Social Impact Initiative Aims to Destigmatize Minority Representation and Increase Social Equity Within the Cannabis Industry
CALIFORNIA: Viola, a nationwide leader in the production and sale of premium quality cannabis products founded by NBA veteran Al Harrington, today announced the official launch of its social equity initiative – Viola Cares. Through education, equitable offerings, expungement, and incubation programs, the initiative will result in more than 10,000 jobs, hundreds of new business owners and expanded industry diversity by increasing representation, facilitating community building and providing employment opportunities.
Viola’s first strategic alliance within its Viola Cares program kicks-off with Root & Rebound. Root & Rebound is home to lawyers and advocates committed to restoring power and resources to the communities most harmed by mass incarceration and the War on Drugs. Their work combines direct legal services with systems-changing policy advocacy and public education, in an effort to move society toward greater racial and economic equity, justice, collective liberation and intergenerational healing. Their educational resources like the California Roadmap to Reentry, the Reentry Planning Toolkit, the National Fair Chance Housing Toolkit, and others have supported thousands of people as they work to navigate the collateral consequences of an arrest or conviction history.
Viola, in conjunction with Root and Rebound, will produce a first-of-its-kind toolkit designed specifically for people with cannabis-related convictions, to be entitled: “A New Leaf: A ‘How-To Guide’ for Successful Reentry After A Cannabis Conviction.”
“At Viola, we live and breathe the belief that a cannabis conviction should never be considered a life sentence,” said Al Harrington, Founder, Viola. “In joining forces with Root and Rebound, we will look to help those communities of color who have historically been the victims of cannabis-related incarceration and who have fallen on hard times, and turn those struggles into opportunities for success within this rapidly growing industry.”
Opportunity within the cannabis industry only continues to grow as legalization progresses and passes into law across the country, and Viola is breaking the barrier of entry for minorities to contribute to that growth through cultivation and entrepreneurship.
“We’re honored to be working side-by-side with Viola on such an important initiative–one that positively impacts thousands who have been unfairly stigmatized by their prior cannabis-related incarceration,” Katherine Katcher, Founder and Executive Director of Root and Rebound. “Together we’re changing that conversation, leveling the playing field for minorities and creating opportunities for those deserving of a second chance.”
In celebration of the strategic alliance between Viola and Root and Rebound, Viola will host a welcome reception and panel discussion in support of the launch of “A New Leaf” toolkit at the Viola headquarters in Los Angeles on February 26, 2020. A moderated panel hosted by Viola CMO Ericka Pittman will include Katherine Katcher, Eliana Green, and Sandra Johnson from the Root & Rebound team, along with Al Harrington and Dan Pettigrew, Co-Founders of Viola moderated by Van Lathan.