All posts by Kehaulani Ahu
John Legend has become world famous for his chart-topping ballad “All of Me” and role in the Oscar-nominated musical “La La Land,” but his visit to the Louisiana Capitol on Wednesday was serious business. “We can’t tolerate a system that destroys so many lives and so many communities,” Legend told the House Judiciary Committee during a hearing packed with curious onlookers hoping to snap a photo of the star guest. “Mass incarceration is ineffective, it’s harmful and it’s expensive.”
Singer-songwriter John Legend will be returning to his alma mater to advocate for improvements to the United States criminal justice system. The University of Pennsylvania announced Wednesday the 1999 graduate was appointed to the advisory board of the school’s Quattrone Center for the Fair Administration of Justice.
John Legend has a direct message about teens in prisons: they shouldn’t be there and it’s time for Americans to stand up for them. He’s endorsing a new report by Youth First, an organization that advocates for alternatives to youth prison. It lists steps advocates can take to fight the youth prison system and minimize the damage it does to the young people caught in it.
Since Derrick Perique, 32, got out of prison, he’s been on a mission to help others see more clearly. On Saturday, though, he could have been forgiven if he had stars in his eyes.Perique graduated with a degree in optician work from a small re-entry program at the Louisiana State Penitentiary at Angola. After his release in 2013, he worked hard, saved his money and partnered with an eyeglasses maker. On Saturday, at the Perdido Street office of Rising Foundations, a New Orleans business incubator program for former convicts, Perique was able to show his small custom eyeglasses operation to singer-pianist John Legend, the multiple Grammy Award-winner who is headlining the halftime show of the NBA All-Star Game on Sunday.