PRESS RELEASE Co-Founder Selected for Cohort December 7, 2017



BALTIMORE, MD December 7, 2017 

Mission: Launch is pleased to announce that our co-founder, Teresa Hodge, was accepted into the first "Unlocked Futures" cohort. This cohort is presented in partnership with Grammy winner and activist John Legend’s FREEAMERICA and New Profit, which provides capacity building funding and support to formerly incarcerated individuals operating mission-driven organizations. 

FULL VIDEO: Watch the full Unlocked Futures announcement and a panel discussion on criminal justice reform here.

The initiative is being launched through a $500,000 leadership grant from the Bank of America Charitable Foundation and will be led by New Profit Managing Partner Tulaine Montgomery. The first year-long cohort will include approximately eight social entrepreneurs currently operating innovative, promising organizations. Each participant will receive a one-time unrestricted grant and professional coaching from New Profit, designed to help support the growth and impact of each organization. New Profit has developed its core expertise in nonprofit capacity building through over 20 years of supporting and partnering with groundbreaking organizations like Teach For America, KIPP, Year Up, Acelero Learning, Health Leads, Roca Inc., and dozens of others.

"It is an honor to be accepted into this cohort and I look forward to connecting with my fellow directly impacted leaders", said Teresa Hodge, Co-founder of Mission: Launch. In addition to funding and strategic support, social entrepreneurs involved in the initiative will benefit from the resources and become key voices in FREEAMERICA, a multi-year culture campaign to change the national conversation about our country’s misguided policies and transform the criminal justice system. 


For more information, Contact LAURIN LEONARD, 202-449-4677, [email protected]

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


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Fast Company feature - R3 Score

“I’m tearing up!” shouts entrepreneur Teresa Hodge. “I feel like a proud mom.” Hodge is beaming after a presentation by Marcus Bullock, the founder of Flikshop, an app through which family and friends can send photo postcards to inmates.

It’s a Wednesday morning, and I’m at an event in Lower Manhattan celebrating the inaugural class of Unlocked Futures, a 16-month-long accelerator for social entrepreneurs who have been incarcerated or impacted by the criminal justice system. The room is just big enough to hold the eight entrepreneurs selected for the first group...continue reading on Fast Company.  

John Legend Speaks With the Entrepreneurs of Unlocked Futures
Video posted on YouTube by LETSFREEAMERICA

John Legend leads a round table discussion with the first cohort of Unlocked Futures. Unlocked Futures is a startup accelerator for entrepreneurs who have been directly affected by the criminal justice system, and are working to build organizations to benefit others who have been impacted.


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"Unlocking Opportunity" Event with NELP and CAP

On October 23 and 24, 2017, the Center for American Progress, the National Employment Law Project (NELP), and Community Legal Services (CLS) hosted a two-day convening for advocates where experts participated in an interactive and idea-sharing convening on what states can do to remove barriers to opportunity for people with records and how to continue supporting already successful efforts.

Both of our co-founders participated in the convening as thought leaders. You can view Teresa's session highlights below. 

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Co-founders Take Main Stage At National Gathering

On October 10 and 11, 2017, in New York City, a group of leading national criminal justice organizations spanning the ideological spectrum hosted the Smart on Crime Innovations Conference to reinvigorate and refocus the public on exciting reform ideas that communities across the country are pursuing.


Mission: Launch is a not-for-profit social enterprise committed to improving reentry outcomes by supporting and structuring innovation among government and nongovernment agencies. Their role in the reentry ecosystem is foundational to systems level change. Through LaunchPad they strive to achieve their mission of accelerated self-sufficiency and improved socio-economics outcomes for American's with an arrest and/or conviction record. Learn more at

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RECORDED STREAM Data, Justice & Opportunities

Mission: Launch hosted, in partnership with Google, D.C., a dialogue around the relationship between data, justice, and opportunities in the criminal justice sector. The event was held at Google, D.C. headquarters and included 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.

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