Change the South,
Change the Nation


Building Black Futures

As we celebrate Black History Month and the wins and lessons from social movements of the past, we must also think about the Black Futures that are being built right now. As a part of that work, we want to uplift our community partners and organizations that are doing the amazing work to help pave the way for building brighter Black futures.

This week we’re uplifting our partners at Leading into New Communities (LINC) and Wash Away Unemployment.

Co-Founder Frankie Roberts and a community member at the January 2020 NC Second Chance Alliance Day of Action

Photo by Damola Akintunde

LINC Executive Director Frankie Roberts (Right) and a community member at the 2020 NC Second Chance Alliance Day of Action in Raleigh, NC.



Photo by Damola Akintunde

Leading into new communities, inc

Founded in 2000, Leading Into New Communities (LINC) Inc., is a non-profit agency in Wilmington, NC that provides shelter and services for men and women returning from prison. A key partner in the NC Second Chance Alliance, LINC’s mission is “to educate and motivate youth to make positive life choices while empowering men and women returning from incarceration to be productive members of our community.”

Since 2002, LINC has successfully helped reintegrate over 1200 men and women who have been released from prison, and 92% of them have remained out of prison. LINC provides transitional living coupled with a stable, sustaining employment program- two components which reduce recidivism by 50%.

LINC also provides:
  • Counseling, work experience and training, and case management support services to enhance the level of individual success, and practices
  • “Functional mending” which allows individuals opportunities to undo negative behaviors and experience and learn positive ones.
  • Opportunities for at risk youth to learn positive behaviors,
  • An emphasis on GED attainment, post-secondary education, vocational training and work experience, which increases the likelihood of a person becoming more employable
LINC’s Impact by the numbers:
  • LINC has served approximately 2674 adults and 290 youth since it started providing services in 2000
  • LINC serves an additional 100-150 adults a year through drop-in programs and referrals
  • LINC has an 85% success rate compared to North Carolina’s state rate of ~40%. Forty-one percent of state-released individuals who do not participate in re-entry programs return to prison (2011).
    Reference: Pew State of Recidivism.
  • LINC reduces the housing cost to the state:

LINC and their staff have worked alongside us in the community to hold voter education and registration events, record expungement clinics, vigils in support of covid-19 decarceration, traffic clinics, and community forums about the impact of criminal justice debt. We appreciate the partnership of LINC, and their amazing staff, who work alongside us and the community to ensure people who have been impacted by the criminal legal system have access to the opportunities they need to reintegrate and thrive.

Learn more about their work here!

Wash Away Unemployment (WAU)

Wash Away Unemployment (WAU) is a New Bern, NC-based 501(c)3 nonprofit founded in 2010 to address underlying barriers to reentry such as housing, sustainability skills, lack of connecting resources, transportation, family reconciliation, and more. Their mission is to provide economic opportunities to community members with high barriers to employment through transitional housing, on-the-job training, and entrepreneurship programs.

Through their growing list of initiatives, Wash Away Unemployment offers employment, housing, and other stability-building opportunities for the justice-involved population. WAU envisions a community built on justice and grace, where past offenses do not condemn a person to a life of poverty and social exclusion.

WAU Executive Director Corey Purdie speaking at the 2019 SCA Second Chance Lobby Day in Raleigh, NC.

Photo by Suave Visions

WAU operates through their programs, ‘Home Transitional Network’, ‘Need Labor?’, and ‘the Teen Health Initiative Knowledge (T.H.I.N.K)’, all of which support and serve the local community. They also lead two social enterprises, Miracle Car Wash and their Catalyst Kitchens Project, that take their programs to the next level by offering career development, workplace/business ethics, and skill training.

Home Transitional Network

More than 22,000 people are released from North Carolina's state prison system every year. Wash Away Unemployment empowers and equips individuals facing homelessness due to prior convictions. The H.O.M.E. Transitional Network uses innovative strategies to provide transitional living and vocational career/entrepreneurship opportunities for individuals who face barriers to employment. In collaboration with their Rural Communities Partners across North Carolina, they provide stable temporary living sites for people looking to reestablish themselves within their communities of choice.

Need Labor?

Wash Away Unemployment was founded on a belief in second chances. In service of that belief, they work to build relationships with local employers and advocate for changes in policies that discriminate against people who may have been justice-involved in their past. They match job seekers and employers for all kinds of work, from construction and hurricane relief to furniture removal

The Teen Health Initiative Knowledge (T.H.I.N.K)

The Teen Health Initiative Knowledge (T.H.I.N.K) program teaches disadvantaged youths between 12 and 18 years old to take control of their own health and wellbeing. T.H.I.N.K is composed of 6 workshops that aim to instill healthy behaviors and discourage delinquency. The workshops are led by experts ranging from local chefs to financial experts.

Wash Away Unemployment has been a key partner in our advocacy work in support of the NC Second Chance Act (SB 562). Their founder, Corey Purdie, spoke to legislators and the community about his experiences and the organization’s work during our 2019 Lobby Day at the NC General Assembly. He stressed the importance of providing access to opportunities and resources for those who have been impacted by the criminal legal system. WAU has also been a vocal supporter of our Unlock Our Vote campaign, educating people about the importance of voting and advocating for expanding voting rights to ALL North Carolinians.


Learn more about their work here!

Leading Into New Communities Inc
Wash Away Unemployment