Last Thursday, Shawn “Jay Z” Carter, the Weinstein Company, and Spike TV held a joint press conference in New York City to announce a new six-part documentary series on the life of Kalief Browder. Time: The Kalief Browder Story will air in January, focusing on the injustices faced by Kalief after being arrested in the Bronx at the age of 16 for allegedly stealing a backpack. Kalief was incarcerated on Rikers Island for three years and spent over 1,000 days in solitary confinement before charges against him were dropped. Kalief took his own life two years later.
At the press conference, Jay Z spoke specifically about the harms of solitary for young people. “I think it’s very clear that solitary confinement, for a 16-year-old, is wrong to every single person in here,” the Brooklyn rapper said. “It’s inhumane.” Jay Z also praised Venida Browder, Kalief’s mother, for being an agent of change. Ms. Browder is a member of the Stop Solitary for Kids campaign Advisory Board, something that Jay Z identified as a part of Kalief’s legacy. “You can already see [Kalief’s legacy] touching so much change,” Jay Z said. “From the solitary confinement program that Ms. Browder is on the board of, to Obama ending the solitary confinement of minors.”
In her remarks at the event, Ms. Browder emphasized the urgency of the movement and the work of the Stop Solitary for Kids campaign. “I’m very thankful that this series is aligning itself with the work of [Stop Solitary for Kids],” Ms. Browder said. “It’s unfortunately too late for my son, Kalief, but it will definitely benefit other youth so they won’t have to endure what my son did.”
Many news outlets covered the press conference and the work of the Stop Solitary for Kids campaign, including Rolling Stone, the Huffington Post, the New York Daily News, Fader, Newsday, Vibe, Essence, Yahoo News, Variety, and Billboard. “We are grateful for Venida Browder’s commitment to ending the solitary confinement of young people in this country,” said Stop Solitary for Kids Campaign Manager Jenny Lutz. “We expect that this new partnership with Jay Z, the Weinstein Company, and Spike TV will help to amplify calls to stop this damaging practice.”
For more information about the Stop Solitary for Kids campaign, visit StopSolitaryForKids.org or contact Jenny Lutz at 202.637.0377 or firstname.lastname@example.org.