On Monday, February 17, REPRESENT JUSTICE, NBA and WNBA hosted a basketball clinic for youth at the Cook County Juvenile Temporary Detention Center (JTDC) in Chicago during NBA All-Star Weekend. They were joined by Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx and Academy and Grammy Award-Winning Artist and Activist COMMON, who both participated in roundtable conversations focused on the possibility of second chances and the power of community, art, and sports.
REPRESENT JUSTICE’s Campaign surrogate and Senior Advisor to the Campaign for Fair Sentencing of Youth Xavier McElrath-Bey shared his experiences from the roundtable:
“I joined REPRESENT JUSTICE Campaign because after being charged as an adult at 13 years old and now fighting to end life without parole for children, I believe that all children, regardless of their mistakes, deserve a second chance and the opportunity to be forgiven. Having been locked away in this exact facility on seven different occasions, I understand how impactful events like this can be on a child’s sense of self-worth. Play for Justice demonstrates the power of sports and community, and I’m honored to use my story to help drive changes in our current legal system.”
The REPRESENT JUSTICE Campaign organized the Play for Justice initiative to advance the goals of uplifting narratives of hope and redemption, in order to break down stigmas associated with individuals—disproportionately people of color and the poor—who are impacted by the justice system. The games are organized by the Campaign, participating NBA teams. In addition to the Play For Justice events, the Campaign has worked with NBA and WNBA teams and players to organize events, including film screenings and community conversations, as part of the broader effort.