NEW YORK: Cage-Free Repair, advocates working towards an equitable, just, and reparative cannabis industry, has launched SHOW YOUR LOVE, a campaign to raise funds for National Expungement Week and its signature expungement and record clearing/sealing events (N.E.W. 2020). Education, awareness, and transparency are in focus for this fundraising initiative, which also includes the creation of a digital marketplace to empower consumers seeking brands that are backing the group’s legal relief efforts.
Starting August 1st, individuals can donate directly to the cause at https://cagefreerepair.wedid.it/, while businesses are invited to take part in the “fundraiser through the SHOW YOUR LOVE digital marketplace. To participate as “Creators,” businesses can connect with N.E.W. at firstname.lastname@example.org by August 22nd to designate products where a share of the profits go towards 2020 expungement week clinics and year-round efforts regarding such issues as criminal justice reform, voting rights, and housing and food insecurity. “Creators” can show their followers that they are a part of the campaign by using the hashtag #ShowNEWLove. As more and more consumers are looking for ways to practice conscious capitalism, the SHOW YOUR LOVE marketplace is an easy way to identify brands whose values align with N.E.W.’s fight for automated expungements and the repair of devastating harms caused by the War on Drugs and legal entanglements that block access to basic rights and opportunities.
“Relief services often require fees to be paid, in some cases these fees exceed $450,” says N.E.W. co-founding organizer James Watts. “N.E.W. is focused on raising these funds to pay these fees and better serve our communities.”
Cage-Free Repair is the 501(c)(3) non-profit arm of Cage-Free Cannabis, which helped to launch N.E.W. in 2018. N.E.W.’s third annual week of legal relief events and wrap-around services is slated to take place online and in-person (where available) on September 19-26, 2020. Since 2018, N.E.W. has helped over 1,000 people start to clear or seal convictions on their records. More than 3,000 people have also received wrap-around services offered at N.E.W. clinics and events, including employment resources, voter registration, and health screenings. In two years, the grassroots network has generated a public benefit of over $10,000,000 to date. In the wake of COVID-19 and the growing calls for social, racial, and economic justice, the work of N.E.W. has become even more essential.
“A criminal record creates more than 48,000 barriers to a person’s life,” says Watts. “Clearing records allows for millions of Americans to once again access opportunity and our wrap-around services seek to offer support thru this process.”
Besides the marketplace, another key goal of the SHOW YOUR LOVE campaign is to increase awareness around issues of expungement and the 48,000 legal and socioeconomic barriers that exist for the disenfranchised. Topics such as the boundaries created by having a criminal record, hurdles to expungement, the criminalization of youth and issues relating to Veterans, and the systematic abuse of Black lives will also be explored across N.E.W.’s social media channels. Transparency regarding the amount of money raised and the allocation of funds is also built into the campaign, which winds down in at the conclusion of N.E.W. 2020.
SHOW YOUR LOVE, a fundraiser for N.E.W. runs from August 1 – September 26, 2020. To be a part of this fundraising effort, please visit https://cagefreerepair.wedid.it/ or contact email@example.com to participate in the N.E.W. digital marketplace. For more information on N.E.W. and N.E.W. 2020 events, please visit nationalexpungementweek.org or @expungementweek on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.