Mission: Launch supports individuals living with records and amplifies the voices of families impacted by mass incarceration.
To achieve our mission, we use a holistic and multi-thronged approach: financial literacy, inclusive entrepreneurship and community engagement.
Having a record can be a lifetime lock into poverty, it is critically important to help individuals with records become financially healthy. In fact, "an individuals’ net worth decreases by an average of more than $47,50011 in the years after incarceration, after adjusting for inflation, and incarceration of a family member is associated with a 64.3 percent12 decrease in a family’s assets."  For this reason we provide financial literacy programming to individuals with records, and we are focused on establishing strong banking relationships as a building block towards economic security.
Necessity entrepreneurship is often the most viable pathway to earning a livable wage with a record. The data shows "Nearly 9 in 10 employers use background checks in hiring and an applicant with a criminal record is 50 percent to 63 percent less likely to get a callback or job offer than an identical applicant without a record—and this hiring 'penalty' is twice the size for black applicants as for whites."  Lack of jobs that can help one become self-sufficient makes entrepreneurship critically important. We advocate for access to capital and offer business and leadership resources that make self-employment a reality. Presently our accelerator, LaunchPad, is not accepting applicants. We are excited to be incubating R3 Score, which is a software solution for bankers and decision makers that unlocks credit as well as access to jobs.
As more-and-more people become aware of the structural barriers to living with a record it is important for allies to work together on a shared agenda. With expanded research showing "the cost burden of incarceration totaling more than $1 trillion per year and that if not for decades of mass incarceration, the poverty rate would be 20 percent lower - 8.1 million fewer people in poverty in 2016"  it is becoming harder to ignore the urgent need to decarcerate and close the revolving door into the justice system. We partner with national industry leaders to host open-to-the-public and closed door convenings. This work establishes a deeper understanding to the needs (issue competency), local partnership development and strategic collaborations.
 Michelle L. Maroto, “The Absorbing Status of Incarceration and its Relationship with Wealth Accumulation,” Journal of Quantitative Criminology 31 (2015): 207-236, available HERE ; Bryan L. Sykes and Michelle L. Maroto, “A Wealth of Inequalities: Mass Incarceration, Employment, and Racial Disparities in U.S. Household Wealth, 1996 to 2011,” The Russell Sage Found
 Society for Human Resource Management, “Background Checking—The Use of Criminal Background Checks in Hiring Decisions” (2012), available HERE; Devah Pager and Bruce Western, “Investigating Prisoner Reentry: The Impact of Conviction Status on the Employment Prospects of Young Men” (Washington: National Criminal Justice Reference Service, 2009), available HERE; Amanda Agan and Sonja Starr, “Ban the Box, Criminal Records, And Statistical Discrimination: A Field Experiment” (New Haven: Yale Law School, 2016), available HERE
 Michael McLaughlin and others, “The Economic Burden of Incarceration in the U.S.” Working Paper AJI072016 (Institute for Advancing Justice Research and Innovation, 2016), available HERE; DeFina, Robert H. and Hannon, Lance, “The Impact of Mass Incarceration on Poverty” (Rochester: Social Science Research Network, 2009), available HERE