National Expungement Works returns with annual weeklong legal relief campaign

This fall, National Expungement Works (N.E.W.), creators of the annual week known internationally for legal relief and wraparound services, is set to kick-off the latest era of their transformative work. National Expungement Week, the organization’s signature project, has evolved to become N.E.W. Week of Action and Awareness (WOAA), which will take place from September 26 to October 3. This year, the mix of virtual and in-person gatherings will occur in cities across the country, including Los Angeles, New York, Philadelphia, Boston, Las Vegas, Jacksonville, Portland, East St. Louis, and Greenville.

“The WOAA is our call to action to raises the public’s awareness of the importance of legal relief in restoring pathways for generational wealth and healing,” said N.E.W. visionary and founder LaTorie Marshall. “There are estimated to be 48,000 legal and socio-economic barriers restricting fundamental human rights for people with an arrest on conviction on their record. Expungement and other forms of legal relief, such as record sealing and even paying some fines, could instantly mitigate the impact of these barriers for over 70 million people across the country.”

In its fourth year as an access point for expungement and legal relief, WOAA events also offer wraparound services to restore rights and uplift communities, including employment resources, voter registration, and health screenings. Throughout the WOAA, N.E.W.’s national directors will also host new programming reflective of the organization’s seven core principles - Healing, Solidarity, Creation, Ascension, Education, Legacy, and Fellowship. Topics such as financial literacy, voter suppression, education, domestic violence prevention, and the importance of rest will be explored with guest speakers and presenters including, Queen Afi Gaston of Domestic Violence Wears Many Tags, Conaxion, Debt Collective, and Root & Rebound. Pop-up actions addressing harm-reduction will also be featured throughout the week, such as grocery distributions and brake light repair.

Since 2018, N.E.W. has generated tangible results in the lives of over 1,600 people who have begun the expungement process. In addition, over 7,000 have received wrap-around services such as voter registration, job support, health screenings, and assistance with housing and food insecurity, and 950 have had fines reduced or cleared.  Although WOAA events address many of the injustices caused by our nation’s failed drug war, N.E.W.’s programming is not cannabis-specific, and anyone in need of expungement or record-sealing processing, education, or other supporting services is welcome. 

Through the generosity of presenting sponsor Canopy Growth Corporation and benevolent partners, such as Cage-Free Repair, Social Impact Center,  Time Done, and Unincarcerated Minds. N.E.W. can cover most services and costs such as fingerprinting and fines. Unfortunately, these fees and penalties prevent many eligible people from embarking upon the expungement or record sealing process. Those interested in legal relief services are encouraged to visit newxnow.org. They can also follow N.E.W.’s social media platforms (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube) for information on the legal relief services available in their area and whether pre-registration and supporting documents (LiveScan, photo ID, etc.) are necessary.

National Expungement Works (N.E.W.) is a shift to emancipate justice-impacted communities exploited by systemic inequities. Its holistic year-round programming includes legal relief, wraparound services, and advocacy for expanded access to expungement. For additional information, visit newxnow.org or follow N.E.W. on  Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube.

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