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I Watch the First Good Trouble Panel

DENVER (Sept. 22, 2020) — Defy Colorado, an independent nonprofit organization helping individuals with criminal histories create legal business ventures, today launched its “Good Trouble” virtual series to shine a spotlight on the systems, policies and attitudes that perpetuate racial inequality in the criminal justice system. The inaugural episode will be live-streamed this Thursday, September 24, at 1pm MT.

“When you see something that is not right, not fair, not just—say something, do something, get in trouble. Good trouble! Necessary trouble!” These words from civil rights icon and Congressman John Lewis serve as the inspiration for Defy’s new virtual series.

The inaugural episode is headlined by Attorney General Phil Weiser, and includes civil rights attorney Tyrone Glover, a currently incarcerated advocate, University of Denver’s Apryl Alexander, Colorado Department of Corrections Executive Director Dean Williams and currently incarcerated advocate Rhidale Dotson.

More than 20,000 men and women are currently incarcerated across the state of Colorado. For communities of color, including Black and hispanic, the disparity in sentencing is especially steep: In 2017, African Americans made up 18 percent of the prison population yet only 4 percent of the state’s adult population—an incarceration rate that was seven times higher than the rate for white Coloradans. Latinos made up one-fifth of adult Coloradans, yet nearly one-third of adult inmates in the state prison system.

“COVID-19 and the racial justice protests taking place across the country have underscored the need to look critically at the systems, practices and attitudes we have in place throughout the criminal justice system,” said Stacey Putka, executive director of Defy Colorado. “It’s time to make some necessary trouble and bring the best reforms to life, and we intend to utilize the Good Trouble series to show that.”

The Good Trouble series is presented by Defy Colorado. Partners and sponsors include Google Boulder, Checkr, Rockies Venture Club, Galvanize, Colorado State University’s College of Business, MAPR Agency, Justice Reskill, The Techstars Foundation, and SRS Acquiom.

About Defy Colorado

Defy Colorado helps individuals with criminal histories create legal business ventures and careers to ultimately defy the odds to build successful, legitimate businesses outside of prison and integrate back into their communities. We are a nonprofit organization providing employee readiness, character development and entrepreneurship training in partnership with the Colorado Department of Corrections, business leaders, and entrepreneurs. We believe in lifting the voices of the incarcerated to advocate for meaningful criminal justice reform. For more information, please visit www.defycolorado.org.