Grammy Award-Winning Singer Alicia Keys Launches New Campaign Calling for 'Meaningful' Criminal Justice Reform

"Too many families – and our communities – are being destroyed by mass incarceration," Keys says in an exclusive statement to PEOPLE

Photo: Nate Mook

Grammy award-winning singer Alicia Keys Friday announced her social justice movement We Are Here is partnering with prison reform group #cut50 in a new online video campaign urging people to sign their petition calling on Congress and the White House to pass “meaningful” criminal justice reforms before the end of the year.

“Too many families – and our communities – are being destroyed by mass incarceration,” Keys said in an exclusive statement to PEOPLE. “We need policy reforms that can keep people out of prison who don’t need to be there, and ensure that our justice system helps to heal communities, families and individuals.”

The campaign is calling for alternatives to incarceration, including drug treatment and rehabilitation programs, as well as programs to help prisoners upon release.

“Mothers across America have been crying out for change,” says Van Jones, a former Obama administration advisor and founder of #cut50, in an exclusive statement to PEOPLE.

“They could have no better spokeswoman than Alicia Keys, who knows how to make change,” says Jones, whose group wants to cut the prison population in half over 10 years.

“[W]hen Alicia gets involved in an issue, she moves the needle in a major way.”

The campaign will be featured in Shining a Light: A Concert for Race in America, a two-hour special airing Friday at 8 .m. on A & E.

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