For the seventh year, Philadelphians and travelers crowded the Ben Franklin Parkway excited for the JAY-Z curated two-day Made In America (MIA) festival – during Labor Day Weekend on September 1st & 2nd. The musical lineup was hot ranging from R&B, Hip-Hop, Alternative Music and EDM with artists, Nicki Minaj, Alessia Cara, Miguel, Janelle Monae, Meek Mill, Kendrick Lamar and more –  in addition to music, the festival had amusement rides, games and plenty of food and drink vendors to keep attendees amused between traveling back and forth to five stages.

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Between a little controversy this year on the future of MIA in Philadelphia and the overall excitement of the festival, we forget that every year the proceeds from the festival goes to the United Way of Greater Philadelphia and Southern New Jersey and now for the 2nd year the donation includes the American Civil Liberties Union of Philadelphia (ACLU).

The Made In America team have stated, “As a result of this concert, money invested into these communities will positively impact the education, income and health of the most vulnerable citizens in these regions.”

Philly Speaks sat down with Reginald (Reggie) Shuford, Executive Director – ACLU of PA in 2017 to learn more about their new partnership with The Shawn Carter Foundation/Roc Nation.

For almost 100 years, ACLU has fought to protect our nation’s rights and liberties that were guaranteed to us in the constitution – and last year launched, Campaign for Smart Justice to multiyear effort to reduce the U.S. jail and prison population by 50% and to combat racial disparities in the criminal justice system. “At the end of 2014, the imprisonment rate among Black men was nearly six times that of white men. And the rate for Black women was double that of white women.” – Follow on Social Media using the #PeopleNotPrisons

On-site at the MIA festival was the local ACLU team and Director, Campaign of Smart Justice, Nick Pressley. For the 2nd year, ACLU brought on Stimulus to curate content and interview the performing artists and celebrities on their experience and knowledge of mass incarceration.

Continue to support ACLU Campaign for Smart Justice, here.

2018 MIA Festival Photo/Video Recap Below:

2018 MIA - Lenny S

Source: Matt MacMurchy

2018 MIA - Terrance J

Source: Matt MacMurchy

2018 MIA - Rudy Gay

Source: Matt MacMurchy / Matt MacMurchy


By: Tiffanie Stanard, Host/Producer @Philly_Speaks

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