Showing posts with label mass incarceration. Show all posts
Showing posts with label mass incarceration. Show all posts

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Ava DuVernay's documentary "13th" nominated for an Academy Award

Lost in the hoopla around La La Land's 14 Academy Award nominations and that a record number 6 African American actors received nominations is the news that Director Ava Duvernay's documentary 13th received a nomination in the "Best Documentary" category.

13th, directed by Ava Duvernay explores the history of racial inequality in the United States, focusing on the fact that the nation's prisons are disproportionately filled with African-Americans.

Ava Duvernay released the following statement on the film's nomination:

My thanks to the Academy for amplifying the injustices of mass criminalization and mass incarceration that we chronicle in '13th.' Now more than ever, it is important to educate ourselves, explore our shared history and elevate our awareness about matters of human dignity.

It’s an honor be included in a category with such fine documentarians and to be nominated in a year that truly embraces and celebrates inclusion within our creative community.

13th was directed by Ava DuVernay and produced by DuVernay, Spencer Averick, Howard Barish.

The searing look at mass incarceration in the United States is now airing on Netflix.

Thursday, January 12, 2017

FULL TESTIMONY: Senator Cory Booker testifies against Senator Jeff Sessions

In unprecedented move, Senator Cory Booker is about to testify against fellow Senator Jeff Sessions during his Attorney General confirmation. Listen to his passionate testimony below.

Sunday, January 01, 2017

Pushout: The Criminalization of Black Girls in Schools by Monique W. Morris

Fifteen-year-old Diamond stopped going to school the day she was expelled for lashing out at peers who constantly harassed and teased her for something everyone on the staff had missed: she was being trafficked for sex. After months on the run, she was arrested and sent to a detention center for violating a court order to attend school.

Just 16 percent of female students, Black girls make up more than one-third of all girls with a school-related arrest. The first trade book to tell these untold stories, Pushout exposes a world of confined potential and supports the growing movement to address the policies, practices, and cultural illiteracy that push countless students out of school and into unhealthy, unstable, and often unsafe futures.

For four years Monique W. Morris, author of Black Stats, chronicled the experiences of black girls across the country whose intricate lives are misunderstood, highly judged—by teachers, administrators, and the justice system—and degraded by the very institutions charged with helping them flourish. Morris shows how, despite obstacles, stigmas, stereotypes, and despair, black girls still find ways to breathe remarkable dignity into their lives in classrooms, juvenile facilities, and beyond.

Monique W. Morris is the co-founder of the National Black Women’s Justice Institute and writes a monthly column on black women and girls for She is the author of Black Stats (The New Press) and lives in Oakland, CA with her husband and two daughters.


Thursday, December 01, 2016

Cory Booker: What's next for criminal justice reform

If someone had pulled aside the signers of the Declaration of Independence 240 years ago and told them that, one day, the country they founded would be home to the largest number of imprisoned people in the world, they might have been more than a little disappointed.

Yet this is where we find our country today: The United States, founded on the basis of liberty and justice for all, suffers from that distinction. Twenty five percent of all imprisoned people on our planet are imprisoned right here in America. And the fact of the matter is that, at the federal level, the majority of those imprisoned aren’t hardened, violent prisoners. Far too many are nonviolent, low-level drug offenders. 

Thanks to policies enacted by Congress, our federal prison population has exploded by nearly 800 percent over the past the 30 years. And to pay for it, we’ve had to increase our prison spending by almost 400 percent. But the fact that these polices were enacted by our government in the first place should serve as a reminder that we have the agency to change them.

Momentum is building across America -- in states, in the federal government, in both political parties -- to change this misapplication of justice that so grossly misrepresents our priorities as a nation.

A diverse coalition of individuals, groups, and organizations -- ranging from Democrats to Republicans to law enforcement officials and clergy -- have come together to call for a comprehensive change in the trajectory of our justice system. And under President Obama’s leadership, the collective vision of these groups has found a home and a voice in the White House.

I have been proud to stand by President Obama as he has taken courageous steps in recent years to make our justice system more just.

Today, the White House is announcing that over 300 companies and organizations have signed the Fair Chance Business Pledge, a commitment to eliminate unnecessary hiring barriers facing people with a criminal record. Along with this step and a series of Administrative actions to enhance the fairness and effectiveness of the criminal justice system, he’s shown that the federal government can lead the way to progress.

President Obama has created a legacy of bold action that we must carry on to elevate the cause of criminal justice reform, from Congress to statehouses across the country.

But the conversation can’t stop there, and neither can the work. We must once again declare that we are a nation of independence, rooted in the spirit of interdependence. What happens to any of us, happens to all of us -- and we won’t get where we want to go faster by leaving anyone behind.

I look forward to standing shoulder to shoulder with you in this fight to reclaim our criminal justice system in the years to come
Thank you,

Cory Booker

U.S. Senator

Friday, October 21, 2016

Free screening of "13th" in Hillside NJ

On November 4, 2016 there will be a free screening of Ava DuVernay's acclaimed documentary "13th" at Hillside High School, 1085 Liberty Avenue in Hillside NJ. The screening begins at 6:30 PM and will be followed by a panel discussing the film. Admission is free.

This event is sponsored by Supreme Strategies Inc, The First Baptist Church of Hillside, and the Hillside Board of Education. Any inquires can be directed to Anthony Salters at

SYNOPSIS: Filmmaker Ava DuVernay explores the history of racial inequality in the United States, focusing on the fact that the nation's prisons are disproportionately filled with African-Americans.