Rapper Common tapped into the power of music to capture his outlook on life, and now he empowers those in prison to do the same. According to CBS Chicago, the musical artist — whose real name is Lonnie Rashid Lynn– helped establish a recording studio for inmates at the Stateville Correctional Center in Illinois.
The studio is part of a new program launched at the prison to inspire those behind bars to use music as a creative outlet. The project arose from the lawyer Ari williams‘vision of cultivating an artistic space centered on music within the prison. Through the program, run by Lynn’s nonprofit Imagine Justice, inmates will have the opportunity to explore different sides of music in a 12-week course within a studio including instruments, mixers and other equipment.
“I know music brings us all together. I want them to be okay. I want them to do something they love to do, ”Williams said in a statement, according to the outlet. “And I know a lot of them are rappers. They love to rap and they love to sing. Lynn added that those who are incarcerated are underserved and “deserve to have access to better things.” Programs like the one created by Williams and Lynn are needed. Illinois Sentencing Policy Advisory Council reported 43 percent of those released from state prisons would most likely reoffend within three years.
It’s not the only impactful project Lynn has been at the forefront of. Last year, he launched a video series focusing on the importance of wellness. The project, baptized How many, was created to allow members of black and brown communities to focus on self-care practices in unprecedented times. “I deeply believe that the more you are at peace with yourself, the more you are able to spread love and compassion in the world,” he said.
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