ABC7 Unite: DooProcess Apparel startup founder fights for social, racial justice

ByEyewitness News WABC logo
Thursday, March 18, 2021
ABC7 Unite: Apparel startup founder fights for social, racial justice
EMBED <>More Videos

A man from Brooklyn who founded a social justice apparel startup as a way to express himself and make a difference is giving back based on his own experiences.

FLATBUSH, Brooklyn (WABC) -- A man from Brooklyn who founded a social justice apparel startup as a way to express himself and make a difference is giving back based on his own experiences.

Chad Williams founded dooProcess, described as "streetwear with a soul," and entered the New York State Business Plan Competition last year, competing against student-entrepreneurs from elite institutions across the state.

In May 2020, he took first place in the consumer products and services category. Now, he's partnering with a woman who has devoted her advocacy to clearing cannabis convictions with the Last Prisoner Project.

"What I want out of all of the partnership is amplification is that 40,000 people are incarcerated because no one knows that they're there," Evelyn LaChapelle said.

The 36-year-old spent five years in prison for a cannabis arrest, and her mission caught Williams' attention.

More ABC7 Unite | Dr. Patricia Bath revolutionized cataract surgery with her device and technique

"He reached out and shared with me his interaction with law enforcement and how he wanted to get involved and give back," she said.

That desire was born from Williams' own experiences.

"My junior year of college, I went out and I was falsely arrested," he said. "And then I had to spend over a year trying to clear my name."

These are the types of police interaction that have led to louder calls for social justice reform, namely after the death of George Floyd. Williams is expressing his voice through dooProcess, which donates 15% of proceeds to non-profits fighting for social justice reform -- like the Last Prisoner Project.

"The meaning behind the brand is a spinoff of the unfair treatment of the judicial system," Williams said.

It's a story that resonated with LaChapelle.

"I myself received 87 months in prison for depositing cannabis profits in my account," she said. "Sitting in prison watching the cannabis industry traded on the global stock exchange in a billion dollar industry...it was definitely systematic racism."

More ABC7 Unite | Pandemic isn't stopping community activist, barber from making history

Systemic racism the 22-year-old Williams is fighting.

"(I'm) moved and encouraged and inspired to see that someone so young, to take the experience he had and flip it," LaChapelle said.

MORE ABC 7 UNITE

See more stories at abc7NY.com/unite

SEND STORY IDEAS TO EYEWITNESS NEWS

Watch Here & Now

Here & Now episode archive

RESOURCES

We are also publishing resources in a range of areas, which will grow and can be found below:

Ways to Help

Black Lives Matter

Black Voters Matter Fund

NAACP

National Institute for Criminal Justice Reform

Voices of Community Activists & Leaders (VOCAL-NY)

Black LGBTQIA + Migrants Project

Teaching the Next Generation

Black Lives Matter at School

Creating Space To Talk About Racism At Your School

Teaching for Black Lives - Rethinking Schools

Black-Owned Bookstores in New York and New Jersey

Cafe con Libros (Brooklyn)

Grandma's Place (Harlem)

Sister's Uptown (Manhattan)

Source of Knowledge (Newark)

The Lit. Bar (Bronx)

The Little Boho Bookshop (Bayonne)

Books

Born a Crime: Stories from a South African Childhood by Trevor Noah

I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou

Raising White Kids: Bringing Up Children In A Racially Unjust America by Jennifer Harvey

So You Want to Talk About Race by Ijeoma Oluo

The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness by Michelle Alexander

White Fragility: Why It's So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism

Podcasts

1619

Black Wall Street 1921

Jemele Hill is Unbothered

Still Processing:

Movies

American Son: Available on Netflix

If Beale Street Could Talk: Available on Hulu

Just Mercy: Available on Amazon Prime

Selma: Available on Amazon Prime

The Hate U Give: Available on Amazon Prime

When They See Us: Available on Netflix

Documentaries

13th: Available on Netflix

America Inside Out with Katie Couric: Available on National Geographic

Becoming: Available on Netflix

I am Not Your Negro: Available on YouTube