The Mockingbird Project

Jeff Daniels as Atticus Fitch and Gbenga Akinnagbe as Tom Robinson in the Broadway play To Kill a Mockingbird. Photo by Julieta Cervantes.

A pledge to move from dialogue to action

When To Kill A Mockingbird was published in 1960, there were nearly 333,000 people behind bars in America. Today, the population has exploded to 2.3 million people, the largest of any country in the world.

In 1960, black men were five times as likely to be incarcerated than white men. Now they are six times as likely. For too long, criminal justice policy has been driven by fear of black people instead of the truth.

Our goal in the Mockingbird Project is to move the conversation from Aaron’s Sorkin’s theatre adaptation into action. A reimagined criminal justice system is based on equity, human rights and decency, and embracing public health solutions.

Add your name above to stand with the Innocence Project and Liberated People in demanding a more just and equitable legal system.

Cash bail

Today in New York there are efforts to roll back a transformational law that was passed in Albany last year which ended cash bail for misdemeanors and non-violent felonies. Learn more about cash bail here in a video produced by Color of Change and narrated by John Legend:

Pleading guilty

Cash bail is one of the main drivers of coerced pleas from people who are innocent of charges they are facing. When innocent people sit behind bars, and cannot afford their freedom, the decision to plead guilty — despite innocence — is a rational choice. Learn more about America’s Guilty Plea Problem.


Efforts to squash this new reform have centered on fear-mongering rather than facts so it will take people like you to communicate that there is a better way:

There are many aspects of the criminal justice system that are in need of reform and there are numerous campaigns across the nation that are already underway to make needed changes.  When you take the pledge, we will be able to follow up with you and let you know about campaigns happening near you. We will provide you with background on the issue and plug you into actions you can take, including contacting key lawmakers.

Take the pledge today and join the Mockingbird Project’s effort of transforming a system based on fear to a system-oriented by justice and equity.

January 30: Join us for a discussion in New York City with Aaron Sorkin, Gbenga Akinnagbe, Celia Keenan-Bolger, Rashad Robinson, Kevin Richardson, Vincent Southerland, and Jumaane Williams, moderated by Soledad O’Brien.

(Thank you to our sponsors Broadway Cares Equity Fights Aids and the Ford Foundation).

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