As a Black-led organization leader you know how important is to enhance your advocacy efforts and the resources you provide. Today we discover how to harness the transformative potential of the Metaverse and Web3 technologies to supercharge your non-profit's mission.
"Black-Led Non-profits"
After George Floyd’s lynching, 2020 gave some hope to Black-led non-profits organizations that saw how, after years of being ignored, their coffers began to fill up with “extraordinary” donations. But that enthusiasm rapidly dimmed away the following six months after the heinous murder and the status quo, slowly but surely, reclaimed its throne in society. When the protests took place against police brutality, individual donors spent the late spring and early summer donating to Black-led and Black-focused groups in amounts never seen before. But now, leaders of Black-led small Non-profits must come up with strategies for how to keep donors engaged consistently towards their goals to reach a substantial impact for them to justify their role in the community.

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.

"The Challenge: Fostering Second Chances in a System Not Designed for It"
In a country where mass incarceration disproportionately affects the Black community, over 2 million Black men face immense challenges upon re-entry into society. Systemic barriers hinder their path to success, but non-profits offer a glimmer of hope. With the United States accounting for just 5% of the global population but 25% of the incarcerated population, the impact on African American families is profound. Not only children suffer, but entire communities suffer with increased poverty, educational disparities, and limited opportunities. And what about those falsely incriminated? The harrowing experience of wrongful incarceration is a reality for many within the Black community, leading to lifelong negative impacts and lasting scars even after release.

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%.

"13th amendment, mass incarceration and the prison industrial complex"
In order to fully understand the reason behind this disproportionate and exponential growing prison population rate, we need to trace back, as always, to the foundation of the country: slavery. 
Modern-day prison labor in the United States is rooted in the Thirteenth Amendment, which has created a system of slavery for incarcerated individuals. Under this “constitutional” system, incarcerated Americans lose their constitutional and voting rights, are underpaid for their labor, and are prevented from unionizing. But let us dig deeper into the rabbit hole.

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.

Considering all these factors, the stakeholders in this system have little incentive to advocate for prison reform as it would jeopardize their profits. This deeply entrenched system exploits incarcerated individuals, perpetuates racial disparities, and undermines efforts to address mass incarceration.

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.

"Web3 & the Metaverse: A New Frontier for Reintegration and Advocacy"
As you saw after 2020, crisis funding is not a sustainable model for long-term resource generation. As a Black leader, you have to bet on strategies that make you use your donations in a more efficient way and achieve a more tangible impact.
It would seem an impossible task, but fortunately, Web3 has arrived to help us solve the problems related to raising funds to free and legally defend unjustly incarcerated African Americans, supporting the families of the incarcerated, and reintegrating ex-convicts into the job market.

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.

Let us dive a little bit more in those customized Metaverse use cases and Web3 strategies that you could elaborate on a proposal and present to your potential donors.

"Use cases: Reintegration Success in the Metaverse"

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:

1) Tokenized Skills Training Programs: Develop token-based systems that reward ex-convicts for completing skills training programs within the Metaverse, providing them with verifiable credentials and enhancing their employability.
2) Virtual Job Placement Platforms: Create virtual platforms within the Metaverse where employers can connect with ex-convicts, offering job opportunities, mentorship, and support services.
3) Community-Based Support Networks: Establish virtual communities where ex-convicts can connect with mentors, peers, and professionals who can offer guidance and support throughout their employment journey.
4)  Virtual Career Fairs: Host virtual job fairs within the Metaverse, bringing together ex-convicts, employers, and career development resources to facilitate networking and employment opportunities.
 NFT-based Recognition and Rewards: Create non-fungible tokens (NFTs) that serve as digital certificates of achievement for ex-convicts, showcasing their progress, accomplishments, and dedication to their personal and professional growth.


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.

MAY, 16 / 2023
Breaking barriers and creating opportunities for ex-convicts is crucial for building a more inclusive and equitable society. If you're inspired by the possibilities outlined in this article, I invite you to schedule a call with me today. Let's explore how JJBK Studio can help your Black-owned non-profit make a lasting impact, leveraging tokenomics design, community establishment, and virtual immersive products. Together, we can empower ex-convicts to rebuild their lives, find meaningful employment, and contribute to their communities. Take the first step towards transformational change today.
Text author: Jimmy Jean
Photography: Midjourney AI ©JJBK studio 2023

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