THE IMPACT SERIES | Mike Africa Jr. and Tony Lewis Jr.

THE IMPACT SERIES | Mike Africa Jr. and Tony Lewis Jr.

Date and Time

Aug 9, 2023 6:00 pm

Location

14th & V

2021 14th St NW, Washington, District of Columbia, 20009

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Description:

The Impact of Mass Incarceration is a call home to victims of the criminal justice system who have been taken from their communities and brought back years later to an unrecognizable place without the proper reentry tools. More than 10 million arrests are made each year in the United States with an arrest made every three seconds. Within this statistic, fewer than 5 percent of these are for serious violent crimes (Vera Institute, 2019). Busboys and Poets strives to inform the public of why criminal justice reform is necessary as well as provide resources for those with a criminal record and allies in this fight to end mass incarceration. We also hope to provide victims the proper welcoming back home that they deserve. 

Mike Africa Jr. and Tony Lewis Jr. worked diligently to free their fathers from extreme prison sentences and they did it. They will be joining us on the Busboys stage to share their amazing stories of perseverance and living tales of survival.

This event is free and open to all. Our program begins at 6:00 pm, and will be followed by an audience Q&A. Please note that this event is IN PERSON and WILL be livestreamed.

We ask that guests RSVP in order to receive direct updates about the event from Busboys and Poets Books

Mike Africa, Jr. is an activist, writer, speaker, stage performer and hip hop artist. His story is featured in the HBO Max documentary 40 Years A Prisoner.

A scion of Philadelphia's revolutionary MOVE organization, Mike was born in a Philadelphia jail cell following a police raid on MOVE's home, leading to the unjust arrest and sentencing of Mike's parents and seven others to 100 years in prison. At age 6, from afar, Mike witnessed the smoke in the air as a result of a police bomb that was dropped on MOVE's headquarters, which ultimately killed his uncle, cousin, and nine other family members. At 13 years old, when other teenagers were looking for their first jobs, Mike began his relentless pursuit to free his parents from prison. After over 25 years of struggle, with the help of his family and attorney Brad Thomson, his parents were released from prison when he was 40 years old.

In 2023, Mike announced he had reclaimed the home bombed by the Philadelphia Police Department, which had been owned by Great Aunt Louise at the time of the bombing, bringing it back into his family's possession

Today, Mike is focused on a fundraising campaign called Reclaim Osage to pay off the mortgage on the family home. Donations are welcomed at MikeAfricaJr.com

Tony Lewis Jr is an author, activist, criminal justice reformer, and reentry expert that has spent his adult life working tirelessly at the intersection of poverty, violence, mass incarceration, and trauma. His 23 years of servant leadership fostering community-based strategies to help prevent violence and increase public safety has brought much needed clarity and solutions to these complex problems. He has fought to create institutional change for those that require it most, while casting a bright light on their needs, hopes, and dreams. In the process, he has built coalitions and developed meaningful relationships with a wide variety of powerful stakeholders across the city and throughout the country.

Mr. Lewis Jr’s activism and advocacy has led to legislative/policy changes regarding children with incarcerated parents, voting rights for incarcerated residents, returning citizen hiring/housing, social equity, the arts, and gun violence prevention/intervention. He has been a leader locally and nationally around issues that have impacted communities of color the most. He has traveled the country lecturing about the collateral damage of Mass Incarceration and gun violence. He has organized efforts to address food insecurity, displacement, and access to opportunity. He has galvanized thousands across all demographics to take on personal responsibility to improve their circumstances and communities. He has been a bridge and translator of sorts between government and community. Tony Lewis Jr has been an example that transformational change is possible and continuous no matter the circumstances.

His work and advocacy have been featured on CNN, BET, The Breakfast Club, The Washington Post, and many media outlets.

Tony Lewis resides in Washington DC with his Wife Jessica and their daughters Isabella and Sophie . 

Join Us, Stay Informed, and Share Your Experiences #THEIMPACT 

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