Rapper Meek Mill is putting his money where his mouth is when it comes to supporting causes that he is passionate about.
The rapper, whose real name is Robert Rihmeek Williams, paid the bail for 20 women at Philadelphia’s Riverside Correctional Facility so they could spend the holidays with their loved ones.
The goodwill was given through the charity, Reform Alliance, which was started in January 2019 by a group of philanthropists, activists, and other celebrities due to the “unjust re-imprisonment of recording artist Meek Mill,” according to its website.
In November 2017, Meek was sentenced to two to four years in prison for doing wheelies on a dirt bike, which was a violation of his parole. He was released after serving five months in prison and geared up for his highly publicized trial.
The website states, “although Meek had the resources and public platform to fight his case, his case is only one of millions. The vast majority of people trapped in the system don’t get their stories told, or have the resources to fight back.”
In August 2019, a documentary series about his battle with the criminal justice system, “Free Meek,” was released on Amazon Prime Video. Meek served as executive producer on the series alongside fellow rapper Jay-Z.
Meek says he wanted to prevent others from feeling the way he did when he was locked up.
“It was devastating for me to be away from my son during the holidays when I was incarcerated, so I understand what these women and their families are going through,” Meek posted on Instagram. “No one should have to spend the holidays in jail simply because they can’t afford bail. I’m grateful for the opportunity to help these women be with their families and loved ones during this special time of year.”
According to CNN, five of the women were released on Saturday, and 15 more will be released in the coming week. Each woman will also receive a gift card “to purchase groceries or gifts for the holidays.”
One poster expressed gratitude for the rapper’s kindness.
“Thank you, @Meekmill, for paying the bail for 20 incarcerated women at the Riverside Correctional facility in Philadelphia. You’re an inspiration to us all, and we can’t thank you enough for all you do.”
ABOUT THE REFORM ALLIANCE
REFORM Alliance was founded in January 2019 by Michael Rubin, Meek Mill, Jay-Z, Michael Novogratz, Clara Wu Tsai, and Daniel Loeb. At its founding, the philanthropists pledged a combined $50 million to the organization and to create a bipartisan response to what it considered unjust sentencing laws in the United States. The organization was formed in reaction to Meek Mill’s November 2017 sentencing, when he was sentenced to two to four years in prison for doing wheelies on a dirt bike, which violated the terms of his parole.
Rubin and Robert Kraft visited Meek Mill in jail, and Jay-Z and Rubin helped to support Meek Mill’s legal battle.Jay-Z, who served as an executive producer for “Time: The Kalief Browder Story,” also took Novogratz to visit a New York City jail after Novogratz watched the film and had a desire to learn more. The five men later collaborated with others to form REFORM Alliance. REFORM Alliance initially launched at an event at John Jay College. Van Jones was hired to lead REFORM as the Chief Executive Officer. At its founding, REFORM established a goal to reduce the number of people impacted by probation and parole laws by one million over the course of five years.