John Legend announced a campaign to end mass incarceration called FREE AMERICA on Monday, according to the Associated Press. Legend plans to visit and perform at a correctional facility in Austin, Texas on Thursday, and be a part of a press conference with state legislators to discuss the state’s criminal justice system according to the news outlet.
“We have a serious problem with incarceration in this country,” Legend said in an interview. “I’m just trying to create some more awareness to this issue and trying to make some real change legislatively.”
Legend spoke out about mass incarceration during his Oscar acceptance speech this year, saying we live in “the most incarcerated country in the world” with “more black men under correctional control today than were under slavery in 1850.”
The Grammy winner will also visit a California state prison and co-host an event with Politico in D.C. this month. According to the AP, the campaign is set to receive more support from fellow celebrities as well as organizations dedicated to the cause.