Meek Mill has won numerous honors over the course of his career, including Top Rap Album at the 2016 Billboard Music Awards and Best Mixtape at the 2012 BET Hip Hop Awards, but his most recent honor is particularly noteworthy.
The Philadelphia rapper has been named the first rapper in history to receive the Nelson Mandela Foundation’s “Changemaker” Humanitarian Award.
Meek showed off the newest addition to his mantlepiece in an Instagram photo on Thursday (August 12), announcing his exceptional achievement.
“Blessings…” he captioned the photo. “I received the Nelson Mandela Humanitarian Award,” says the recipient. Thank you, Rip, to Nelson Mandela, the great. ‘I didn’t grow up playing ball; I grew up with a Smith & Western* since it’s incredibly difficult to turn 27 in my hometown.’ #survivors
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Slim Thug, DC Young Fly, P.J. Tucker of the Miami Heat, record executive Steven Victor, and former NBA champion Stephen Jackson were among those who congratulated Meek in the comments section.
Meek Mill has been a vocal campaigner for criminal justice reform since his release from prison in 2018.
In 2019, he co-founded REFORM Alliance with JAY-Z, billionaire sports entrepreneur Michael Rubin, and other activists and philanthropists with the goal of “transforming probation and parole by reforming laws, processes, and culture to create meaningful pathways to work and wellbeing.”
In its battle for prison reform, the REFORM Alliance has won a number of triumphs. They were instrumental in the passage of California’s AB 1950 bill, which limits felons’ probation periods. Similar probation bills were also approved in Pennsylvania, Virginia, Michigan, and Mississippi thanks to their efforts.
The organization distributed over 6 million masks to inmates, healthcare workers, and correctional officers in prisons and jails across the country during the COVID-19 pandemic last year.
Meek Mill also founded the Dream Chasers Foundation, through which he has donated $30,000 in Christmas gifts to struggling families and 6,000 backpacks to local students in his hometown of Philadelphia.