PRESS RELEASE February 6, 2017 Event

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PRESS RELEASE

 

Mission: Launch to Partner with Google, D.C. for a Dialogue on Data, Justice, and Opportunity

 

WASHINGTON, DC February 2, 2016 – Mission: Launch is pleased to announce a partnership with Google, D.C. for a dialogue around the relationship between data, justice, and opportunities in the criminal justice sector. The event, which will take place on February , 2017 from 10:00 AM-12:00 PM at the Google, D.C. headquarters, will include expert panelists from a variety of sectors: government, private, education, and nonprofit. Topics for discussion include benefits and drawbacks of data in criminal justice decision making, connecting policy to the discussion of collateral consequences, and initiatives dedicated to expanding workforce opportunities for people living with an arrest/conviction record in the United States. This event stems from months of collaboration between veteran re-entry organization, Mission: Launch and Google, which signed the Fair Chance Business Pledge in 2016.

 

“Kicking off the year with this timely conversation about smart reentry and workforce opportunities with Google is exciting for organization and our network. For nearly 3 years we have convened stakeholders throughout the Washington, DC and Baltimore, MD metropolitan regions to identify opportunities for enhancements in how area residents reintegrate post prison or jail. This event will allow local and national leaders to come and share model practices and industry leading knowledge.” Laurin Hodge, President and Executive Director of Mission: Launch, Inc. The lively panel discussion aims to fuel awareness, discourse, and future partnerships. Registered attendees include professionals for over 8 different industries, students as well as directly impacted individuals.

 

For more information, Contact LAURIN HODGE, 202-449-4677, Laurin@Mission-Launch.org

 

Press is invited to attend and should contact Laurin directly as the event is currently on a waitlist and registration is closed. Data, Justice, & Opps Event Registration: www.datajusticeopps.eventbrite.com

 

About Mission: Launch, Inc.

Tagline: Technology for social good. Impact through coalition. Stories igniting empathy.

Vision: We envision an America that restores equity and creates sustainable opportunities for fresh starts so that citizens facing barriers due to an arrest and/or conviction record can live out their full potential by rejoining society and contributing in meaningful ways.  

Mission: Accelerate self-sufficiency for Americans facing discrimination due to criminal justice system connections.

Issue Focus: Poverty alleviation, workforce/economic development for disadvantaged individuals due to criminal justice system connections

Twitter:www.twitter.com/mission_launch

Facebook:www.facebook.com/missionlaunch

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/missionlaunch

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PRESS RELEASE: Mission: Launch Co-Founder and Executive Vice President Named A 2016 Soros Justice Fellow

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Mission: Launch Co-Founder and Executive Vice President Named A 2016 Soros Justice Fellow

WASHINGTON, DC June 20, 2016 – While criminal justice reform continues to be a major topic of conversation and debate, from Capitol Hill to the talking points of Presidential presumptive nominees, Mission: Launch is pleased to announce that Executive Vice President and co-founder, Teresa Hodge, has been named a 2016 Soros Justice Fellow by the Open Society Foundations. The foundation is awarding $1.2 million to fund the criminal justice reform work of fifteen (15) announced recipients. Projects vary in focus, including: reentry advocacy, creating prison to school pipelines and developing humanizing media/digital storytelling campaigns.  As a member of the class of 2016, Hodge’s stipend will enable her to launch an eighteen (18) month, criminal justice reform, advocacy campaign focused on Incarceration and the Digital Divide; this campaign will promote tech education and create a pathway for tech opportunities with the goal of helping to shrink the digital divide experienced by formerly incarcerated persons, who are being navigated back to the core of society.

 “During the 5 years I was incarcerated, I realized technology was revolutionizing how people engaged in all aspects of life. I went from someone who was a tech early adopter to being on the other side of the digital divide,” says Hodge.  “Planning for my own reentry, I purposed to use technology to help me personally reintegrate into the workplace. I’m excited to spend the next 18-months advocating for technology inclusion for those of us with a prior arrest and/or conviction record. Being locked-up in prison should not keep one locked-out of opportunity for the rest their life”   

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MEDIA ADVISORY: Advancing Criminal Justice Reform in Baltimore, Local Civic Innovators Reconvene to Build Prototypes for Post Incarceration Reentry Solutions

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MEDIA ADVISORY

 

Advancing Criminal Justice Reform in Baltimore, Local Civic Innovators Reconvene to

Build Prototypes for Post Incarceration Reentry Solutions

 

BALTIMORE, MD, June 16, 2016 – Just four months after hosting the Rebuilding Reentry

Design and Data Day, its inaugural Baltimore social justice event focused specifically on post

incarceration reentry, Mission: Launch, Inc. is reconvening city stakeholders (including more

than 20 recently released residents) committed to building viable prototypes for future

implementation.

 

The Rebuilding Reentry Baltimore Build Day is a one-day event assembling engaged

citizens, from Baltimore and Washington, DC.; attendees have the collective focus of improving

service delivery outcomes for the formerly incarcerated and successfully navigating Baltimore

residents with arrest and conviction records back to the core of society. Based upon systems

gaps identified during the human centered design process of the February event, these reentry

prototypes will advance community sourced ideas, inclusive of the following areas: family

reunification services, probation/parole guidance, vital records/state ID provision, peer

mentorship and anti-stigma efforts.

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June 18th Build Day

Our next event is around the corner! Join on Sat. June 18th at the Impact Hub Baltimore for the Rebuilding Reentry Build Day. To learn more and register visit this site: www.rrcbuildday516.eventbrite.com 

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PRESS RELEASE: MISSION: LAUNCH PARTICIPATES IN TWO INTERACTIVE PANELS AT THE HISTORIC SXSW 2016

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MISSION: LAUNCH PARTICIPATES IN TWO INTERACTIVE PANELS AT THE HISTORIC SXSW 2016 

WASHINGTON, DC., March 8, 2016 - Mission: Launch, Inc. is honored to announce the organization’s participation in two panels at this year’s showcase of tech, talent and innovation, South by Southwest (SXSW). Executive Director/Co-founder, Laurin Hodge, Executive Vice President (EVP)/Co-founder, Teresa Hodge and Director of Communications/Special Projects, Bryn Phillips will all make their first SXSW panelist presentations during the five (5) day SXSW Interactive. A Keynote Conversation featuring President Barack Obama on Friday, March 11th was recently announced as the highlight of this 30th anniversary event; First Lady Michelle Obama will be the opening Keynote at SXSW Music on Wednesday, March 16, marking the first time that a sitting President and First Lady have ever participated.

 Friday, March 11th, the Mission: Launch Co-founders, Laurin and Teresa Hodge, will be hosting a panel inclusive of Flikshop, Founder/CEO, Marcus Bullock. “Prison Tech Boom: Social Outcomes & Entrepreneurs” will address the market and industry demands for prison/jail technology, ways tech improves social outcomes and self-sufficiency for the formerly incarcerated and the growing interest & need for diversity in tech - inclusive of the 1-in-4 Americans with arrest and conviction histories. This panel convenes at 3:30pm CST at the Hilton Austin Downtown, 500 E. 4th St., Salon E.

“I am excited to host this panel. I look forward to interjecting conversations into SXSW that speak to (1) expanding the definition of diversity to include those locked out of more traditional work paths, (2) a growing demand for tech solutions that can adapt to prisons/jails, as well as (3) civic tech and the entrepreneurs who use their lived experiences to build the solutions they wish to see,” says Executive Director, Laurin Hodge. “Leading a panel with my mother and business partner, alongside our professional colleague, Marcus, is going to make for a friendly and fun conversation about the future of civic tech.”

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#GivingTuesday & Year-End Giving

For me the holidays are always full of excitement and expectation.  I purpose to slow down to rest, spend time with my loved ones, and think ahead towards the New Year - visioning how I want to stay motivated towards my goals.

 

This holiday season I am feeling all of this, but with a little extra oomph in the expectation department. Mission: Launch is raising $20,000 in an online giving campaign, which kicked off on Tuesday.  

 

Two days ago we celebrated #GivingTuesday globally, which is a day when individuals, organizations, and communities in 68 countries come together to donate, volunteer, and bring about real change locally.  We participated for the first time. I am expecting great things to happen, even though we’ve never attempted an online fundraiser like this before.

 

Leading up to this point, we relied on bootstrapping and the support of early contributors. Our organization has been built with the tears of lived experience (see our story here), small to medium sized financial gifts as well as countless early mornings and late nights. We are a classic startup. If you follow us this year would make it seem like an overnight success, but we seriously hope you don’t buy into those unfounded beliefs.

 

Yes, 2015 was an organizational turning point but there is no such thing as an overnight success in business – whether you are a not-for-profit or a for-profit. It is true that we were selected to spread our message of civic tech, innovation, and systems thinking at SXSW in 2016. And, indeed one of our favorite moments this year was that time MSNBC sent a camera crew to our 2nd Rebuilding Re-entry Hackathon.

 

Our team – those working with us now and in the past- has worked around the clock to get to this stage. That said, it is time to do something we’ve never done. This year we are soliciting general donations from a broader community. We are seeking the support of you and the communities you represent.

 

It is not easy to talk about mass incarceration or the obstacles to a successful, sustainable re-entry. That said, when 1-in-4 Americans has an arrest or conviction record it is an issue that impacts the majority of this country – in one form or another.

 

“Since 1980, Congress has steadily increased the size and scope of the federal criminal code and with it the federal prison population. In that period, the federal government has added an estimated 2,000 new crimes to the books, while the federal imprisonment rate has grown by an astounding 518 percent. During the same period, annual spending on the federal prison system rose 595 percent, from $970 million to more than $6.7 billion, after adjusting for inflation.” *

 

 

General awareness of the U.S. criminal justice system is increasing, which means we no longer have to spend a significant amount of time explaining the problem. Now we can jump straight to our solution and this means that now is the time to reinforce our commitment to expediting the re-entry process in the Washington, DC and Baltimore, MD region. We envision a time when returning citizens are able to quickly connect to the right services and governmental support, at the time right. We envision a time when returning citizens have access to affordable and easy-to-use tech solutions as a means to stay connected to community and resources. We envision a time when entrepreneurial training and meaningful opportunities towards self-sufficiency become viable pathways. 

 

Whether we are comfortable talking about criminal justice or not, the national attention we are seeing now makes this time in our country critical to addressing inequity and inequality.  Seizing this moment requires resources and money is the lifeline to positively intervening in the status quo – which is often a bleak outlook for the 700,000 Americans who return home from prison or jail annually.

 

With Thanksgiving, Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, and Cyber Monday all behind us I am hopeful you are ready to give, because now is the time to get out the give.

 

Throughout the month of December we are raising $20,000 to expand:

 

  • Our program Mission: LaunchPad, which was seeded by the U.S. Small Business Administration. This program will provide entrepreneurship training and business development support for returning citizens as a means to economic self-sufficiency; and,
  • Our community based solutions, which are built by hundreds of helping hands that identify the barriers faced by individuals and build prototypes.  These prototypes, when scaled and introduced citywide, enable service provides, community organizers, and government agencies to shorten the time it takes to get back on your feet when you come home.

 

So if you are reading this allow me to make an earnest plea for your support. Will you give a financial contribution of any size today?  Also, will you helps us spread this message and forward this post to 5 people who might also be interested in supporting tech and community-built solutions towards improving outcomes for returning citizens?

 

Your financial contribution and support** (today and throughout this month) will power so much of what we do, and fuel us as we work towards our vision.  Your interaction through social media, participating in our civic engagements and building reentry prototypes in conjunction with Mission: Launch and the Rebuilding Re-Entry Coalition has helped elevate our work over the past year; you empower us to amplify the message around the necessity of efficient/effective reentry tools.

 

 To help us reach our goal of $20,000 please donate now. You can visit this weblink today through December 31st. 

 

Every contribution helps. Even if you bought us a cup of coffee every week (the equivalent of a $20 donation) or treated us to a weekly D.C. happy hour (the equivalent of $35 donation) it helps.  “Since 1980, the annual spending on the federal prison system rose 595 percent, from $970 million to more than $6.7 billion, after adjusting for inflation.”***

 

In solidarity with hugs and high-fives,

 

Laurin N. Hodge

Executive Director

Mission: Launch, Inc.

 

* The Safe, Accountable, Fair, and Effective (SAFE) Justice Act | Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner and Rep. Bobby Scott 

** If you would like to learn more about Mission: Launch and the giving opportunities beyond this online campaign contact Laurin Hodge, Executive Director by email at Laurin@Mission-Launch.org. We are able to receive:

  • General donations;
  • Gifts of stock, securities and mutual funds;
  • Planned giving
  • Sponsorship and underwriting; and,
  • Major gifts.

 

*** The Safe, Accountable, Fair, and Effective (SAFE) Justice Act | Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner and Rep. Bobby Scott

 

 

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MSNBC Spotlights Mission: Launch, as the Foot Soldiers of the Week, on the Melissa Harris-Perry Show

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PRESS RELEASE

 

MSNBC Spotlights Mission: Launch, as the Foot Soldiers of the Week, on the Melissa Harris-Perry Show 

WASHINGTON, D.C., November 9, 2015 – Mission: Launch, Inc., a 501 (c)3, non-profit organization, is committed to the elimination of bias against Returning Citizens so that they can rejoin society and live out their full potential free of the stigma; the organization, co-founded by the daughter-mother team of Laurin and Teresa Hodge, was recently introduced on a national scale via MSNBC.

 

This past Saturday, November 7, 2015, the work of Mission: Launch, the founding and managing organization of the Rebuilding Re-entry Coalition was featured on the Melissa Harris-Perry Show. The organization and its staff were featured by Harris-Perry as the Foot Soldiers of the Week as they hosted the second annual Rebuilding Re-entry Hackathon, a social justice event focused specifically on prison re-entry.

 

MSNBC Chief Legal Correspondent, Ari Melber conducted multiple interviews based upon varied topics, such as: barriers to reentry, the importance of the civic technology being developed to positively impact re-entry, the usefulness of diverse Rebuilding Re-entry Coalition partners, as well as the need for viable employment opportunities for formerly incarcerated people.

 

“It is exciting to have our work reach a national audience. As an organization, Mission: Launch is focused on reducing recidivism and restoring human capital. It's not good enough to open the prison doors. We have to remove the invisible life sentence that remains attached to a person as they exit prison and attempt to live a productive life.” Teresa Hodge, Executive Vice President, Mission: Launch Inc.    

 

"The work of breaking down silos and reimaging what it means to come home is critical at this time in our country. We have bi-partisan support and grass roots commitment to changing the narratives as well as reducing bias and barriers against the 1 in 4 Americans with an arrest and/or conviction record. We create solutions to help returning citizens safely and sustainably navigate to the core of society." Laurin Hodge, Executive Director, Mission: Launch Inc.

 

The Rebuilding Re-entry Hackathon is a gathering of government agencies, educators, nonprofit leaders and service providers, as well as returning citizens, artists, civic coders and members of the faith-based community; all attendees collaborate to create new solutions dedicated to alleviating challenges experienced by the reentry community. Ten (10) prototype teams emerged and will continue development of both tech and non tech concepts and ideas over the next 8 months, showcasing their outcomes and progress during the summer Demonstration Day event. The Kapor Center for Social Impact was the event’s major sponsor. Impact Hub DC served as the space host sponsor at 419 7th St. NW, 3rd Floor, Washington, DC 20004

 

For more information, contact Bryn Phillips   bryn@mission-launch.org 202-618-7075

 

Link for video footage: http://www.msnbc.com/msnbc/organization-seeks-smooth-re-entry-former-inmates

 

About Mission: Launch, Inc.

Mission Launch, Inc. is a 501(c) (3) tax-exempt organization, and is the founding and managing member of the Rebuilding Re-entry Coalition. The corporation is committed to the elimination of bias against Returning Citizens so that they can rejoin society and live out their full potential free of the stigma, which is an invisible life sentence. The mission of the organization is to build software that upholds human rights, design opportunities for civic engagement, and amplify inclusive thought leadership, so that social outcomes for marginalized communities are improved. Website www.mission-launch.org Twitter: www.twitter.com/mission_launch

Facebook: www.facebook.com/missionlaunch

 

 

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Statement on President Obama's "Ban the Box" Position

STATEMENT REGARDING PRESIDENT OBAMA’S POSITION ON CRIMINAL JUSTICE REFORM 

 

November 3, 2015

 

Mission: Launch is encouraged by President Obama’s commitment to “promote rehabilitation and reintegration” for those women and men who have successfully completed their prison/jail sentences.  Yesterday in Newark, New Jersey the President shared a two-step approach towards clearing a path towards greater self-sufficiency post incarceration for the more than 600,000 individuals that exit prisons and/or jails in America.

 

This plan will: (1) ensure grants are given for the purpose of promoting second chances, including technological training, and scalable solutions; and (2) banning the box within the federal government. It will take additional actions towards fully addressing the complexities of mass incarceration; however, we are pleased with and acknowledge this important step.

 

As an organization, Mission: Launch is exclusively focused on prison re-entry. We believe reducing the prison population strongly hinges on our ability to significantly reduce recidivism, while creating pathways towards successful, sustainable re-entry strategies. Our approach has always included technology because we believe it will enable greater opportunities for reconnection post incarceration.

 

With modern tools, accurate perceptions of the formerly incarcerated, and a commitment to true rehabilitation we will no doubt close budget gaps caused by the cost of mass incarceration; create more pathways to self-sufficiency, and, scale interventions nationwide so that re-entry becomes more effective and efficient in America.

About Mission: Launch, Inc.

Mission Launch, Inc. is a 501(c) (3) tax-exempt organization, and is the founding and managing member of the Rebuilding Re-entry Coalition. The corporation is committed to the elimination of bias against Returning Citizens so that they can rejoin society and live out their full potential free of the stigma, which is an invisible life sentence. The mission of the organization is to build software that upholds human rights, design opportunities for civic engagement, and amplify inclusive thought leadership, so that social outcomes for those with an arrest or conviction are improved.

Teresa Y. Hodge

Executive Vice President & Founder

T: @ Mission_Launch  @TeresaYHodge

 

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PRESS RELEASE: Civic Innovators Convene and Progress

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PRESS RELEASE

 

Civic Innovators Convene and Progress - Rethinking, Reshaping and Redesigning the Prison Re-entry Ecosystem

 

WASHINGTON, D.C., November 2, 2015 – On the eve of President Obama announcing new actions to promote efficient rehabilitation and reintegration strategies for the formerly incarcerated, more than 180 Washington metropolitan area civic innovators convened over two days at the Rebuilding Re-entry hackathon, an annual social justice event focused specifically on prison re-entry. Mission: Launch, Inc. hosted this community problem solving gathering to discuss, understand and prototype solutions for local prison re-entry issues with the aim of incubating and demonstrating tech-based tools within eight (8) months. This year’s themes included: the Right to Work (barriers to viable employment), sequencing re-entry service providers and visualizing data. 

 

Based upon challenges presented, ten (10) prototype teams were formed; they are a balance of tech and program based solutions which address challenges connected to the various stages of the re-entry process. The Clean Slate DC team continued backend development work of the website already streamlining the record sealing and expungement process for DC residents with conviction histories. “We are always excited when a project advances. Clean Slate DC is the perfect example of this. As a project nearing a year in development, we will soon be able to test this technology at legal clinics throughout the city.” Laurin Hodge, Executive Director, Mission: Launch, Inc.

 

With the goal of humanizing the women who experience incarceration in America, Mission: Launch, Inc. created new storytelling platform and campaign, #OurShoeStory. “Shoes possess their own stories about the women who wear them and where they have traveled. By combining a picture of a woman’s shoes with her story, we provide a safe space for her to stand in her truths. This is an inter-generational conversation about journeys through mass incarceration and other experiences; we will focus on life lessons and matters that concern women as we seek to create a more just and equitable society.” Teresa Hodge, Executive Vice President, Mission: Launch, Inc.

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Re-entry Can Be All Trick & No Treat!

Re-entry can be all trick & no treat!

The 2nd Annual Rebuilding Re-entry DC Hackathon is coming 

We are excited to announce that registration will open in 1 week, and we hope you will join us!

Last year 250+ people came together, over the course of 3-days, to pitch problems and solutions. Our singular goal was to build prototypes (tech and non-tech alike) towards improving outcomes for residents with arrest and/or conviction records. 

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