Despite numerous attempts to reform our flawed justice system, the unjust imprisonment of people of color has persisted. According to the Innocence Project, African-Americans are seven times more likely to be wrongfully convicted of murder and three times more likely to be wrongfully convicted of sexual assault than their white counterparts. Bleecker Street, a NYC-based film company, is looking to address this troubling issue in two ways. First, by bringing Brian Banks, an upcoming biopic that illustrates the disproportionate impact our justice system has on men of color, to the big screen. Secondly, by fostering an even larger discussion on these disparities through Brian Banks and Justice Reform: The Conversation, an impactful panel taking place during ComplexCon Chicago. 

Moderated by Complex News anchor Pierce Simpson, the justice reform panel will feature activists Johnetta "Netta" Elzie, DeRay Mckesson, and Brian Banks himself, who will participate in an open dialogue about plea bargain reform, criminal disenfranchisement, and the prison industrial complex. More than just talk, the much-needed conversation will provide attendees with actionable steps towards widespread justice reform. Audience members will also have the opportunity to receive an “XONR8” branded sweatshirt from the California Innocence Project.

Brian Banks and Justice Reform: The Conversation takes place on Sunday, July 21st at 1:30 at ComplexCon Chicago. For anyone looking to mobilize for change, be sure to check out the discussion. Tickets for this year’s festival and exhibition are currently available online now. Be on the lookout for the release of Bleecker Street’s Brian Banks, which hits theaters nationwide on Friday, August 9th.