Since his prison release in 2018, Meek Mill has been an outspoken advocate for prison reform. The Philadelphia rapper has been outspoken about unfair practices within the criminal system. Following his jail stint, Meek Mill has been busy raising awareness for a number of criminal justice reform initiatives.
As such, New York University is recognizing Meek Mill in a big way for his activism, Complex reports. On Tuesday (June 11), the university’s McSilver Institute awarded the rapper with their 2019 McSilver Social Justice Award. He was one of six individuals who were honored with the Justice Award at their seventh annual ceremony.
"I’m honored by this recognition," Meek said in a statement obtained by Complex. "When I was released from prison last year, I knew I had a responsibility to use my voice to speak up for the voiceless and fight for criminal justice reform. Change will take time, but me and my team at the REFORM Alliance are committed to making a real difference and fixing a broken justice system."
During the ceremony, the rapper spoke on the adversities he's faced while fighting his probation charge.
"I’ve been beat by police, I’ve been locked in penitentiaries, I’ve been on probation much of my life..."
In January, he co-founded REFORM Alliance, a criminal justice reform organization, alongside other high-profile figures like Jay-Z, Van Jones, Philadelphia 76ers co-owner Michael Rubin and New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft. Just four months after its formation, the alliance proposed a bill before Pennsylvania lawmakers that would overhaul the state’s probation and parole system.
Much deserved, Meek! Congratulations!
Tune in to the 2019 BET Awards to catch Meek Mill performing live at BET Experience in Los Angeles on June 21. Check out the rest of the lineup and buy tickets here.
(Photo: Shareif Ziyadat/Getty Images)