Being arrested is terrifying. This nonprofit can help you make your “one call” count.
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Capital One Future Edge

When Jelani Anglin was a teenager, he was arrested for a minor infraction.

Photo courtesy of Robin Hood.

When he was taken to central booking, Anglin recalls how terrifying it was and how helpless he felt. He realized the experience was something that thousands of other people go through on an annual basis.


"In the precinct, you're nervous, you're seeing folks coming in and out in handcuffs, you're being fingerprinted, all your items are being taken away and there's not much conversation with the police officers," says Anglin.

Even though it was only a minor infraction, and he was let go at the arraignment, being arrested was something Anglin never forgot. But rather than turn against "the system," the helplessness he felt made him realize he wanted to work to change the experience for others in similar positions.

So, when he graduated high school and got to college, he became involved in community organizing, doing work with unions in the New York area and working on high-profile political campaigns.

After graduating from college, Anglin moved into the tech sector. And even though his job diverged from the activism he pursued in college, he found there was an intersection between technology and working to empower underserved communities.

That's when he started thinking about how to use all his new knowledge to create change in the justice system.

Image courtesy of Good Call.

But first, he knew he needed to up his technology know-how.

So, in 2016 Anglin applied for and was awarded a fellowship to Blue Ridge Labs, a tech incubator that aims to close the gap between underserved communities and technology. That's where he and his business partner came up with a brilliant idea to help people after they've been arrested.

Blue Ridge Labs is an operating initiative at Robin Hood, "New York's largest poverty-fighting organization," according to the nonprofit's website. Blue Ridge Lab's mission is to bring technologists and communities together to help low-income residents save time and money, connect to resources, and navigate complex systems.

What's particularly innovative about Blue Ridge Lab's model is that the incubator is 100% focused on building technology. They do that through a community-centered design process that gives members multiple opportunities to influence what gets built — whether that's by helping them select the topics they'll focus on, sharing their experiences during the research process, or giving feedback on product prototypes.

The program is sponsored in part by Capital One, which not only provides funding but also offers services that help Blue Ridge Labs fellows practice and refine pitches for the organizations they will create while in the program. Through their Future Edge initiative, which invests in local community grants and programs to help more Americans, businesses and nonprofits thrive in the digital age, Capital One supports programs, like Blue Ridge Labs, that leverage technology to remove barriers and solve problems in the community.

This year, the company will also join Blue Ridge Lab's Investment Committee, which helps decide which projects the organization will fund.

For Anglin, the fellowship was an opportunity to create a resource that would help arrested people make sense of the justice system right from the first phone call they make when they're in custody.

Even when people do remember the numbers of loved ones, their loved ones often don't know how to assist them or don't have money for a lawyer.

"What ends up happening is that now, you're in the precinct, you're being interrogated by police, you don't know your rights, and you're saying things that can be used against you in a court of law," Anglin continues. "That's what happens many times here in New York City, right now, today."

In fact, according to recent stats gathered by Good Call, approximately 300,000 arrests occur in New York City every year, most of which are for low-level misdemeanors. Of those, approximately 47,000 people are sent to jail to await trial without being convicted. An arrest doesn't equal guilt, but it does make life more difficult. People who are arrested may lose their jobs, face expulsion or have their immigration status threatened. And many have little to no knowledge of how to navigate the justice system.

Anglin and Gabriel Leader-Rose, another fellow at Blue Ridge Labs, created Good Call to ensure that the one phone call an arrestee is given is legitimately useful.

Photo courtesy of Capital One.

Ostensibly, Good Call is a hotline, but beneath the surface, it's much more than that. It's a promise that every "one phone call" is answered by someone who can do something to help.

Any arrested person or loved one who calls 1-833-3-GOODCALL can be connected via the organization's proprietary technology to a lawyer within minutes. That lawyer can advise them on what to do next, invoke the client's rights, and begin work on their case right away. Because Good Call works with lawyers throughout all five of New York's boroughs, anyone in the city can receive life-changing help simply by remembering one number. The hotline creates a network of legal providers that can support more callers than any one office could alone, and lawyers can be reached 24/7.

By facilitating early legal intervention and a more reliable way to inform an arrested person's loved ones, Good Call helps ensure fairer arrest outcomes for all New Yorkers, regardless of their income.

But what really differentiates Good Call from other legal aid hotlines is its ability to store emergency contacts through its website before an arrest even occurs, creating a safeguard that will notify all the important people in someone's life in the unfortunate event that they're arrested.

So far, the system's working phenomenally.

Since 2016, Good Call has given more than 800 New Yorkers peace of mind by providing answers during a frightening and confusing time.

But this is only the beginning for Good Call. Anglin and his crew want to create lasting change across New York...and beyond.

Photo courtesy of Good Call NYC.

Anglin and his co-founders — who also include Software Designer Eugene Lynch, Designer Stephanie Yim, and Community Engagement Coordinator Malik Reeves — are working to expand the service even further, letting all New Yorkers know that they have support if they've been arrested.

“Since we expanded to all five boroughs of NYC, we've been fundraising to build up our outreach team and working towards making Good Call as well-known as 911 or 311," says Anglin. “We've created new gear featuring Good Call's logo and information about your rights when dealing with police. We're also utilizing social media, digital ads, and PR."

On the technical side, they've created a “text signup" feature that allows individuals to save emergency contacts via text.

"One phrase that we always like to say is that we don't design with the community in mind, we create with the community," says Anglin. "In 2019, we would like to hire more folks from the community which we serve, give them the skills and tech, educate them in community organizing and then have them go back and empower their communities."

And they have dreams of expanding way beyond the city limits, too.

"We're seeing that it works here in New York. We really wanna change the criminal justice landscape across the country."

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Amazon

Shopping sustainably is increasingly important given the severity of the climate crisis, but sometimes it's hard to know where to turn. Thankfully, Amazon is making it a little easier to browse thousands of products that have one or more of 19 sustainability certifications that help preserve the natural world.

The online retailer recently announced Climate Pledge Friendly, a program to make it easier for customers to discover and shop for more sustainable products. To determine the sustainability of a product, the program partnered with third-party certifications, including governmental agencies, nonprofits, and independent labs.

With a selection of items spanning grocery, household, fashion, beauty, and personal electronics, you'll be able to shop more sustainably not just for the holiday season, but throughout the year for your essentials, as well.

You can browse all of the Climate Pledge Friendly products here, labeled with an icon and which certification(s) they meet. To get you on your way to shopping more sustainably, we've rounded up eight of our favorite Climate Pledge Friendly-products that will make great gifts all year long.

Amazon

Jack Wolfskin Women's North York Coat

Give the gift of warmth and style with this coat, available in a variety of colors. Sustainability is built into all Jack Wolfskin products and each item comes with a code that lets you trace back to its origins and understand how it was made.

Bluesign: Bluesign products are responsibly manufactured by using safer chemicals and fewer resources, including less energy, in production.


Amazon

Amazon All-new Echo Dot (4th Gen)

For the tech-obsessed. This Alexa smart speaker, which comes in a sleek, compact design, lets you voice control your entertainment and your smart home as well as connect with others.

Reducing CO2: Products with this certification reduce their carbon footprint year after year. Certified by the Carbon Trust.


Amazon

Burt's Bees Family Jammies Matching Holiday Organic Cotton Pajamas

Get into the holiday spirit with these fun matching PJs for the whole family. Perfect for pictures that even Fido can get in on.

Global Organic Textile Standard: This certifies each step of the organic textile supply chain against strict ecological and social standards. Each product with this certification contains 95%-100% organic content.

Amazon

Naturistick 5-Pack Lip Balm Gift Set

With 100% natural ingredients that are gentle on ultra-sensitive lips, this gift is a great gift for the whole family.

Compact by Design (Certified by Amazon): Products with this certification are packaged without excess air and water, which reduces the carbon footprint of shipping and packaging.


Amazon

Arus Women's GOTS Certified Organic Cotton Hooded Full Length Turkish Bathrobe

For those who love to lounge around, this full-length organic cotton bathrobe is the way to go. Available in five different colors, it has comfortable cuffed sleeves, a hood, pockets, and adjustable belt.

Global Organic Textile Standard: This certifies each step of the organic textile supply chain against strict ecological and social standards. Each product with this certification contains 95%-100% organic content.

Amazon

L'Occitane Extra-Gentle Vegetable Based Soap

This luxe soap, made with moisturizing shea butter and scented with verbena, is perfect for the self-care obsessed.

Compact by Design (Certified by Amazon): Products with this certification are packaged without excess air and water, which reduces the carbon footprint of shipping and packaging.

Amazon

Goodthreads Men's Sweater-Knit Fleece Long-Sleeve Bomber

For the fashionable men in your life, this fashion-forward knit bomber is an excellent choice. The sweater material keeps it cozy and warm, while the bomber jacket-cut, zip front, and rib-trim neck make it look elevated.

Recycled Claim Standard 100: Products with this certification use materials made from at least 95% recycled content.

Amazon

All-new Fire TV Stick with Alexa Voice Remote

Make it even easier to access your favorite movies and shows this holiday season. The new Fire TV Stick lets you use your voice to search across apps. Plus it controls the power and volume on your TV, so you'll never need to leave the couch! Except for snacks.

Reducing CO2: Products with this certification reduce their carbon footprint year after year. Certified by the Carbon Trust.

Even as millions of Americans celebrated the inauguration of President Joe Biden this week, the nation also mourned the fact that, for the first time in modern history, the United States did not have a peaceful transition of power.

With the violent attack on the U.S. Capitol on January 6, when pro-Trump insurrectionists attempted to stop the constitutional process of counting electoral votes and where terrorists threatened to kill lawmakers and the vice president for not keeping Trump in power, our long and proud tradition was broken. And although presidential power was ultimately transferred without incident on January 20, the presence of 20,000 National Guard troops around the Capitol reminded us of the threat that still lingers.

First Lady Jill Biden showed up today with cookies in hand for a group of National Guard troops at the Capitol to thank them for keeping her family safe. The homemade chocolate chip cookies were a small token of appreciation, but one that came from the heart of a mother whose son had served as well.

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If the past year has taught us nothing else, it's that sending love out into the world through selfless acts of kindness can have a positive ripple effect on people and communities. People all over the United States seemed to have gotten the message — 71% of those surveyed by the World Giving Index helped a stranger in need in 2020. A nonprofit survey found 90% helped others by running errands, calling, texting and sending care packages. Many people needed a boost last year in one way or another and obliging good neighbors heeded the call over and over again — and continue to make a positive impact through their actions in this new year.

Welcometoterranova and P&G Good Everyday wanted to help keep kindness going strong, so they partnered up to create the Lead with Love Fund. The fund awards do-gooders in communities around the country with grants to help them continue on with their unique missions. Hundreds of nominations came pouring in and five winners were selected based on three criteria: the impact of action, uniqueness, and "Welcometoterranova-ness" of their story.

Here's a look at the five winners:

Edith Ornelas, co-creator of Mariposas Collective in Memphis, Tenn.

Edith Ornelas has a deep-rooted connection to the asylum-seeking immigrant families she brings food and supplies to families in Memphis, Tenn. She was born in Jalisco, Mexico, and immigrated to the United States when she was 7 years old with her parents and sister. Edith grew up in Chicago, then moved to Memphis in 2016, where she quickly realized how few community programs existed for immigrants. Two years later, she helped create Mariposas Collective, which initially aimed to help families who had just been released from detention centers and were seeking asylum. The collective started out small but has since grown to approximately 400 volunteers.