On Friday, June 7, Mic will host a free community concert in collaboration with Imagine Justice, a new nonprofit founded by Grammy, Emmy, Golden Globe and Academy Award Winning Artist and Activist Common. The organization aims to instill hope, love and humanity to incarcerated Americans. The free event in Stockton, California aims to empower audiences while advocating for criminal justice reform, The program will also celebrate the leaders, like Stockton Mayor Michael D. Tubbs and additional special guests, who are breaking barriers and making a difference in the community.
To increase awareness about criminal justice reform, Sadé Clacken Joseph and Mic created two exclusive videos promoting Imagine Justice's cause, posted on the organization's recently launched YouTube channel. The short videos showcase Common's work during his October 2018 Hope & Redemption Tour, on which he performed at prisons and visited with cameras to share stories from inside.
The Forgotten Ones
"I never knew I was a victim until I was thirty-five years old," a woman powerfully states in this clip, featuring Common's visit to a women's prison. She discusses how incarcerated women are often "the forgotten ones", that is, people who suffer through various traumas without any resources to heal or cope.
"I didn't understand I had value, I didn't understand I had worth, I didn't understand I was more than what they had labeled me," she continues, reflecting on how her arrest and imprisonment for criminal behavior allowed her to reclaim her identity and sense of self.
A Story of Change
In this video, an incarcerated man raps, sings and narrates his life story, from throwing his first punch at the age of eight to being led to believe that murder would "make me a man." He thoughtfully discusses the way his circumstances shaped his character and his prior mistakes, and how a prison sentence has led him to reflect on society and humanity.
Doors open at 6:30 p.m. PDT for the 7:30 p.m. concert at Stockton Memorial Civic Auditorium (525 North Center Street, Stockton, CA).