The REFORM Alliance has appointed Amir Junaid Mahadith, formerly known as Loon, to serve as the inaugural Fellow in the newly-established Fellowship Program. The fellowship is designed to provide practice and transferable job skills to formerly incarcerated individuals aiming to pursue a career in advocacy.
Muhadith will work alongside REFORM executives on the Advocacy and Communications team to receive hands-on experience in policy creation, policy writing, coalition-building, research, digital organizing, and more. The program will provide access to the training library, allowing for 9,000 courses to cover topics including business, creative pro, and technology.
“I can personally relate to the stress of navigating life on supervision with the risk of reincarceration, so I’m grateful for the opportunity to use my experience to help REFORM and collaborate on ways to make a lasting impact on the system,” Muhadith said. “It’s imperative that we provide people on probation with the support, training and counselling to truly succeed rather than resort to punitive punishment.”
During the nine-year incarceration, Muhadith met with REFORM’s Chief Advocacy Officer Jessica Jackson who advocated for his compassionate release under the federal First Step Act following the COVID-19 outbreak in the prison system. Jackson teamed with activists leading to the release of Muhadith in July 2020.
“Amir’s firsthand perspective and strategic thinking will be invaluable to helping us improve an ineffective and destructive supervision system,” Jackson said. “In the short amount of time he’s been released, Amir has already impressed us with his ideas and commitment to creating positive change.”
Starting in 2021, fellowship candidates will be able to apply for entry into the program via REFORM’s website – https://reformalliance.com.