BROOKLYN, New York – REFORM Alliance co-founders Clara Wu Tsai and Meek Mill, and REFORM CEO Robert Rooks were joined by producer and entrepreneur La La Anthony, hip-hop artist Cordae, actress Carmela Zumbado, and WNBA Star Epiphanny Prince at the Barclays Center for the Brooklyn Nets vs. Denver Nuggets matchup to host a VIP experience for mothers and their families who have been negatively impacted by the criminal justice system.
Upon arrival, the system-impacted families were welcomed with a private tour of the arena, which featured some of the Barclays Center’s top spots. The tour circled back to the VIP suites where families were treated to a formal dinner experience. Afterwards, the children were surprised with an array of giveaway bags filled to the brim with specialty Nets merchandise, REFORM swag, and more. The evening’s excitement continued as families were escorted down to the court for an exclusive, close and personal shootaround experience where children observed players warming up for the game.
The families also heard remarks from Clara Wu Tsai, Meek Mill and Robert Rooks on the ongoing fight REFORM Alliance continues to champion of system-impacted communities throughout the country. Both founding members and the organization’s CEO highlighted REFORM’s recent legislative win last week in Pennsylvania, a special moment for the organization given Meek’s personal experience on probation in the state that launched the creation of REFORM. Since its founding in 2019, REFORM has passed 18 bills in 11 states, creating a pathway for 800,000 people to exit the supervision system and into stability and work. Cordae and La La shared their own passionate remarks on criminal justice reform, with La La pointing to her personal heartfelt experiences mentoring impacted youth from Rikers Island.
Many of the invited guests were also leaders from local nonprofits who work with justice-impacted women and children.
The Brooklyn Nets and REFORM’s Season of Giving event aims to highlight the unique impact the U.S. criminal justice system has on women. Women involved in the system have an especially high prevalence of trauma: 80% of women in the justice system have been survivors of victimization, such as physical assault, sexual abuse and mental/emotional abuse. Women also tend to be the primary caregiver to children and relatives in need of home care, which limits the amount of time and energy that can be put forth to find and keep a job, leading to an increased likelihood of experiencing homelessness.
This event marks the 3rd annual return of REFORM Alliance’s Season of Giving holiday event series. Launched in 2019, REFORM Alliance holiday events provide an exclusive, one-of-a-kind holiday experience to families negatively impacted by the criminal justice system. REFORM’s holiday activations have previously been supported by the Brooklyn Nets, Philadelphia 76ers, and the New England Patriots.