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Jay-Z, Meek Mill Launch ‘The Avengers’ of Criminal Justice Reform Organizations

Michael Rubin, a co-owner of the Philadelphia 76ers, used to have a recurring argument with the rapper and hardcore 76ers fan Meek Mill. “Meek would say, ‘Michael, there are two Americas,'” Rubin recalled during a press conference at John Jay College in Manhattan on Wednesday. “I’d be like, ‘Bro, what are you talking about?'”

Then in November 2017, Rubin watched in court as the rapper was sentenced to two to four years in prison for doing wheelies on a dirt bike, an action that was deemed a violation of the terms of his parole. “An hour later, my phone rings,” Rubin remembered. It was Mill, who called to say, “I told you so! … I told you there were two Americas!” “You were right,” Rubin concluded, “and I was dead wrong.”

That realization set the scene for the foundation of the Reform Alliance, a new initiative dedicated to changing the “illogical laws that make no sense,” but rule the lives of the estimated 4.5 million Americans currently on parole or probation. Mill and Rubin announced the formation of the organization on Wednesday with other wealthy business and/or sports-team owners, including Jay-Z, Robert Kraft, Clara Wu Tsai, Daniel Loeb and Michael Novogratz, who have pledged a combined $50 million to this effort. (They took the stage after the Beatles’ “Revolution” played over the loudspeakers.) TV host Van Jones, also on hand at John Jay, was picked to lead Reform. “This started off as a buddy movie,” he quipped. “And it’s now become The Avengers.”

Read more: Rolling Stones

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