In New York City for Fashion Week, Kim Kardashian West – in a vintage, crimson Mugler dress from 1983 – stopped by the Tonight Show With Jimmy Fallon at 30 Rockefeller. While the entrepreneur and reality star spoke about her expanding family (she and her husband Kanye West are expecting their fourth child, a boy, via surrogate), she also talked about helping formerly incarcerated people assimilate back into society. And that begins with a job.
Kardashian West wielded her power as one of the most famous women in the world to secure meeting time with President Donald Trump at the White House last year. Here she asked him to pardon 62-year-old grandmother Alice Johnson who was serving a life sentence in a prison in Aliceville for her role in a drug trafficking crime in the 90s. It was her first offense. In a moving phone call in June 2018, Kardashian West told Johnson she was free; After 21 years behind bars, Johnson was coming home to her family. It was an incredible moment.
“[Alice] had attorneys working for her for decades. I was the final push at the end,” Kardashian West told Fallon. “Something inside of me said, ‘If I had the power to help, I was going to try.’”
Johnson was present at Tuesday’s State Of The Union address in Washington, an appearance Kardashian West says sends a message of hope to other people who have been wrongfully imprisoned; that there can be a life beyond the crime. She says there is a stigma surrounding hiring formerly incarcerated people and with employers not really understanding their story or what they have been through.
Kardashian West points out there are many people who have been wrongfully convicted of murders and are serving life. People like that deserve a second chance at life,” she says. “I would love to hire formerly incarcerated people and I would like to spread that message that big companies can do that to.”
So while the headlines around the world focused in on her vintage dress, listen next time; Kim Kardashian West has something to say.