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”  

As the host organization, Mission: Launch is eager to support Teresa in her journey as a Soros Fellow. Laurin Hodge, the Executive Director and Teresa’s daughter, says, “We often sat in the visitation room and thought of how we could make this unexpected journey have meaning. The organization we have formed has afforded us a platform to speak up but this Fellowship will give my mother greater voice and afford her the time as an advocate for the millions of families across this country desperate - like us - to ensure mass incarceration does not destroy them and their potential for contributing to society in a meaningful way.”

For more information, contact Bryn Phillips 202-449-4677 Ext. 702

Open Society Foundations Press Release: Foundations Announce 2016 Soros Justice Fellows

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 Reentry 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.

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criminal justice reform mass incarceration digital divide tech inclusion criminal justice reform advocacy