#GIVINGTUESDAYNOW #SUPPORTBARNONE #STAYSAFE #STAYHOME #RELEASETOHOME
Dear Transformation Advocate,
#GivingTuesdayNow is a global day of giving and unity that will take place on May 5, 2020 as an emergency response to the unprecedented need caused by COVID-19.
BAR NONE is responding to COVID-19s attack on people who are incarcerated by asking Governors for an immediate release to our active list of 35 people of African descent, men and women, some who are Political Prisoners, and all of our youth from confinement.
COVID-19 pandemic continuously destroys the one of the most vulnerable groups, people who are incarcerated, leaving their families worried with fear and often grief. And the only disparities are that they are incarcerated and most of them are people of Afrikan/African descent. They are left to stew in place as we learn of their deaths only as an afterthought.
We don't want prisons and jails turned into unmarked tombs and mortuaries.
We want to ensure that our people transition home smoothly and that their loved ones can continue to provide standard support for them and their households with our help and that of our partners. Food, medication, birth certificates, state-IDs, virtual mental health support (then physical as cities slowly and safely re-open), tutoring, education, are just some of the ways in which we are prepared to support our first wave of people who are incarcerated.
With partners, we are also raising money to build artists apartments for people who are formerly incarcerated and are Artists In Resident with BAR NONE. We understand that transitions should be safe and supported by a strong foundation in order for a transformation to be possible.
By providing people who are currently and formerly incarcerated access to the arts, we utilize art’s unique ability to stimulate emotional health, personal growth, financial stability and independence and community collaboration which is necessary to move the needle from stagnate, to sustaining, to thriving, contributing citizens. BAR NONE’s service and commitment to create a model for arts-based transition that leads to a holistic quality of life among populations directly impacted by the criminal legal system, is one that can be replicated in other states as an effort to reduce recidivism rates nationwide.
As we embark on yet another month of uncertainty and in some instances indecision, let us be reminded that May is Mental Health Awareness Month. During times of wariness in when we often see spikes in suicide, abuse, drug use, etc. Especially in jails and prisons.
IT IS ABSOLUTELY BECAUSE THEY ARE BLACK: MENTAL HEALTH DISPARITIES DUE TO ACCESS INEQUITIES:
Mental illness among today's inmates is also pervasive, with 64 percent of jail inmates, 54 percent of state prisoners and 45 percent of federal prisoners reporting mental health concerns, the report found. Substance abuse is also rampant and often co-occurring.
The majority of incarcerated youth have experienced trauma; as youth in New Orleans exhibit symptoms of PTSD at a rate three times the national average. A 2017 pediatric study states that “participants with 1–12 months of cumulative juvenile incarceration had worse overall adult health (physical health, mental health, and psychosocial well-being) than those with no juvenile incarceration.” It’s no coincidence that each year, the number of Black people in particular, being incarcerated continues to grow (http://www.laccr.org/news/when-99-of-children-arrested-are-black-a-case-for-police-diversion/).
The Bureau of Justice Statistics’ researchers also found a disparity between inmates of different races. More than half of the white people in prison, of both sexes, reported a diagnosis of a mental disorder, nearly double the rate for Hispanics and more than 1.6 times higher than black people in prison. The numbers for those in jails were similar.
#HEARTWORK not #HARDWORK
People who are currently and formerly incarcerated, their family and friends, all who are impacted by the criminal legal system, are in need of a space for support, healing, thought and an improved quality of life in the wake of the emotional damage and evolving, reinforced trauma that they have suffered at the hands of the criminal legal system and chattel slavery. BAR NONE is filling that void and responding in kind. “Youth and adults need to confront problematic and complicated notions of crime and punishment, challenge preconceived notions about who commits crimes, and imagine alternatives to incarceration...” (Green, K., Our lyrics will not be on lockdown: an arts collective response to an incarceration nation).
BAR NONE, Inc is a grassroots-minded, nonprofit organization offering Black people who are currently and formerly incarcerated, seven elements of service: *therapeutic healing, *education, *entrepreneurship, *arts, *homes, community-driven justice, and *partnership.
BAR NONE is grateful for the support of our fiscal sponsor, Ashé Cultural Arts Center, an initiative of Efforts of Grace, Inc., a not-for-profit, 501(c)(3), organization that creates and supports programs, activities, and creative works emphasizing the contributions of people of African descent, which every donation is made tax deductible, http://www.bar-none.net/donate/. Everyone knows someone or knows someone that knows someone who’s incarcerated or has been impacted by incarceration. Let's change the way we address mass incarceration and work together to make the prison industrial complex obsolete.
THE BAR NONE TRIBE
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#STAYSAFE #STAYHOME #RELEASETOHOME