John Legend: We Should Invest In Schools, Not Prisons

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John Legend discusses his involvement with LRNG, an initiative that helps kids have an opportunity to succeed.


[MUSIC] Hi, it's Lauren Bush Lauren, and I'm the CEO and Founder of Feed, a social business and a foundation with a mission to create good products that help feed the world. I've had so much fun with In Style over the last few weeks interviewing different shining stars and hearing about their passions. For various causes, one of whom is an old friend of mine and a great supporter of the John Legend. And he shared with us his passion for education reform and criminal justice system reform. I'm really excited for you all to hear what he has to say, cuz he knows his stuff and he's making a difference. [MUSIC] Well I got involved with education reform, really out of an interest in thinking about poverty and how we alleviate poverty. And I knew how important education was for me. I grew up in a family that didn't have a lot of money but I knew that education was a pathway to success and for me to realize my dreams. Unfortunately in America, There's far too many people who don't get access to a quality education, and a lot of it has to with the resources that their parents have. It's interesting because I'm so involved in education, I meet young people all the time, I hear their stories. So many of our young people are living in single parent homes, not necessarily because their parents broke up. A lot of times, it's because one of their parents is locked up, because we as a nation have decided to raise the sentences for all sorts of crimes. We have the highest incarceration rate in the world. How can we think of America as the land of the free if we continue to lock so many people up? But I didn't just point it out as a rhetorical device at the Oscars. It's something I had been Been thinking about a lot and had been forming an organization to try to fight to not only change the conversation, but really change the laws, so that we have a system that's more humane, that tempers justice with mercy and compassion. And also, at the same time, reinvest in the communities that are being so broken up by this. system. It says you know let's invest in schools not in prisons. I think if people want to know more about what we do they should go to Or Those are the organizations that I really care a lot about. And do a lot of work to support. But whatever you do, I think you should pay attention to what's happening in your community, realize that what's happening on the news when you see unrest in certain neighborhoods, when you see people protesting or upset or lashing out. That these stories didn't just crop up out of nowhere. Learn about these things. Understand them and see how you can get involved to make these things better. [MUSIC]
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