Variety and Rolling Stone will co-host their first-ever Criminal Justice Reform Summit next month in Los Angeles.
Featuring CNN host and activist Van Jones, as well as Kim Kardashian West and hip-hop artist Meek Mill, the Nov. 14 event will bring together the entertainment, philanthropic, advocacy and policymaking communities to drive criminal justice reform.
Jones will keynote the conference by talking about the failings of the American criminal justice system with Kardashian West, who recently began leveraging her celebrity platform to advocate for prison reform with D.C.’s top policymakers. Notably, she aided in the early release of Alice Marie Johnson, a first-time nonviolent drug offender who spent 21 years in prison, after meeting with President Donald Trump at the White House.
“Not only do we face a mass incarceration problem in the United States, but almost 60 percent of inmates currently in prison or jail are racial and ethnic minorities,” said Jones, who is also the co-founder of Dream Corps, an organization that operates the #cut50 initiative to decrease crime and incarceration in all 50 states. “Uncovering the roots of this national issue and creating a diverse advocacy community is a huge step toward generating legitimate policy change.”
Joining Variety and Rolling Stone in co-hosting the summit will be the Coalition for Public Safety, the Justice Action Network, #cut50, the Margaret and Daniel Loeb Foundation, ARC, and One Community LLC.
“As leading national publications, Variety and Rolling Stone are responsible for enlisting their platforms to shed light on the need for criminal justice reform,” said Claudia Eller, co-editor-in-chief of Variety magazine. “We are excited to create a forum for entertainers to educate the public about such a complex widespread issue alongside philanthropists, activists and politicians to reshape the current system.”
“Criminal justice reform has been a key issue for Rolling Stone since the magazine’s early days,” said Jason Fine, editor of Rolling Stone magazine. “Recently we’ve looked at the out-of-control private prison system, how tainted evidence can lead to countless wrongful convictions, and what happens when a vindictive judge uses the parole system to keep one of hip-hop’s biggest stars in jail. We believe that a national effort to bring about criminal justice reform is one of the most important issues of our time.”
Other panelists at the event include Freddy Brathwaite a.k.a Fab 5 Freddy, Scott Budnick, Daniel Loeb, Philadelphia 76ers and New Jersey Devils co-owner Michael Rubin, U.S. governors John Bel Edwards, Mary Fallin and Dannel P. Malloy, former New York Times editor and Marshall Project editor-in-chief Bill Keller and “Get Out” actress Allison Williams.
Held at the Jeremy Hotel in West Hollywood, the event is presented by sponsors The Margaret and Daniel Loeb Foundation and The Joan Ganz Cooney and Holly Peterson Foundation.