Last week, I had the honor of joining the #cut50 team and our cofounder Van Jones at the Congressional Black Caucus’s Annual Legislative Conference. With help from our Empathy Network Ambassador Britton Smith, we partnered with several Members of Congress to bring critical conversations about our justice system to the Caucus' biggest event of the year.

I am deeply committed to bringing together people closest to the problem with people in power – because with the opportunity to change hearts and minds, comes the potential to influence policies. Here’s how we did that at one of the biggest legislative events in D.C. this year.

One conference moment that has stayed with me was Van speaking about the challenges of reentering society after prison. Here’s what he said:

“When people come home they need a springboard to success, not a trapdoor to failure.”

As a person who has experienced the hardships of reentering society firsthand, I couldn’t agree more. Thankfully, I was not the only one in the room to hear him when Van said this.

Addressing the crowd at a #cut50 panel at CBC's Annual Legislative Conference last week

#cut50 brought the topic of ending mass incarceration and reentry to not one but three panels this year. 

Some of our featured guests included: Empathy Network partner and author Mary Stewart-Holmes, award winning chef Jeff Henderson, New York Times contributor and sociology professor Dr. Michael Eric Dyson, former federal prosecutor and Georgetown professor Paul Butler, and many more. We even had a probation officer sit on one of our panels!

Too much wisdom was shared for me to list out all the highlights, but I recommend you take a moment to check out our recap and experience it for yourself: drm.to/cbc19.

I gained so much from CBC’s conference this year, and I think you will too. Be sure to check out our recap of this great event featuring takeaways from Van himself.

Hope you enjoy it as much as we enjoyed the conference!

Louis L. Reed
National Organizer, #cut50

Ps. Love Van’s quote from the conference? Click here to share it on Twitter or on Facebook.

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