Stylish beauty Kim Kardashian West is using her television fame for good.
During the second to last day of panels at the Television Critics’ Association winter press tour in Pasadena, Ms. Kardashian West followed her old BFF Paris Hilton, who was shilling her YouTube documentary in a panel previous to hers.
But unlike Ms. Hilton, Kardashian West was not lamenting her path to fame and fortune beset with untrustworthy and poorly picked rich-kid company. Kim’s focus was rooted in the future of her “four black children” who she worried about in a public context, perhaps dealing with police or racism in general.
And despite the initial chatter from some journalists that perhaps Kim Kardashian West might have been out of her depth with these serious topics of reentry and innocence projects, Kardashian West proved to be immersed, sincere, and focused on passing the bar exam.
Oxygen’s Kim Kardashian West: The Justice Project is a two-hour documentary coming to Oxygen spurred by her success with her advocacy for Alice Marie Johnson.
Her ability to get to the POTUS and get action initiated for a grandmother imprisoned for a non-violent drug offense drew a lot of press and eye-opening notice for President Trump’s overall willingness to address prison reform.
The documentary is described by the network as serving those who “have been wronged by the justice system.” On panel with Kim Kardashian West were Farnaz Farjam, Executive Producer, Criminal Justice Advocate, #cut50 and a part of Kim’s legal team as well as contributor Jessica Jackson, and Executive Producer Vice DiPersio.
Noting her familial ties to the law, Kardashian West shared an anecdote that she would sneak into the office of her late father, Robert Kardashian, when he was part of what the media dubbed “the dream team,” O.J. Simpson’s murder trial defense team. She noted she was looking at sensitive documents she should not have seen.
Monsters & Critics asked Ms. West if her efforts would perhaps merge with another notable Armenian-American, Professor Greg Hampikian.
Hampikian heads the Idaho Innocence Project and worked with the Georgia Innocence Project on the Kerry Robinson case in Georgia, who was wrongly convicted. We also asked if she was working with the Reform Alliance headed by Van Jones. These men head just some of many organizations across the country serving the same people and fighting the same fight.
“Absolutely. So #cut50 which Van Jones’ organization is my sponsor for my law school. So Van, in order to study or read the law in California you have to get a law firm to sponsor you to have your apprenticeship,” Kim Kardashian West responded. “And so, Van put that together for me. So, the way that it works in California is, not only do you have to put in 20 hours a week in actual studying of courses, but you also have to participate in what the office is, basically, doing.”
“So, policy that they’re working on. Jessica is the co-founder with Van Jones of #cut50. And so, she walks me through specific cases that I work on, that they represent people that they have me come on and help with. I work with #cut50 all the time and other organizations like ARC that help with reentry once people get out of prison and how they’re going to find jobs and housing. They work with that as well as #cut50. So, there are a few other organizations. We all get them together and work together all the time.”
Jessica Jackson added, “And I’ll just jump in and say #cut50 has, what we call, the empathy network which is over 3,000 formally incarcerated individuals who are leading their own organizations all across the country.”
“So, beyond these four cases that Kim highlights in ‘The Justice Project,’ she also gets letters, where we can make a phone call to somebody in North Carolina and connect them with an organization or we can talk to somebody in Georgia and, do a little favor like writing a letter of support,” Jackson continued.
“So, those things aren’t always shown in the documentary or in her show, but she’s connected to a 3,000-person, an organization network through her work at #cut50, and she’s also worked with other groups on legislation like the First Step Act. I think we had over 160 organizations on both sides of the aisle that got behind that and that we worked with.”
Racial disparities in criminal justice sentencing were a huge component for influencing Kardashian West’s decision to become an activist and a lawyer.
“I’m raising four black children that could face a situation like any of the people that I help,” she said. “Just to know that I could make a difference in my children’s lives, and their friends’ lives, and their children’s lives, by helping to fix such a broken system, that is just so motivating for me.”
Kim Kardashian West: The Justice Project premieres on Sunday, April 7, at 7/6c on Oxygen.