In honor of Father’s Day and the double-crisis of the COVID-19 pandemic and unprecedented national unemployment, multi-platinum recording artist Tory Lanez, who launched his Dream City Fund last month, continues his mission to provide urgent resources for underserved communities nationwide.
This Father’s Day, Lanez has teamed up with leading criminal justice reform program Dream Corps #cut50, Amazon Music and DoorDash to help 100 BLACK FATHERS celebrate their first Father’s Day with family, after being released from incarceration during the pandemic. These men are all part of #cut50’s Empathy Network, a national coalition of leaders committed to sharing their stories of involvement with the justice system and working to contribute to their communities.
The program will include free “contactless delivery” dinners for the fathers and their families and an assortment of Father’s Day gifts. DoorDash will provide gift card codes directly to the fathers and their families to order family meals on Sunday through their platform. Amazon Music is also providing gift cards as a gift on behalf of the children of those fathers, to ensure they are supplied with gifts to give for their weekend celebrations.
A personal passion for Lanez in bringing this opportunity to life, he penned an open letter to each of the 100 fathers offering his empathy, support, and alliance during this unprecedented time where these men are facing social justice challenges at every corner being Black men in America’s current climate.
Through Dream Corps #cut50, the Tory Lanez Dream City Fund was able to identify 100 Black fathers around the United States who were recently incarcerated, working to rebuild their lives, and reconnect with their children and families. Lanez wanted to provide a moment of celebration and inspiration for Black fathers on this special holiday during a global pandemic and is dedicated to continuing to lift the conversation around the need for prison reform. The negative impacts of incarceration don’t end once people are released from prison, and especially Black men face many barriers in regards to stability, success, and full participation in our society. Father’s Day is a special moment because when a parent is incarcerated their children and family suffer the deeply rooted impacts. Currently, too many parents make up a large part of the prison population and 2.7 million children have a parent or primary caregiver incarcerated in the United States.
“You’re with your family. You deserve to enjoy today,” said Tory Lanez in his open letter. “I’m grateful to be a very small part of it. I know as a Black father raising Black children in this world, things aren’t easy. We live in a country that has a broken system. You’re finally free to be with your loved ones… But I know that in many ways you still feel like you are not free. Your record will prevent you from certain jobs, or form voting, or from getting a small business loan.. There are some states where you’re even banned from having life insurance. You’re treated like you’re not a part society…”
“We’re in the middle of a global pandemic — with Great Depression-era unemployment and unlawful police violence,” said Van Jones, Co-founder of Dream Corps #cut50 and CEO of the REFORM Alliance. “Hundreds of thousands of people are marching in the streets. Leaders from all walks of life are asking me, ‘Van, what can I do to join the fight for justice?’ Tory Lanez is showing us how to step up, by supporting these Black fathers, who are raising Black children, while trying to get their lives setup after being locked up. This a heartfelt display of love and support for a group of people that, honestly, have been cast aside by most of society. I hope folks get the message: we don’t have throwaway resources — and we can’t have throwaway people. The 100 Black Fathers initiative is going to inspire a whole lot of people to do a whole lot of good to bring more justice, peace, and opportunity to our communities.”
“I know how tough it is to come home from prison – to still feel the weight of those shackles on my flesh, even though I was safely home and surrounded by my children and loved ones,” said Louis L. Reed, National Organizer, Dream Corps #cut50 & Director of the Empathy Network. “Some of my darkest moments in life didn’t come sleeping on a cot in my prison cell. They came in the months and years after I got out, when I wondered if I’d ever be able to support my family, to be a full member of society, to ever feel truly free. Tory Lanez isn’t just giving these men a financial gift – he’s giving them a spiritual gift. The gift of feeling seen, and valued, and supported. I know many of these fathers personally. They’re mentors and peacekeepers and entrepreneurs in our communities. They’re working to move forward in their lives, and Tory is really helping them accelerate on that path.”