The concept is fairly straightforward. You put a bunch of well-known Memphians on a hot-ass day in a place serving cold-ass beer and hire a badass comedian like Katrina Coleman to harass everybody. Then you give your event a catchy, preferably rhyming name like Plunge to Expunge and watch the money roll in!
The Plunge to Expunge at Memphis Made Brewing is a money-raising project for Just City's Clean Slate Fund. Clean Slate does exactly what it says, creating meaningful second chances by facilitating an expungement of criminal records for low-level offenders with no more than two convictions.
- Josh Spickler
"We've successfully reduced the costs of expungement," Spickler says. "When [Just City] started, expungement cost $450. Now it costs $280. What that means is, when we have fund-raisers like this, we can help more people. Not quite double."
With modest expansion, Just City has recently added capacity making it possible to complete 30 expungements in August alone. "And we have big goals for the next calendar year," says Spickler, who thinks 200 to 250 expungements are possible.
"For a donation, you get a chance to dunk somebody, and for a big enough donation, we guarantee you get to dunk somebody," Spickler says, describing a dunking setup where economic advantage tends to yield better access and more favorable results. "It's much like the criminal justice system, actually," he quips.
If enough money is raised, Holly "I Love Memphis" Whitfield, Reggie "Street Ministries" Davis, and sports radio journalist Gary Parrish will climb in the dunk tank — for justice.