One of the greatest stories that you can read is when people go out of their way to help another person or a group of people. American singer and songwriter John Legend brought his story to the world when he talked about wanting to create job opportunities for people with criminal backgrounds. It’s no secret that it’s hard for people who spent time in jail to find work, even if they hold a degree or haven’t made the same mistake in years. 

Sachyn Mital / CC BY-SA

In 2014, Legend founded a nonprofit called FreeAmerica, which works to change the criminal justice system in America. It’s meant to help people released find jobs so they have a better chance of staying out of jail. In 2017, FreeAmerica teamed with another nonprofit called New Profit and created a program called Unlocked Futures, which opens job opportunities by bringing in the expertise and insight of social entrepreneurs who understand the criminal justice system as they’ve been through it. 

The program will last for about 14 months and will give participants leadership skills that deal with fundraising, board governance, talent strategy, and communications. Throughout the program participants are teamed with mentors who help them through the process. The only requirement is that participants need to have an established business and prove that they’re ready for growth within their business. 


PUBLIC NOTE: The opinions expressed in this article are the author's own and do not reflect the view of the Urban Intellectuals, affiliates or partners.

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