2019 has been a busy year for BAR NONE and 2020 will be even busier... in a great way! We are going through an AH-MAZING transformation, including a revision to our name and mission. We are also excited to welcome new board members, businesswoman Daryl Lumpkin, Dr.'s Curtis Davis, Dr. Rolanda West Spencer, Elizabeth Jeffers to our Board of Directors as well as new, Co-Executive Director, LaJoan Williams! We are also celebrating board member Asali Ecclesiastes in her new role as Executive Director of Ashe Cultural Arts Center as she will be taking the reigns in January. Our Advisory board member, Danielle Metz on her up and coming documentary and our Residency Program Director and first Artist in Resident, Mrs. Sheila Phipps, on the opening of her new art gallery!
What we've done this year:
1) partnered with Newcomb Art Museum at Tulane University on the Per(Sister) Exhibit
2) partnered with Erase the Board Coalition to raise awareness about the negative impact New Orleans schools are having on Black children specifically and its connection to the juvenile prisons
3) partnered with Step Up Louisiana to bring parents into the know about to be engaged in the politics of education
4) partnered with Vera Institute on their New Orleans Money Bail Report
5) hosted 5 free community Conversationals on issues that matter to the community allowing for the community to partner with other organization partners that provide services that directly speak to their needs
6) honored 8 Black New Orleans women directly involved in the work to end mass incarceration
7) partnered with Ubuntu Village and Black Futures Lab to raise awareness in New Orleans on the importance of the Black vote locally and nationally
8) partnered with Ta-Nehisi Coates team to get his new best seller, The Water Dancer" to those we serve who are currently incarcerated and are apart of our book club
9) partnered with Don't Even Trip Dream Foundation on their Annual Turkey Dinner GIveaway
10) on Dec. 14 and 15 will be hosting our 1st Annual Christmas Toy Giveway for children in the Carrollton, Central City and 7th, 8th and 9th Ward communities
We have 5 reasons for you to give for this #GivingTuesday, December 3rd, 2019:
3 for 20 mural project
Designed to educate the community on former New Limit Recording Artist and BAR NONE/by DeSign advisory board member, McKinley MAC Phipps!
February 21st, 2020, will mark 20 years that MAC has been incarcerated for a crime that he did not commit. And although every witness that initially gave forced, coerced testimony has since recanted their testimony, even though the DA and Sheriff have both since been indicted (for unrelated charges of corruption) MAC still sits in prison.
BAR NONE /by DeSign has identified 5 visual artists, one who is MACs mom and our Residency Director, to lead by local this project, painting 20 murals around the city of New Orleans while those who know MAC best will facilitate workshops with youth organizations where they will learn about MAC, his music, and the necessity change the criminal justice system and how art has always played a role in our fight for justice.
The youth will then meet with the visual artists and complete the murals together! The long standing hashtags #FREEMAC #TOGETHERWECANENDMASSINCARCERATION will adorn the mural as well as the information for the petition at colorofchange.org directing people to go sign.
We are committed to seeing MAC FREE in 2020.
50 years ago… 50 years later… #overturnit
August "Gerttown" Williams served 50 years in Angola for a rape he did not commit. 2 expert witnesses (doctors) gave testimonies confirming he could not have committed the crime he was accused of because at the time he had gonorrhea and the victim didn't nor did the spermicide found inside the victim match.
He was arrested at age 15 and sentenced to the electric chair at age 16. A law passed that saved him from the chair, however, giving him life. Another Law passed more recently that allowed him to come last year but keeps him like so many others, confined to the penal system via parole for the rest of his life, paying into the system and registering as a sex offender.
We contend that Gerttown as he is affectionately called, is innocent and we will continue to work with him to clear is name by telling his story, also connecting it to the current injustices and ills that we still find in the juvenile system as it intersects with the system responsible for pushing our children out of schools as opposed to educating them and making it hard but not impossible for healing and wellness to exist in the Black community specifically.
By design, this is what makes up the Prison Industrial Complex and by DeSign we will make it obsolete.
The End of the Money Bail Racket
We have teamed up with VERA Institute for Justice and Beyond to bring the issues of money bail directly to the community.
Educating the masses in lay terms on why we Lousiana should remove the money bail system is imperative to their pockets and purses. Their voices should be heard and ideas and suggestions taken seriously on how we can partner on ensuring elected officials listen to what their constituents want and not the lobbyists who line their
We Literally Practice Literacy Book Club
5 months ago we started a book club mainly just discussing books that we read via phone calls or emails when able (it's really expensive to do either). Now that we received a huge donation from famed, best selling author, Ta-Nehisi Coates of his new book, "The Water Dancer", we want to get the books out to those who are apart of our book club and of course communicate with them so your donation would absolutely be helpful.
General Operation Budget
Like any nonprofit organization, we can always use help with our overhead expenditures. We may be small, but we pack a mighty punch and it takes alot to make the dent we do. Any amount helps. We appreciate it!
BAR NONE is grateful for the support of our fiscal sponsor, Don't Even Trip Dream Foundation is New Orleans-based, 501(c)(3) organization whose mission is to use their power of influence through entertainment to make a positive impact in communities.
Everyone knows some or knows someone that's incarcerated or have been impacted by incarceration. Let's change the way we address mass incarceration.
Thank you in advance and we look forward to your continued support of BAR NONE!