NEW YORK — The American Civil Liberties Union Campaign for Smart Justice today announced a public education campaign featuring prominent artists, entertainers, and activists. The “Pop Quiz” video series will educate the public on various components of America’s broken criminal justice system.
The campaign includes a suite of videos featuring:
- John Legend, Grammy and Oscar-winning singer, songwriter, producer, and activist
- Talib Kweli, musician and entrepreneur
- Daveed Diggs, Tony and Grammy-winning actor, “Hamilton,” and co-writer, co-star, and producer of “Blindspotting”
- Giacomo Gianniotti, actor, “Grey’s Anatomy”
- Michael Bennett, NYTimes bestselling author and activist, Super Bowl champion and three-time Pro Bowl Defensive end, Philadelphia Eagles
The Pop Quiz public education initiative challenges viewers on how much they know and understand about the criminal justice system and its flaws. The videos will educate viewers on a broad range of criminal justice topics, including the money bail system, the power of prosecutors, police accountability, the experiences of formerly incarcerated people when they re-enter society, racial disparities in the criminal justice system, the need for sentencing reform, and the broader facts around mass incarceration.
“Hundreds of thousands of people are locked up in jails right now without even being convicted of a crime,” said Legend. “While the system allows the wealthy to buy their freedom, it makes billions off the backs of low-income and Black and brown people. If you can pay bail, you walk free. If not, you’re stuck behind bars — sometimes for months, or even years. This system must end now. I’m proud to partner with the ACLU as we push the movement to end cash bail.”
Diggs said, “Mass incarceration has torn families apart and harmed our communities for generations. We need to sound the alarm on this crisis so that we can move towards a smarter criminal justice system that builds our people and communities up rather than tearing them down.”
The Pop Quiz series is an effort of the ACLU Campaign for Smart Justice, which is working to reduce the U.S. jail and prison population by 50 percent and to combat racial disparities in the criminal justice system. The campaign is working in all 50 states for reforms to usher in a new era of justice in America. The ACLU Campaign for Smart Justice is fighting in the legislatures, the courts, and in the streets to end mass incarceration.
“Across the country, millions of people — particularly people of color — are targeted and victimized by our broken criminal justice system,” said Udi Ofer, director of the ACLU’s Campaign for Smart Justice. “We couldn’t be more excited to be partnering with such an incredible group of passionate and influential advocates who are working to end mass incarceration. Together we are building a movement that prioritizes people instead of prisons.”
The campaign will release additional videos and content in the coming months in close collaboration with other influencers and activists.
Legend’s video can be viewed here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TeulWOeq_1k&feature=youtu.be
For more information about the ACLU’s Campaign for Smart Justice: https://www.aclu.org/issues/smart-justice