Listen to this article here
According to Yahoo, more than 2,000 people attended last week’s United Justice Coalition’s inaugural Social Justice Summit and Team Roc, the philanthropy branch of Roc Nation, says this is only the beginning.
Jay-Z’s Roc Nation joined forces with the United Justice Coalition on Saturday to host the inaugural social justice summit in New York City.
The event, which took place in Midtown Manhattan at Center415, featured appearances from a star-studded group that included CMG founder Yo Gotti, former San Antonio Spurs coach Greg Popovich, Philadelphia Sixers partner Michael Rubin, Charlamagne tha God, civil rights attorney Ben Crump, Dr. Bernice A. King, daughter of Martin Luther King, Jr., and Eric Garner’s mother, Gwen Carr, among many others.
“The United Justice Coalition started as an informal meeting of the minds, but it has quickly evolved into a more purposeful initiative to create change in our communities,” Dania Diaz, Team ROC and UJC founding member, said in a press release back in May.
The coalition also includes a group of families who lost loved ones to police violence.
According to Complex, the summit included speaking appearances from Popovich, who presented an award to Innocence Project co-founder Barry Scheck; Gotti, who spoke on a panel discussing the inhumane treatment of the incarcerated population in Parchman prison; Charlamagne, who also participated on a panel, which examined the decriminalization of mental health, and many more.
“Our goal for this summit is to spark discussion and collaboration and take a solution-oriented approach to reforming America’s antiquated policies,” Diaz added. “At the end of the day, we are all bonded by one common goal—to eradicate injustice.”
The convention aims to unite leaders, experts, and advocates looking to positively impact social and racial justice for families affected by police violence. There will also be a focus on laws and policies, voter registration, education, civic action and different spheres of influence including media, entertainment and technology.
Diaz continued, “And hopefully, it’ll drive action, at the very least, to get more people connected to what’s happening in their communities, but also, you know, getting them to register to vote, first and foremost. And to recognize that there are networks of folks and organizations that they can lean into for support and for greater resources.”
“If you think about it from a lyrical standpoint and from just a cultural standpoint, the voices that drive hip hop and the music and the lyrics and the experiences that are brought to the table are really largely from a social and racial justice lens,” Diaz said. “And so I think that when we talk about hip hop, as a vehicle to move culture, it’s also a vehicle to address social justice issues and systemic problems.”
Talks are already in the works for annual Social Justice Summits to follow.