Rapper and activist Meek Mill continues its efforts to empower those whose lives have been significantly affected by the failing criminal justice system. According to Billboard, the native of Philly, real name Robert Rihmeek Williams, has teamed up with other leaders of the REFORM Alliance to offer young people in his hometown a 76ers game this holiday season.
The incarceration of parents has had a devastating impact on young people across the country, especially in the city of Philadelphia. Research shows that more than 10,000 children and adolescents had a parent behind bars. Realizing the staggering statistics and how the inequalities that plague the criminal justice system often lead to unfortunate situations, Williams and the businessman Michel rubin– who are co-chairs of the board of the REFORM Alliance – were determined to give young people a glimmer of happiness over the holidays as their parents battle legal hurdles. Nearly 25 Philadelphia-area kids had the opportunity to play basketball with Williams at Wells Fargo Center, watch the 76ers take on the Miami Heat and meet the head coach Doc Rivers.
Williams says he was forced to help organize the effort because his childhood experiences reflect the barriers many young people face today. “I’m one of those kids, so I know what it means to be in these kinds of situations,” he said in a statement, according to the outlet. “I really don’t have anyone to change my life at a young age, I’m just one of the lucky ones. If I could help one person, they ask me to help a million people in the Reform Party, but if I could help one person, that would be enough for me. He is reportedly planning to donate $ 500,000 in gifts to the Philadelphia community.
It’s not the only youth empowerment initiative the rapper and the criminal justice reform nonprofit have spearheaded. Last year, they unveiled a $ 2 million scholarship fund to support more than 1,000 students living in low-income households. The endowment was aimed at eliminating socio-economic barriers that hinder access to education by covering the tuition fees of students attending private schools.
Meek Mill donates $ 30,000 to provide holiday gifts to underserved youth
Meek Mill and Michael Rubin launch scholarship fund for underprivileged youth in Philadelphia