Unlocked Futures, a partnership between New Profit, FREEAMERICA, and Bank of America, is designed to unleash the expertise and insight of social entrepreneurs who have been directly impacted by the criminal justice system. Unlocked Future aims to open the opportunity equation and remove barriers to entrepreneurship for people whose experience with the criminal justice system provides them with unmatched expertise and insight into how the system can be improved for better outcomes.
Hear the inspiring stories of the eight entrepreneurs in the first Unlocked Futures cohort below.
Will Avila founded Clean Decisions after returning home from prison in order to help and hire other returning citizens in Greater Washington DC area with stories similar to his. He provides them the opportunity to work hard at an admittedly tough job in a caring, supportive environment.
As someone whose family was torn apart by incarceration, Amanda Alexander established the Detroit Justice Center to prevent the separation of families by helping them address issues that could result in incarceration. Through the Detroit Justice Center, Alexander is working to create economic opportunities, transform the justice system, and promote equitable and just cities.
Marcus Bullock’s company, Flikshop, provides families with the chance to stay connected with their incarcerated loved ones by sending postcards through their phone, Facebook, or Instagram.
Through The Prison Scholar Fund, Dirk Van Velzen is working to give incarcerated individuals access to an education and employment assistance to help them succeed and thrive in society while avoiding homelessness and the revolving door of reincarceration.
Teresa Hodge's organization, Mission: Launch, Inc., provides formerly incarcerated individuals with the resources they need to successfully re-enter their communities.
Jason Cleaveland founded Obodo to help small human services nonprofits leverage data to create real-world impact in their communities.
James Monteiro founded ReEntry Campus Program on the belief that education can create pathways to success. Through this program, James providing both currently and formerly incarcerated individuals with the opportunity to affordably earn a degree.
Topeka K. Sam asked herself what she could do to to help women re-enter society upon their release, and has established The Ladies Of Hope Ministries as a safe place for formerly incarcerated women to rebuild their lives.