News & Awards
The Appeal Appoints Jason Flom and Hannah Riley to its Board of Directors
Sept 7, 2023 — Today, The Appeal, a worker-led nonprofit news organization dedicated to exposing the harms of the criminal legal system, announced the appointment of two new members to its Board of Directors. The organization’s board and staff unanimously approved the election of Jason Flom, philanthropist, CEO of Lava Records, and longtime activist for reforming the legal system, and Hannah Riley, writer, community organizer, and director of programming at the Center for Just Journalism.
“This country’s criminal punishment system is vast and purposefully opaque, and it’s hard to overstate the importance of the journalism that The Appeal carries out every day,” says Riley. “Shining a light on systems that act with cruel impunity toward the people in their custody while taking up enormous amounts of public funds is a necessary public good.”
Flom and Riley bring decades of experience in criminal legal reform advocacy and will serve as invaluable advisers to The Appeal’s staff. Flom and Riley now bring the total number of board members at The Appeal to 10.
“The Appeal is a critical resource for those of us who care about reforming the criminal legal system. Their journalism holds law enforcement officials accountable and challenges the ‘tough-on-crime’ narratives fueling mass incarceration,” says Flom. “I’m excited about helping the team scale their work and maximize their impact!”
Flom is recognized as much for his career in the music industry as he is for his commitment to justice reform.
As a record executive, Flom founded the label Lava Records and went on to serve as the CEO of Atlantic Records, Virgin Records, and Capital Music Group. Among numerous other well-known acts, Flom helped launch artists’ careers, including Stone Temple Pilots, Kid Rock, Jessie J, and Lorde.
As an advocate and philanthropist, Flom has worked passionately for the rights of the falsely accused. In the mid-1990s, Flom helped secure the release of Steven Lennon, who’d been sentenced to 15 years to life in prison for possessing a small amount of cocaine. Flom has served on the boards of several organizations, including Families Against Mandatory Minimums, the Innocence Project, and the Legal Action Center. In 2018, Flom co-founded Lava for Good, a multimedia platform that creates and runs podcasts, including Wrongful Conviction, Bone Valley, and the Webby Award-winning Wrongful Conviction: False Confessions. Among numerous other awards, Flom received the “Torch of Liberty” from the American Civil Liberties Union in 1999.
Riley is an Atlanta-based abolitionist writer, activist, and communications professional who serves as the Director of Programming for the Center for Just Journalism, a nonprofit organization promoting journalistic practices that enhance public understanding of safety.
She has worked to reform and abolish the legal system for over a decade and has served as a communications director for the Innocence Project and Southern Center for Human Rights.
Riley’s writing has appeared in numerous national publications, including The Nation, the Huffington Post, Slate, and Teen Vogue. She holds a postgraduate degree in criminology from the University of Cambridge. In recent years, Riley has also worked to fight the creation of the new Atlanta police training center known informally as Cop City.
About The Appeal
The Appeal is a nonprofit news organization that envisions a world in which systems of support and care, not punishment, create public safety. The Appeal’s journalism exposes the harms of the U.S. carceral system, equips our audience with the information necessary to make change, and elevates solutions emerging from the communities most affected by policing, jails, and prisons. Our stories have sparked protests and grassroots activism, inspired legislation that reduces policing and incarceration, and shaped the national narrative about justice and punishment. We push the debate beyond incremental reforms that do little to address systemic problems, and we explore ideas that stand for truly transformative change.