us, has come out, a lot is being done to expose the trauma of being black in America; of being stigmatized in America," he continued. "And I want to use my platform to expose this ugly reality, especially as it pertains to young people, so that there will never again be a Central Park Five, there will never again be a Kalief Browder, and we can finally change this system for good."

Public portions of the End Mass Incarceration Conference will be available via live stream here.

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