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What I loved this year was all the celebratory dancing from just before our ancestors crossed into the unknown territory to landing on these shores and celebrating life and the possibility of freedom, which remained physically just beyond reach for centuries. In small steps as we regained agency over ourselves, even if our bodies then and now continue to be exploited, liberation was a bit sweeter.
A bipartisan group of U.S. senators and representatives yesterday introduced bicameral legislation, modeled on reforms that have taken hold in the states, to ensure that job seekers who have a conviction record in their past are not unfairly shut out from employment because of the stigma of a record, but rather are considered on their qualifications just like any other applicant.
At Legal Services for Prisoners with Children’s 35th Anniversary Celebration on Oct. 19, headlined by Dr. Angela Y. Davis and Michelle Alexander, I noticed immediately the “logo,” a phoenix rising from the ashes, the theme for California Coalition for Women Prisoners’ 15th Anniversary celebration of the Fire Inside two years ago. All of Us or None is 10 years old now, and LSPC at 35 is the parent of CCWP.
All of Us or None’s 13th Annual Community Giveback in honor of Robert Moody held at the Onetta Harris Community Center in Menlo Park on Saturday, Dec. 8, was a great success. Children traveled from throughout the Bay Area and beyond with their families and caregivers to receive new bicycles and toys given to them on behalf of their parents who are incarcerated.
Judith Jamison looked regal on stage with Farai Chideya last month in The Forum Conversations at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts. Her message seemed to be one of preparedness and presence – being, as our sister Ayana Vanzant says, in spirit. Muslims call this the sirata-l-mustaqim or the path of the rightly guided.
Can you imagine 45,000 people dying each month and hardly a peep from anyone in the age of the Internet? There is a media blackout about Congo and no worldwide resolution to end the conflict and carnage there. The purpose of the Break the Silence Congo Week is to raise awareness about the devastating situation in the Congo and mobilize support on behalf of the people of the Congo.
Californians United for a Responsible Budget (CURB) is proposing the only real solution to the overcrowding crisis: reducing the number of people in prison and canceling new prison construction.
Hidden among the almond groves outside of Chowchilla, California, lies the largest women’s prison complex in the world, Central California Women’s Facility (CCWF) and Valley State Prison for Women (VSPW), where an estimated 11,000 women are held behind bars. “Conditions are horrible,” said Mary Van Der Horst, a member of All of Us or None, a group of former prisoners organizing for civil and human rights. Van Der Horst said that there is not enough food and hygiene is poor at the two facilities.