FOR IMMEDIATE 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 [email protected] 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
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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
FOR IMMEDIATE 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.
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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Reconnecting with community and society can be challenging for many people who return home post incarceration. Although I was fortunate enough to come home to a job, a loving and supportive family, something was still missing. While I was thrilled to be home, I had to gradually recognize and admit that the stress associated with enduring a lengthy trial, serving an extended prison sentence and challenging the numerous collateral consequences associated with post prison transitioning had taken its toll on me.
My personality and skills enabled me to connect to a new professional network. I was also able to blend into suburban living again. I was focused. No, I was unrelenting in my drive to build Mission: Launch and reestablish my professional career in a different industry. Yet, something was still missing.
I longed for my secondary family; they are people who do not share my DNA and yet, over the course of nearly 5 years of living together, I became connected to them a deep and meaningful way. Some of the most resilient and thoughtful women I’ve ever met in my life, I met at Alderson Federal Prison Camp. We had a synergy; there was a shared and often borrowed strength among the group of women I befriended. Regardless of what we were going through, we reminded each other that endurance was vital for our journey.
I missed their levels of drive, grit and encouragement, so when the JustLeadershipUSA opportunity showed up in my life, I jumped at it. I intuitively knew this was a connection I not only wanted but quite frankly needed. I even prayed that the members of the selection committee would be able to see my natural traits of leadership, even though time had made them somewhat dull.