Donate now to use art, advocacy and policy, and community empowerment to end collateral consequences in New York state.

#EndPerpetualPunishment image




Donate now to use art, advocacy and policy, and community empowerment to end collateral consequences in New York state.

The #BlackLivesMatter protests for the murder of George Floyd sweeping the country are emphasizing what we have long known: we must overhaul our "justice" system to create a more equitable society and give formerly incarcerated people a fair chance.

My name is Michael "Zaki" Smith and I am one of the 70–100 million individuals in this country with a criminal record. My passion and work is to dismantle the 44,000 laws and barriers of perpetual punishment that affect the lives of formerly incarcerated Americans, impacting their ability to access employment, housing, education, occupational licensing, and voting, among other areas. Collectively, these laws are known as “collateral consequences.”

Over the next year, I plan to use art, advocacy, policy, and community engagement to drive an end to perpetual punishment for incarcerated individuals here in New York State, while also empowering communities in longer-term ways to understand and impact policy change.

Donations will be used to directly support the costs of the murals in impacted communities, including paint, supplies, artists' time and other personnel costs, and wall space. Funding will also be used for community events to 1) include the community in the mural development and unveiling, and 2) educate and engage community members throughout the policy change process.

The goals of the #EndPerpetualPunishment campaign are to:

  • Drive policy change at the state level in New York State around collateral consequences, specifically automatic expungement of criminal records, allowing New York to lead the nation in terms of a policy that actually supports the successful re-entry of individuals.
  • Create inspiring murals around the impact of collateral consequences, to be displayed in impacted communities around New York City, to draw attention to these issues and create momentum and engagement for policy change.
  • Elevate the issue of collateral consequences and potential policy reforms among impacted individuals and communities, elected officials, and the media.
  • Empower impacted individuals and communities to make change in their communities by educating them about the policy landscape and engaging them in policy change process.

To learn more about this campaign visit thenext100.org.

Zaki Smith is a policy entrepreur at Next 100. Next100 is an independent project of The Century Foundation. The Century Foundation is a nonprofit, nonpartisan, 501 (c) (3) organization based in New York. Your donation is 100% tax-deductible by law.