Grantee News

Represent Justice – Impact Campaign: ‘Kemba’ streaming now on BET+

March 26, 2024

Golden Globe Foundation

Kemba is a fictionalized account of the life of Kemba Smith Pradia. Though she never handled any drugs herself, in 1995 Kemba was sentenced to over 24 years in prison for conspiracy to distribute drugs, due to mandatory minimum sentencing laws. She was pardoned by President Clinton in 2000.

Kemba’s sentence is typical of so many women who are impacted by mass incarceration. Since 1980, women’s incarceration has grown by over 700%—faster than any other population in the country. Women, and in particular women of color, are disproportionately incarcerated through harsh drug law enforcement and sentencing. Like Kemba, over 85% of women entering the justice system are survivors. Whether due to substance use or partner or caregiver violence, there is a profound lack of awareness and support offered in response to the coercive dynamics facing too many women.

Represent Justice is committed to addressing the justice system’s impact on young women of color and highlighting the harms caused by extreme sentencing. The Kemba impact campaign will mobilize audiences across the country to participate in the movement advocating for sentencing reform. The time to act is now, while an increasing number of jurisdictions are either passing or considering legislation to offer shorter sentences to survivors of family violence, intimate partner violence, and human trafficking who have committed offenses closely linked to their victimization experiences.

In early 2024, Represent Justice will partner with Kemba and the film’s team to launch an impact campaign, leveraging the attention of the Kemba broadcast on BET+, BET, BET Her, and BET International. Prior to the broadcast, the film is screening at film festivals and special preview events.


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