Correct the Narrative Campaign


The Correct the Narrative Campaign employs a combination of story-telling, and in-person and virtual events to promote acceptance of people with criminal records as not just, at best, taxpayers, employees, and neighbors, but rather equal citizens, employers, and potential family. The narrative has transitioned from one of fear and danger to often pity for people with criminal records and spectacle for what we did and who we were. While it is very true that the difficulties of our demographic leading to, during, and post-incarceration is absolutely true, over-portraying them is also detrimental to our end goal of equality. The pity and spectacle narrative, often pushed by well-meaning and even justice-involved people, actually causes people to connect who we are and who we can be more with our shadows and stereotypes promoted in the media and uninformed communities. 

People with criminal records and their supporters go into communities that are more indifferent or antagonistic to them and participate in a variety of legal, respectable activities, from basic labor tasks to mentoring and creative projects to highly-skilled jobs. Virtual events give people from these communities and anywhere else the chance to virtually interact with people with criminal records and their supporters to ask any questions or bring up any concerns, fears, and doubts about justice reform efforts and people with criminal records. And our story-telling (videos below) powerfully portray the successes, humanity, and agency of people with criminal records.

By engaging with these more stereotypically indifferent and antagonistic audiences, they become more supportive of or at least less opposed to reform efforts, which will result in greater respect, opportunities, and success for the roughly 70 million adults in the U.S. with a criminal record and their millions more loved ones, especially underage children.

Those we disagree with need us and we need them to achieve a society where we invest in safety and justice more than punishment and separation. IF the world were ideal, no one would have to prove their value and correct biases. However, shoulda/woulda/coulda is not a strategy for change. Hard realities must be embraced and accounted for before sustainable solutions can take place. There is almost no greater example of this than the need to reach out to those who have shown us such disregard and say: “Look. See who we truly are. We need you to confront your misperception of our successes, humanity, potential, and agency.”

“Once you get down to the person, we’re all the same.” 

Humbly confronting communities with the successes, humanity and agency of people with criminal records.