The First Chance Campaign

Approximately 100 million people in this country are affected by incarceration, making it one of the most significant societal issues we face today. The First Chance Campaign is a $50 million fundraising effort chaired by World Wide Technology Founder and Chairman David Steward to expand our re-entry model to 11 additional U.S. cities by 2025.

Most incarcerated individuals have experienced horrific trauma at a young age, which is the result of being born in neighborhoods that have been devastated by inequity and often lack social capital and positive support systems. With the imprisonment rate of Black males at nearly six times that of white males, this is a problem disproportionately impacting the Black community.

Concordance is working to break the cycle of reincarceration and forge a path toward equality by supporting people who have been released from prison and are re-entering society.

Our holistic, evidence-driven re-entry program is the first of its kind, working to dramatically reduce the rate of reincarceration.

Given the transformations we experience as we partner with participants on their journey, we are reminded, time and again, that our participants never needed a second chance.
They needed their first.

Help us make lasting change across the U.S.

What We’re Up Against

Reincarceration has a devastating impact on not only individuals but also their families, communities and our society as a whole. This ripple effect includes increased unemployment, homelessness, mental health and substance use disorders, utilized social services, ongoing crime, and more.

77%

of individuals are rearrested within five years.

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Nationally, 77% of individuals who return to their communities after being released from prison are rearrested within five years.

This number has not changed in more than 30 years, revealing the lack of a successful re-entry approach. We are working to break this cycle with the first holistic, integrated and evidence-informed re-entry model in the country.

10M

children have experienced parental incarceration.

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The generational trauma of reincarceration is astounding.

Children of incarcerated parents are six to nine times more likely to go to prison themselves. Moreover, these children are also more likely to experience depression, anxiety, poor academic performance, school absenteeism and homelessness.

30M

U.S. citizens have been convicted of a felony.

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There are approximately 30 million individuals in this country who have been convicted of a felony.

This devastates communities all over our nation. Arrest rates for crime are 30 to 45 times higher for the formerly incarcerated than the general population, making failed prisoner re-entry a major contributor to the exceedingly high incarceration rates in the U.S.

Get more information in our printable brochure.

Download the Concordance Brochure

Concordance Academy has reduced the rate of reincarceration among its participants by more than

40%

Help us make this change across the U.S.

We offer the first set of holistic and evidence-informed
re-entry services in the country.

Each participant receives an integrated, individualized plan to help them heal from trauma and substance use, learn the skills needed to earn a sustainable living, and put daily practices into place that reduce their likelihood of reincarceration.

Leading the Charge to $50 Million

headshot of David Steward

David Steward

Founder and Chairman of World Wide Technology
Chair of Concordance First Chance Campaign

The generational cycle of people returning to prison has enormous, negative impacts on all Americans, especially the family members of incarcerated people. By addressing generations of trauma, especially in the Black community, Concordance helps people released from prison achieve significant change and lasting success for themselves, their families and society at large.

Danny Ludeman

President and CEO of
Concordance Academy

Over the last five years, we have developed a successful, holistic and evidence-driven approach that gives people their ‘first real chance’ — healing them first so they don’t commit crimes that send them back to prison.

Co-Chairs

Elcio Barcelos

Senior Executive Vice President and Chief Human Resources Officer, U.S. Bank

Steve Bartlett

Senior Policy Advisor, APCO Worldwide, Former President & CEO, Financial Services Roundtable, Former U.S. Congressman and Former Mayor of Dallas

Warner Baxter

Chairman, President & CEO, Ameren Corporation

Brett Begemann

COO, Bayer Crop Science

Oliver Bell

CEO, Oliver Bell Inc.

Adam Berlew

Executive Director of Americas Marketing, Google Cloud

Carl Bouckaert

Entrepreneur

Corey Bradford

President, Harris-Stowe State University

Beau Brauer

President, Hunter Engineering

Lynn Britton

President & CEO, Mercy

Karoom Brown

CEO, OptumServe Technology Services

Robert Brown

Founder, Chairman & CEO, B&C Associates, Inc.

Bob Clark

Executive Chairman & Founder, Clayco

Art D. Collins

Retired Chairman & CEO, Medtronic, Inc.

Les Coney

Executive Vice President, Office of the Chairman, Mesirow Financial

Jim Crane

Chairman, Crane Worldwide Logistics and Owner & Chairman, Houston Astros

Ronald Crutcher

President, University of Richmond

Craig Cuffie

Executive Vice President & Chief Procurement Officer, Salesforce

Bill DeWitt III

President, St. Louis Cardinals

Arnold Donald

CEO, Carnival Corporation

David Eichhorn

President and Head of Investment
Strategies, NISA Investment Advisors

Jim Fish, Jr.

President & CEO, Waste Management

Wayne Frederick

President, Howard University

Mark Gambill

Chairman Emeritus, Cary Street Partners and Former President, Wheat First Butcher Singer Inc.

Antoine Garibaldi

President, University of Detroit, Mercy

Ernest LaMont Greer

Co-President, GreenbergTraurig

Robert Hermann

Chairman & CEO, Hermann Companies

Rick Holton

COO, Hermann Companies

Rusty Keeley

CEO, Keeley Companies

David Kowach

Head of Community Banking, Wells Fargo

Ron Kruszewski

Chairman & CEO, Stifel Financial Corp.

Willie Lanier

Former CEO, TDS/US and Pro Football Hall of Fame Inductee

Donn Lux

Chairman, Lux Holdings LLC

Anna Manning

President & CEO, Reinsurance Group of America

Steve Maritz

Chairman & CEO, Maritz

Kathy Mazzarella

Chairman, President & CEO, Graybar

Rich McClure

Former CEO, UniGroup

John McDonnell

Former Chairman & CEO, McDonnell Douglas

Jim McKelvey

Founder, Invisibly and Co-Founder & Director, Square

Charles J. Meyers

President &  CEO, Equinix

Michael Neidorff

Chairman, President & CEO, Centene Corporation

Robert O’Loughlin

Chairman & CEO, Lodging Hospitality Management

Jack Oliver

Managing Partner, Dock Square Capital and Attorney & Practice Group Leader, Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner

Kathy Osborn

President & CEO, Regional Business Council

Larry Otto

Retired, President, St. Louis, U.S. Bank

George Paz

Former Chairman, President & CEO, Express Scripts

Dave Peacock

President & COO, Schnuck Markets Inc.

Steve Phelps

President, NASCAR

Charles Phillips

Chairman & Former CEO, Infor

Bill Polk

Managing Partner, Egis Capital Partners

Ron Redwing

CEO, The Redwing Group

Lamont Robinson

Director, Supplier Diversity, AmerisourceBergen

Craig Schnuck

Former Chairman & CEO, Schnuck Markets Inc.

Rachel Seward

Vice President of Enterprise Communications & Philanthropy, MiTek

Ruth J. Simmons

President, Prairie View A&M University

Suzanne Sitherwood

President & CEO, Spire

Joseph Sivewright

CEO, Nestle Purina PetCare Company

Karl Soderlund

Senior VP, Worldwide Channel Sales, Palo Alto Networks

Michael Staenberg

CEO, The Staenberg Group

John Strangfeld

Chairman of the Board, Microsoft and Venture Partner, Lightspeed Venture

Esta Stecher

Senior Advisor, Goldman Sachs

Pat Stokes

Former Chairman & CEO, Anheuser-Busch Companies

Donald Suggs

Chairman & Publisher, The St. Louis American

Diane Sullivan

CEO, President & Chairman, Caleres

Christopher J. Swift

Chairman & CEO, The Hartford

Mark Thom

Chairman & CEO, MiTek Inc

David A. Thomas

President, Morehouse College

John Thompson

Chairman, Microsoft

Steve Trulaske

Owner, True Manufacturing

Jim Turley

Former Chairman & CEO, Ernst & Young

Bobby Ukrop

Chairman & CEO, Ukrop’s Homestyle Foods

Dwaun Warmack

President, Claflin University

Thom Weisel

Founder, Former Chairman & Former CEO, Thomas Weisel Partners Group and Founder & Former Chairman, Montgomery Securities

Tim Wentworth

President, Express Scripts and Cigna Services

Jimmy Williams

President and CEO, Estel Foods d/b/a
McDonalds

Greig Woodring

Retired President & CEO, Reinsurance Group of America

Mark Wrighton

Professor & Chancellor Emeritus, Washington University in St. Louis

Jackie Yoon

President, YFB Consulting

Advisors

Mary Schmidt Campbell

President, Spelman College

Shari and Garen Staglin

Co-Founders, Staglin Family Vineyard
Chairman, Mental Health Innovation
Co-Founders, One Mind, a Public Nonprofit Organization

Thriving Alumni

Carl
Class 15 Graduate

“I’ve waited for this opportunity for over two decades, to prove myself worthy of being a productive member of society.”

Michael
Class 14 Graduate

“Who I’ve become in the last three months of being free is three times more of a man than I became in the last 15 years of being in and out of prison.”

Join Us in Creating Lasting Change

Concordance is working to break the cycle of reincarceration and forge a path toward equality by supporting individuals who face many of life’s greatest challenges — and your contribution will directly impact their path to success.

Concordance AcademyFirst Chance