According to recent studies, 87 percent of Black-led Non-profit organizations are assisting people impacted by the economic fallout from the pandemic, including job loss, difficulty paying for -or loss of- housing, problems paying for utilities, and/or loss of healthcare benefits.
Besides the effect of the pandemic, there are many other reasons to fight for in our community, because as a group, every single aspect of life is light years behind the rest of society. However, this time I would like to shed some light on organizations that are focused on the incarcerated population and their integration back into society, once released.
Sadly, it is not just that. Out of prison, out of work... Formerly incarcerated individuals face high unemployment rates, exceeding 27%. Structural barriers hinder their employment opportunities, especially upon release. And you do not need a study to know that Black individuals face even greater challenges in this race towards reintegration. This perpetual cycle of labor market punishment leads to release and poverty, adversely affecting their children and families, taxpayers, and specially, those seeking to break free from the cycle. Studies show that employers discriminate against those with criminal records -in spite of what they claim to do, evidence shows that having a record reduces employer callback by 50%.
The criminalization of minor offenses, particularly targeting Black people, led to an increase in incarcerated Black individuals, creating a market for convict leasing. During the Jim Crow era, new policies and laws continued to disproportionately impact Black Americans for them to be convicted for minor infractions while paying major penalties. But not only that, this mass incarceration has become a method of disenfranchising Black voters and perpetuating voter suppression.
Nevertheless, the most important thing is the money… follow the money and you will understand the reason. The Prison Industrial Complex (PIC), which encompasses government and private industry interests, profits from the increase in incarcerated individuals. Inmates work for as little as $0.33 per hour, and their rights to join labor unions are denied by the Constitution. Furthermore, private businesses involved in the PIC enjoy exemptions from unemployment taxes.
But this is nothing new for you, who have been fighting against this through your Non-profit organization for years. The hardest thing is to find funding to dismantle this unjust system. I propose that you attack on two fronts: (i) engaging foundations and private donors that identify with your cause through a cutting-edge proposal, and (ii) giving the opportunity to grassroots-based communities to contribute with crowdfunding initiatives. Let us see how.
If you are a Black-led non-profit organization leader, Web3 technologies present an opportunity to enhance your advocacy efforts. Decentralization empowers the community by giving them a voice in governance, funding, and strategic decisions, fostering a sense of ownership and collaboration. This technology can also improve transparency and trust, crucial elements in gaining support for your cause.
In the Metaverse, ex-convicts can acquire new skills, network, and even find employment opportunities in an environment free from societal biases. They can participate in virtual job fairs, training programs, and community events, helping them transition back into society successfully. Furthermore, virtual advocacy campaigns can reach a broader audience, raising awareness and rallying support for your cause.
Join us in transforming lives, creating second chances and a brighter future with Web3 technology and the Metaverse! These technologies can empower ex-convicts with employment, education, and skills in the digital realm. The following are some of the many ways this could be achieved:
Police brutality is not going away, on the contrary, they have doubled down. There is a campaign against the Black family, and mass incarceration is one of the most efficient tools. We cannot afford another 50 years of mass incarceration tearing apart families and communities. It is time to do something revolutionary and invest in practices that prevent future damage. I cannot emphasize enough the importance of Black-owned Non-profits taking an active role in harnessing the potential of Web3 and the Metaverse to maximize their reach and impact, and in the case of those related to former prisoners, to create sustainable and inclusive opportunities for ex-convicts. And remember, FOCUS ON WHERE YOU WANT TO GO, NOT WHERE YOU CURRENTLY ARE.