At this year’s Safety and Justice conference in Houston, Texas, SaulPaul left the audience with an inspiring message for social justice champions: “Remember what your why is.”

SaulPaul speaks at the Safety and Justice conference in Houston, Texas.

SaulPaul took the stage to share his own story of tragedy to triumph and closed with a song he wrote that allowed the audiences to interact with him.

The Safety and Justice Challenge was founded by the MacArthur Foundation in an effort to reduce over-incarceration in America. The MacArthur Foundation has awarded more than $148 million to 52 cities and counties dedicated to reforming the criminal justice system. The Challenge supports local leaders and their efforts to produce more effective criminal justice systems.

Since joining the initiative, Philadelphia has decreased the population of people in jail by 36% and Cook County, Illinois by 26%. By engaging with elected officials, law enforcement and local leaders they are able to formulate effective ways of reducing over-incarceration, address racial and ethnic disparities and to create an equitable infrastructure.

Even though it was SaulPaul’s first year at the conference, he crafted a message that resonated with his audience through music and his personal story.

SaulPaul gathers volunteers from the audience for an icebreaker.