Good Stories | SDG 16

One Call Away: Free Legal Resources for New Yorkers with Good Call

2,142

New Yorkers Reached

40

Potential New Donors

4,000

Arrested Persons Served in 2020

UNSDG 16: Promote just, peaceful and inclusive societies.

“The United Nations Sustainable Development Goals are a call for action by all countries – poor, rich and middle-income – to promote prosperity while protecting the planet. They recognize that ending poverty must go hand-in-hand with strategies that build economic growth and address a range of social needs including education, health, social protection, and job opportunities, while tackling climate change and environmental protection. ” – United Nations

The Cause

Good Call is a technology non-profit organization which seeks to protect the rights of marginalized communities facing excessive and unnecessary arrests and unfair treatment by the criminal justice system. Co-founded by Jelani Anglin and Gabriel-Leader Rose, Good Call advocates for criminal justice reform, educates communities, and provides free legal support in cases of arrest through a 24/7 support hotline. Their arrest hotline is available in both English and Spanish.

As it stands, there are over 700 people arrested in New York City everyday and less than 1% of all arrestees have access to a lawyer when being held or interrogated. Most of these arrests are concentrated in low income communities, with the vast majority being for low level misdemeanors. Too often, these arrests result in the criminalization of marginalized people before they’ve been found guilty of any crime. Individuals without legal support find themselves vulnerable to biased lineups and manipulative questioning resulting in pre-trial detention, wrongful imprisonment, trumped up charges and more. 

Good Call offers an answer. By providing “Early Legal Intervention”, or immediate access to a lawyer in case of arrest, Good Call is bridging the gap of inequity in the criminal justice system. Based on a recent study by the California Policy Lab, Early Legal Intervention could cut the number of people sent to pretrial jail in half, all while creating a more efficient process for lawyers and a fairer process for all New Yorkers. 

 

Our Partnership

In order to continue and expand on their critical work, Good Call has since expanded across all five boroughs of NYC. Yet, when the COVID-19 pandemic hit, the organization was forced to halt all in-person community outreach, fundraisers and events state-wide. Good Call had to turn to unlikely new allies: digital platforms. Not only were all their operations coordinated over video-conferencing, but video itself became a pivotal tool of social outreach. 

In September 2020, Good Call connected with VidMob Gives to produce a powerful advertising campaign for Facebook and Instagram to bolster their fundraising campaigns. 

The Results

Using pre-existing graphics and an audio clip of a Good Call user, VidMob’s creators produced a 25-second marketing asset optimized for social media. Together with VidMob Gives, Good Call was able to bring to life the testimony of a father experiencing the arrest of his son. As the video highlights, “Arrests can happen anywhere, at any time, to anyone.”

Throughout the Black Lives Matter protests, Good Call was there, on the ground, supporting everyone’s right to protest. As noted by CEO Jelani Anglin, “When 1 Police Plaza refused to give protesters the right to exercise their 6th amendment right, we signed on to a letter with other legal service providers to demand that their right to counsel be protected”. Good Call’s free hotline became a critical force in safeguarding protestors and connecting them to much needed legal access. 

“We didn’t realize that a hotline that we created specifically for over-policed communities and to help improve the criminal legal process could become a tool for the movement. A tool that people can rely on when they go out in the streets to make their voices heard.” – Jelani Anglin, CEO, Good Call

Upon the new possibilities of digital marketing and outreach, Good Call has ambitious plans. They seek to expand nationally by launching into regions with serious need, strong legal partners, and funding support. Short-form video will continue to prove crucial in getting out their message. VidMob’s work with Good Call has shown us the importance of connection: may it be through just one phone call or a single video campaign. 

“As a small non-profit we are always looking for ways to do more with less. Working with an organization like VidMob gave us the opportunity to amplify our messaging without having to use our already scarce resources. In a short period of time, we were able to create a high quality video using pre-existing assets and content.”

Kim Belizare

Director of Partnerships & Advocacy, Good Call

Meet The Team

This team of talented creators enabled Good Call to answer to the needs of New Yorkers, enabling them to provide free legal support to arrested individuals across the city.

Susan Choe

Susan Choe

Project Manager

Daria Huxley

Daria Huxley

Creative Director

Brian Dohn

Brian Dohn

Editor