Second Chance Session: Joseph Wooten of Steve Miller Band

Joseph Wooten, live on AFJ's Instagram, Thursday May 21st at 7pm!

Second Chance Session: Joseph Wooten

Thursday, May 21st at 7pm on Instagram Live


Join Avenues for Justice (AFJ)'s first Second Chance Session with legendary soul singer, Joseph Wooten this Thursday, May 21st at 7pm on Instagram Live. 


Joseph is currently the keyboard player/vocalist for the legendary Steve Miller Band, playing large venues around the world. Whenever his extensive touring schedule allows, he also serves as keyboardist to his brother Victor Wooten, and fronts his own band, Joseph Wooten & The Hands of Soul. Joseph is also a member of an elite group of hand picked musicians called Freedom Sings, organized by the First Amendment Center in Washington D.C., presenting a multi-media experience celebrating The First Amendment and free expression. For Joseph's full bio, please click here!


We sat down virtually with Joseph to talk about social justice and why he supports AFJ's mission. 


1. What draws you toward AFJ’s mission of juvenile justice and reducing the population of juvenile offenders in NYC’s jails and prisons?


"I have always believed in defending those who are most vulnerable. Our children are still developing and they make mistakes. Sometimes their mistakes are violent ones, we cannot deny that. But, to treat them as adults before they are adults negates the rehabilitation that the system is supposed to foster."

2. How have you tried to incorporate social justice in your musicianship through the years?


"I always attempt to write about subjects that will make us better people. I try to inspire with my music. It is such a powerful teaching tool, because it brings people together. The term "social justice" just means fairness. Everyone can understand the concept of fairness. Music can help us to examine it in a way that is a lot less threatening."


3. How has the criminal justice system affected you and why is it important for you to raise awareness to its injustices?


"The criminal justice system tends to prey on the poor, and the poor too often are black or brown, though white people are not excluded when they are on the lower economic side. The criminal justice system has taken lots of black men out of the communities at the expense of a lot of black families. Not because black men are any different than anyone else, but because their communities are targeted. Random frisking, unauthorized searches, patrolling of poor communities, etc. mean many arrests of young black men for crimes that occur in affluent communities but are not policed. (When was the last time you heard of a door getting kicked in at an affluent college. Don't they use drugs there too?) Once you are a felon, you lose your right to vote, often to drive, you can lose your public assistance, public housing, and your being a felon makes it nearly impossible for employment after serving your time. It almost forces one back to a life of crime. Truth be told, it affects us all. A country that allows injustice can never live up to its full potential."


To tune in: please follow AFJ on Instagram @avenuesforjustice and at 7pm on Thursday, you will be able to view our Instagram story as we go live!


You can learn more about Joseph by visiting his website!


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