Actress LaLa Anthony hosted Thanksgiving dinner for young detainees at Rikers Island on Thursday, Nov 23.
Complete with turkey, stuffing, sweet potatoes and cornbread, the sweet gesture was part of LaLa's Foundation, "Three Sixty".
The “ThreeSixty” program is an initiative at Rikers Island, providing mentorship and life coaching, legal services, and re-entry tools, to young men ages 18–21 years old who are incarcerated.
“I’m just excited that they got to bring some of their friends and family to share in a meal and just appreciate each other, love each other,” she said. “Talk about what we’re grateful for.”
Members of the ThreeSixty initiative said they were grateful to be seen and heard.
“Before I got to the initiative, I didn’t really have nothing to look forward to, just going through my days,” detainee Tristian Williams said. “Now I’m here, I know that I wake up tomorrow, I get to see La La… I get to see a lot of loved ones here for me. It’s making my day a little bit easier.”
“It helps a lot,” detainee Antonyo Bernardez added. “She showed me a different way — how I can value my time while I’m in here.”
Participants’ family members said Anthony's guidance makes a big difference in their lives.
LaLa was talking to him, she's pushing him to continue his music and change the lyrics of his music, because he's so influential,” said Janay Cole, a relative of one detainee. “So she's pushing him to, you know you have this talent, you have this power, you have this following, and if you change, people are going to follow you — you’re gonna to be a leader."
In addition to fellowshipping with the young men on the holidays, Anthony is involved year-round. She has brought in her celebrity counterparts including Lil baby
“There is life after this,” she said. “This is a moment in your lifetime, but this doesn't define your life, and I want to make sure that they know that."