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Unlocking Economic Mobility for People Impacted by the Justice System: An Employment-Focused Approach

Susan Promislo May 31, 2021

The COVID-19 pandemic has shone a harsh light on the multiple ways that Black people and other people of color, who already predominate in lower-income rungs of the economy, have been disproportionately harmed by the health and economic crisis. The racial uprisings of 2020 also underscore how Black Americans are disproportionately targeted by law enforcement and criminalized in ways that can derail their future livelihoods. As we work toward an equitable recovery, it’s critical that we redouble our efforts to bring more of the 77 million Americans with criminal records into the labor force and on a trajectory of upward economic mobility.

Join leading thinkers from Blue Meridian Partners, the Center for Employment Opportunities, and the Clean Slate Initiative as they discuss opportunities to advance a “new normal” – one where it is mainstream practice for employers to hire and advance people, regardless of race or justice involvement, and ensure all have access to the skill-building, jobs, and supports to be on a pathway to employment and economic opportunity.

Panelists will spotlight an exciting philanthropic collaboration, the Justice and Mobility Fund, as well as engage in a dialogue with one another and participants about the powerful possibilities of an economic mobility-centered approach to justice reform. How can funders and others incentivize individuals and employers to fill market gaps for in-demand industries? What policy levers can be pulled to transform the job marketplace and create living-wage, growth-oriented careers for justice-involved individuals? What does investment in these kinds of demonstrated solutions look like at scale? These and other questions will open up the conversation and vision of actors in the criminal justice and employment space, unlocking the potential to transform the life trajectories of individuals, families and whole communities impacted by the criminal justice system.




Meta Themes

  • Equity & Inclusion


justice reform; empowering formerly incarcerated people and communities; employment pathways; market-driven solutions

Purpose and Desired Outcome

To spark a solutions-oriented and human-centered dialogue about how to connect formerly incarcerated individuals to employment opportunities that help boost economic mobility and change their life trajectories. Coming out of this panel, participants will: Have a greater understanding of the roles that various sectors – from funders to social sector leaders, employers, and government – can play to effectively transform the job marketplace for people impacted by the criminal justice system Share a clear vision of what a new normal could look like, wherein all people, regardless of race or justice involvement, have access to the resources they need to get on a path toward economic mobility Gain insight into a range of investment strategies designed to advance this new normal at scale


  • Allocators (Family Offices, HNW Individuals, Foundations)

  • Corporate & SME

  • Government


  • NameMindy Tarlow
  • TitleManaging Director
  • OrganizationBlue Meridian Partners
  • StatusConfirmed
  • NameSam Schaeffer
  • TitleCEO and Executive Director
  • OrganizationCenter for Employment Opportunities
  • StatusConfirmed
  • NameSheena Meade
  • TitleManaging Director
  • OrganizationClean Slate Initiative
  • StatusInvited
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