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Common Concert Draws Thousands For Justice System Changes

Bob Moffitt / Capital Public Radio

Hip-hop artist Common headlines concerts in Sacramento and at Folsom Prison this week as part of a concert entitled, "Imagine Justice." Common is from Sacramento and is also meeting with state lawmakers this week.

Bob Moffitt / Capital Public Radio

Hip-hop artist Common headlined a show in Sacramento Monday that was more about community activism and the criminal justice system than it was about music.

"The true success is us raising awareness to those legislators that are helping the juveniles to where they won't be sentenced to life without parole, that are helping the juveniles that are getting extra sentences because they were part of a gang,"  he said.

The artist says he has meetings scheduled this week with state lawmakers.

Zsnai Thurman of Sacramento says she hopes the concert is the beginning of changes in the city.

"Less violence in general, less violence in Sacramento for sure. This should be an event that everybody can come together in and kind of get along and hopefully after that it just carries on as well."

Several community groups set up booths and handed out information.

Vernassa Fields is from Elk Grove and hopes the mix of music and social commentary will move people to act constructively for social change.

"I hope self awareness comes out of it. I hope recharged energy comes out of it. I hope a renewed faith in our justice system comes out of it and I hope that we will be more proactive and I hope that we vote."

The concert was supported by a group of more than 20 advocacy groups under the umbrella of the Anti-Recidivism Coalition.

The concert brought together advocates from the African American, Latino, faith, and transgender communities.

Bob Moffitt

Sacramento Region Reporter

Bob reports on all things northern California and Nevada. His coverage of police technology, local athletes, and the environment has won a regional Associated Press and several Edward R. Murrow awards.   Read Full Bio 

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