Nearly 75% of the United States prison population is made up of black males (1.5 million people). Philadelphia native and The Roots associate Dice Raw is making an effort to support some of those black men after they have served their time in prison and help prevent other black boys from becoming future inmates by establishing August 29th as "M.I.A. (Mass Incarceration Awareness) Day."
Dice partnered with Black Male Engagement
(BMe) to create the Philly event being held in Mayor Michael Nutter's Reception Room at City Hall. There will be a panel discussion focusing on lessening the overwhelming number of African-American men that are sent to prison each year.
"The purpose of the event is to minimize the negative conversations about Black males and the prison system and to maximize the positive conversations about Black males who were in the prison system and are now dedicating their life in making a difference for the next generation," read a statement about M.I.A. Day. "Panel organizers hope to help the community stop talking about issues and begin the conversation around existing solutions."
Panelists confirmed to appear include:
(Master of Ceremony)
(Guest Speaker) Author, BMe Detroit Winner, Founder of The Atonement Project
(Guest Speaker) Poet, and Founder of Poetree N Motion
, Producer/Performer for the Grammy Award-winning Hip-Hop band, The Roots.
, Mentor, Employment Coordinator for Impact's Ex-Offender and Parenting of Services Dept.
, Author & Board Member, Pennsylvanians for Alternatives to the Death Penalty
, Marketing Guru & Hip-Hop Historian; Ex-Felon
Founder and President of Frontline Dads
, Performing Artist; Ex-Felon
Dice Raw will also screen his documentary Jimmy's Back: The Men Behind The Music
at M.I.A. Day.
His upcoming album Jimmy's Back
will feature appearances from several rap artists that have been incarcerated. The project was inspired by Michelle Alexander's book The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness.
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Watch Dice Raw's documentary below.