Technology for social good. Impact through coalition. Stories igniting empathy.
The Rebuilding Re-entry Coalition relies on a portfolio of energetic, innovative citywide events aimed at promoting the values of technology for social good, impact through coalition and stories igniting empathy. The convenings engage and invite residents to collectively build solutions towards improving outcomes for citizens with arrest and/or conviction records.
This collective is a network of governmental, non-governmental agencies, and grassroots, citizen-led movements. Each member is committed to improving outcomes for women and men with arrest and conviction records in the Washington, D.C. region. In 2016 we will expand our events and programming to the Baltimore Metropolitan region.
Individually each coalition member acts in accordance with their best interest without losing sight of our shared vision. The Rebuilding Re-entry Coalition gathers at the citywide events and works in prototype teams.
Mission: Launch is committed to improving social outcomes for marginalized communities by building software to uphold human rights, designing opportunities for civic engagement and amplifying inclusive thought leadership as well as personal narratives.
Mission: Launch is a 501 (c) (3) tax-exempt organization and is the founding and managing member of the Rebuilding Re-entry Coalition. In this role, the organization provides staffing and special event support, as well as strategic goal setting.
No other country in the world imprisons so many of its racial or ethnic minorities. The US incarcerates a larger percentage of its black population than South Africa did at the height of apartheid.
In the last 3 decades the rate of incarceration among women has increased by 813%.
The U.S. has 5% of the world’s population but 25% of the world’s prison population.
The National Institute of Justice has found that 1 year after release, up to 60% of formerly incarcerated people are not employed.
History of Rebuilding Re-Entry
Rebuilding Re-entry was started in the Fall of 2014. Mission: Launch, Inc. invited various stakeholders together and nearly 240+ people showed up at Impact Hub D.C. (the collaborative work space partner of the coalition). The success of the first event was due in large part to the diverse attendance: we had members from the tech community, women and men who have returned home from prison/jail, government officials, community law and employment groups, social justice leaders, students/educators, entrepreneurs, as well as Maryland and Washington, D.C. residents come together.
Over the course of 27-hours, we enhanced empathy for the experiences of others, we tapped into our collective innovative spirits to rapidly solve barriers to re-entry, and we identified our next steps.On Saturday, 10 challenges, attached to simplifying the prison re-entry experience, were pitched. By Sunday, we reconvened with 7 solutions including marketing and organizational hacks as well as 3 tech prototypes.
Thursday, June 4th (2015) was day one of the anticipated follow-up. In front of an audience of 75 three software applications – Fair Chance Employment, Clean Slate DC and Open Referral – were demonstrated. Clean Slate D.C. is the first community-owned, open source software designed and supported by the coalition; Fair Chance Employment and Open Referral are applications owned by coalition members, but they were shared in front of the greater community. Prior to technology report backs on progress made in the 7 months since the hackathon there was an engaging speakers panel to provide insight into some of the known and unknowns for returning residents.
Friday, June 5th (2015) 2 Stanford Design School trained facilitators walked 50 people through the creative design process. The day was all about creative visioning and tapping into an artistic and empathic side of re-entry. The challenge was to make Washington, D.C. more re-entry friendly.
With a complete event cycle finished, Mission: Launch, Inc. has agreed to take on the leadership/stewardship of this new coalition and bring this new collective network alive.
Hack-a-thons have become an important method of community and civic engagement. People from all walks of life enter a space, normally for 20 hoursIn an effort to decarcerate America, there are national campaigns to shed women and men from prisons and jails. As these campaigns gain traction we are seeing shifts in policy as well as public opinion. The anticipated release of Americans – thousands at a time, nationwide – will no doubt flood re-entry service providers and government agencies. It is estimated annually 700,000+ people are released from the grips of mass incarceration. It is possible to see an additional 1 million individuals released to unprepared and under-resourced communities nationwide.
There are so many barriers for residents with arrest and/or conviction records. Anyone is welcome to come to the these events and share a problem or opportunity that the entire group can work on – building a quick solution in prototype form.
To offer some focus and resources, the Coalition is currently supporting projects related to records sealing/expungement, the right to work as well as data analysis/visualization.
Hackathons have become an important method of community and civic engagement, normally taking place over the course of 20+ hours. Technology is normally a strong component although solutions are not limited in scope to technology.
Demonstration Day is the 6-month follow-up to the Hackathon. Teams come back and unveil what they have built in the time since convening at the Hackathon. Ideally strategic partners and investors are in the audience ready to commit resources to further incubate the teams.
Design Thinking Day is an all day, hands-on experience, leveraging user research, rapid prototyping and programmatic feedback to create solutions to social problems. In the morning, individuals are given a challenge, and throughout the process, they build a model that can be scaled.
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