Drug Policy Alliance Receives Award for Video Featuring Jay Z Calling Drug War an “Epic Fail”

Press Release March 20, 2017
Media Contact

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Contact:</h2>
<p>Tony Newman 646-335-5384<br />
Tommy McDonald 510-679-2311</p>

The Drug Policy Alliance received the 2017 DoGooder Best Nonprofit Video for Good Award for its video slamming the war on drugs, narrated by Shawn “Jay Z” Carter and illustrated by acclaimed artist Molly Crabapple. The video first launched in The New York Times last September. The award will be presented this week at the annual Nonprofit Technology Conference, hosted by NTEN, in Washington, D.C.

The four-minute work is part history lesson and part vision statement. The video traces the drug war and its impact on the Black community from President Nixon to the draconian Rockefeller Drug Laws to the emerging aboveground marijuana market that is poised to make legal millions for wealthy investors doing the same thing that generations of people of color have been arrested and locked up for. The New York Times also added the video to its Learning Network as a teaching tool for young people, using it as the first video of the 2016 school year for its Film Club.

“Jay Z and Molly Crabapple’s groundbreaking video has educated millions of people about the devastation wrought on the African American community because of the drug war, and raises important questions about economic equity in the emerging aboveground marijuana industry,” said asha bandele, Senior Director for Grants, Partnerships and Special Projects at the Drug Policy Alliance. “We thank the DoGooder Awards for selecting our video as a finalist, our supporters who voted for us, and special thanks to Jay Z, Molly Crabapple, and dream hampton for their contributions to this deservedly award-winning video.”

The video generated an avalanche of media attention, getting covered in thousands of stories from the Los Angeles Times to Entertainment Weekly.

The DoGooder National Awards attract thousands of participants from across the globe who support social causes and the compelling stories of people making change in the world.

A young woman holds a sign that says "End the Drug War."

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