Meek Mill Receives Special Honor From NYU For His Criminal Justice Reform Efforts
He was given the vanguard of social justice award.
Meek Mill is the personification of paying it forward. After thousands of fans, community organizers and fellow celebrities advocated for his freedom, he is now doing the work to help others who've found themselves within the confines of the criminal justice system. This week, Meek Mill was honored by New York University for his social justice advocacy.
Billboard reports NYU’s McSilver Institute gave the Philadelphia native their vanguard for social justice award on Monday. Meek explained the motivation behind his advocacy during his acceptance speech. He wanted to pay it forward after he received widespread support during his incarceration.
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"Seeing young men like myself in the criminal system, would you say there's no justice in the system? I've never seen this side of justice," Mill said. "I wanted to do something about it when I got the support from my people and people standing for me at this last situation."
Meek was sentenced to two to four years in prison for probation violation in 2017. Following the widespread #FreeMeek campaign, he was released in Aprill 2018 after five months behind bars.
"This happens to minorities on a daily basis where they don't have a voice and I just came from – it's almost like cities…inside prisons where people have no contact with the world,” he told CBS following his release.
"I'm just lucky to have people of power and much influence to stand behind me and speak up."
On June 4, the Pennsylvania Superior Court gave him a new hearing for his appeal. The “Going Bad” rapper’s legal team will argue against the creditability of the arresting officer in his case. The goal is to get his conviction overturned.
"We're looking forward to the oral argument before the Superior Court of Pennsylvania and to, hopefully, having Meek's conviction vacated," Jordan Siev, Meek’s lawyer, said. "In light of the district attorney's recent filing, where he supports the granting of a new trial to Meek and the recusal of Judge Brinkley, we hope to have this injustice rectified once and for all."