Gift will help provide recently incarcerated individuals and their families with the skills and mindset they need to re-enter society with hope, stability, and opportunity
JULY 26, 2022 – ST. LOUIS, MO – Concordance, a holistic program focused on lowering reincarceration rates by providing structured pathways to successful societal re-entry, announced today that Kathryn and Kenneth Chenault have committed a $1 million pledge in support of its First Chance campaign, a national fundraising initiative to scale the nonprofit’s re-entry program to 11 additional U.S. cities over the next five years. Ken Chenault, the chairman and a managing director of the venture capital firm General Catalyst, and former chairman and CEO of American Express, is a co-chair of the campaign.
Over 100 million individuals are affected by mass incarceration within the United States, including 10 million children who have experienced parental incarceration, and are six times more likely to be incarcerated themselves. The reincarceration crisis disproportionately impacts Black and Hispanic communities; the rate of imprisonment is six times higher for Black men and three times higher for Hispanic men, as compared to white men. Ken and Kathryn are supporting Concordance’s holistic re-entry model which includes mental and behavioral health treatment, substance use treatment, education and job training, employment, and more, services which are critical to reducing recidivism. Today, 71% of individuals released from prison are rearrested within five years.
Concordance is working to end the cycle of reincarceration by providing a holistic, integrated, evidence-informed re-entry program for recently incarcerated adults and their families. Since it began providing services in 2016, Concordance has enrolled over 1,100 participants and has lowered the reincarceration rate by 56% among participants released from prison in the last three years.
“To achieve a real, lasting change for racial equity in our community, we need progress and persistence,” said Ken Chenault. “Systemic racism has obstructed many Black Americans from a real first chance at basic opportunity. Innovative approaches that have a multi-generational impact on families are critical to ensuring that individuals in this country truly have that first chance – at stability, education, and success. Concordance is providing just that, beginning with their healing first approach for both participants in their program and their families, and by supporting participants in finding meaningful and family-stabilizing employment. Kathy and I are proud to support Concordance and the work they are doing to end the cycle of reincarceration.”
“I am deeply humbled by Ken and Kathryn’s generous commitment,” said Danny Ludeman, Chairman & CEO of Concordance. “Their enthusiasm for our mission and shared passion for creating real opportunities for racial equity in our country are evident by their support of Concordance. Their investment comes at an inflection point for our organization as we look to expand nationally, and it will propel Concordance to scale farther and faster, bringing critical services nationwide.”
“We are truly grateful for Ken and Kathryn’s incredible contribution to the First Chance campaign,” said David Steward, First Chance campaign chair. Steward is the Founder and Chairman of World Wide Technology, the largest Black-owned company in the United States, and a board member of Concordance. “We share with Ken and Kathryn the Concordance commitment of creating racial equity in our country and promoting programs that positively impact the Black community. We are very blessed to partner with them on this journey.”
In addition to his work at General Catalyst, Ken serves on the boards of Airbnb, Berkshire Hathaway, Chief, Guild Education, and the Harvard Corporation. He also serves on the boards of numerous nonprofit organizations, including the Smithsonian Institution’s Advisory Council for the National Museum of African American History and Culture. He is a co-founder of OneTen, a coalition of leading executives coming together to upskill, hire, and advance one million Black Americans over the next 10 years into family-sustaining jobs with opportunities for advancement.