What we stand for
1. We have done our time. We’re done. We did not receive lifetime sentences. Mistakes—often made when young—should not define us forever. We’re moving on—with or without you.
2. We may have committed crimes, but we’re not criminals. Words matter. We’re not ex-felons, ex-cons, ex-anything. We are who we are today, and given a chance, who we’ll be tomorrow.
3. Second-class is one class too little. As Americans and as human beings, we deserve every opportunity afforded anyone else. We actually perform well on the job. We keep our homes clean. We make excellent friends.
4. Black lives matter.
5. Together, we speak loudly. We can elect any candidate we choose. We have awesome collective buying power. We’ve lived in solitary confinement far too long.
6. Our creativity appears in unexpected ways: on a street corner, in a recording studio, in a Michelin-star kitchen. We are entrepreneurs and we invented the hustle.
7. All people that have done time—and all of our families who’ve suffered as well—are our brothers and sisters. Until society starts caring about our welfare, we’ll look after one another. We’ll provide help and support, advice and inspiration. And friendship. We have each other's back.
8.Keep your shame. Challenges from our past have made us tigers today. We have much to be proud of.
9. We have done our time. We’re done.
In the beginning of 2017, Richard Bronson launched 70 Million Jobs as the first national, for-profit employment platform for people with criminal records. Over the course of more than three years, the company grew dramatically, helping thousands ofdeserving men and women land jobs, while growing its community of job seekers to more than 10 million.
The coronavirus had an impact on all employment companies, and we were not spared. But the 70MJ team saw an opportunity to pursue a dream we all had: build the first social network for the 70 million Americans (one in three adults) with a criminal record.
Those who’ve gone through the criminal justice tend to live in the shadows, out of shame and fear. While understandable, it’s left them marginalized and thought of as second-class citizens. If the Black Lives Movement has taught us anything, it’s that people joining together can become empowered; when speaking with one voice, then can demand a “seat at the table.”
Should those with records have to bear a lifetime sentence of stigma and negative bias for mistakes made in the past? Who among us hasn’t had to ask for a second chance? Commissary Club aims to be at the front lines of the movement to drive acceptance of our brothers and sisters who have already paid a dear price for their mistakes. This is a site that is “by us and for us.” Welcome to Commissary Club!