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OFF-KILTER with Rebecca Vallas


Aug 10, 2023

For this week’s episode, Rebecca sat back down with Zaki “The Barber” Smith, an entrepreneur, a powerhouse activist, and a criminal justice reform leader whose work focuses on ending the perpetual punishment that comes with having a criminal record in America. They had a far-ranging and emotional conversation about the historic clean slate legislation that passed the New York Assembly earlier this summer and now awaits the governor’s signature; how a criminal record can be a life sentence to poverty; the impact of the criminal records crisis on millions of American families; the economic as well as emotional toll that comes with perpetual punishment; his own path from prison to national policy advocacy; how his years as a barber shaped him as an advocate; his work with murals, film, and other art forms as tools for criminal justice reform; and lots more.  

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