Laurin (Hodge) Leonard

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Laurin (Hodge) Leonard

2018 Black Male Achievement Fellow
Founder of Mission: Launch with Teresa Hodge

Laurin (Hodge) Leonard 2018 Black Male Achievement Fellow

Bold Idea 

Improve the economic health of individuals with criminal records by producing an algorithm for background screening that is fair, demonstrates the strengths and capacity of individuals living with records, and expands access to jobs, entrepreneurship, and financial products.


Photo courtesy of Mission:Launch.

Mission: Launch seeks to disrupt the current criminal background screening process, which can block those with criminal records from opportunities that lead to economic security. Mission: Launch has developed the R3 Score algorithm, which is fair but also demonstrates the strengths of individuals with criminal records. The algorithm uses collected data to produce a score that gives a more holistic view of an individual beyond his or her criminal past. The R3 Score aims to eventually replace the standard criminal background check, and millions of Americans with records will be hired for more jobs, become self-employed, and use mainstream financial products and services.


Laurin Leonard (Hodge) is executive director of Mission: Launch and co-founder of R3 Score. She and her mother, Teresa Hodge, started Mission: Launch as a result of their experience with mass incarceration. They were named "Foot Soldiers of the Week" (November 9, 2015) on MSNBC's Melissa Harris-Perry show. Additionally, their business and leadership development accelerator for entrepreneurs living with criminal convictions, LaunchPad, has supported the formation of worker-owned cooperatives, sole proprietorships, and limited liability corporations throughout Maryland and Washington, D.C. Laurin is a graduate of Old Dominion University and The Johns Hopkins University Carey Business School. She is a Cordes Fellow, an Ashoka and Aspen Institute Emerging Nonprofit Leader, an Ashoka and American Express North American Emerging Social Innovator, a Points of Light honoree, and a proud member of various communities such as StartingBloc and the Social Innovation Lab at Hopkins.

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