IT'S TIME TO BREAK THIS LEGACY OF INJUSTICE

FROM COMMUNITY READ TO COMMUNITY ACTION


JOIN US ON JUNE 29TH, 6pm

Write Your legislator: Oppose jail expansion

On Thursday, June 29th, from 6:00pm-7:30pm please join us for our June Taking Action Event at the Multicultural Resource Center’s downtown office at 516 West MLK Street.

This month, The Community Read is partnering with Decarcerate Tompkins County to encourage community members to write letters to their county legislators about a possible Tompkins County Jail expansion, proposed by the NY State Commission on Corrections. The event will have everything you need to learn about jail issue, find out who your legislator is, and brainstorm what you’d like to write.


TAKE ACTION TO END THE NEW JIM CROW

Since March 2016, the Multicultural Resource Center has convened a table of 30+ community organizations which developed a plan to study Michelle Alexander's book, The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindnessand ultimately take action to locally confront mass incarceration, one of the United States’ most urgent and devastating social crises. Over the course of 2016 and 2017, we held eight community events focused on capters of The New Jim Crow. Through these events, we engaged over 800 unique participants. Our effort also supported 35 book groups, 10 films and other community events, and distributed 2,000 copies of The New Jim Crow.

On May 1 2017 over 150 people gathered for the final monthly chapter event of the New Jim Crow Community Read. After eight months together learning about the system of mass incarceration, we committed to a bold plan of 12 Months, 12 Actions to confront the New Jim Crow locally, and to gather again on May 1st, 2018 to hold ourselves accountable to our commitment.

Questions? Email reed [at] multiculturalresourcecenter [dot] org


12 months, 12 actions to end the new jim crow

Each month between June 2017 and May 2018, we’re organizing simple, local actions that community members can take to confront the New Jim CrOW. Here’s the schedule so far: 

June 2017: Write Your Legislator: Tompkins County Jail Study 

July 2017: Submit a Public Comment: Tompkins County Jail Study

August 2017: Take Action for New York State Bail Reform

September 2017: Join the Second Community ReEntry Simulation

October 2017: Equity in Schools Training

If you would like to propose an action, please email reed [ at] multiculturalresourcecenter [dot] org.



Donate Your Books:

Building a NJC Community Read Tool Kit

The Community Read is creating Community Read Tool Kits to distribute to local libraries, schools and other organizations. If you would like to donate your copy of The New Jim Crow to this effort, please drop it off at the Reference Desk of the Tompkins County Public Library, 101 East Green Street, Ithaca. The library’s copies of the New Jim Crow have been donated to the Prisoner Express project.

If you have questions about the tool kits, would like to request one, or want to help the effort, please emai bookread [at] multiculturalresourcecenter [dot] com.

 

A Brief Review of the System of Mass Incarceration, by Laura Branca

What Is THE NEW JIM CROW?

The New Jim Crow, by Michelle Alexander, is the definitive academic/legal account of the contemporary system of mass incarceration. In Alexander’s words, mass incarceration is a “stunningly comprehensive and well disguised system of racialized social control that functions in a manner strikingly similar to Jim Crow.”

Jim Crow was the system of legalized segregation, discrimination and violence that operated from the late 1800’s Reconstruction Period to the mid 1960’s Civil Rights Era and has largely faded from public consciousness. Alexander’s book demonstrates how, in the current era of colorblindness, mass incarceration constitutes a New Jim Crow, creating a racialized second class citizenry around the label “criminal.”

Mass incarceration, like earlier systems of racial control (slavery and Jim Crow), will only change as the result of mass social movements for racial justice.


ORGANIZING RESOURCES



PAST EVENTS: 2016/2017 COMMUNITY READ


MONTHLY CHAPTER EVENTS

FROM CHAINS TO PRISON BARS          

OCTOBER 17TH | 5:30PM - 7:00PM | GIAC

Hosted by Sean Eversley-Bradwell, Corresponds with NJC Introduction and Chapter 1

 

ROUNDUP, LOCKED UP: WHAT’S THE POINT OF KNOWING YOUR RIGHTS  

NOVEMBER 14TH  6:00PM - 7:30PM | bjm gym                         

Hosted by Edwin Santiago, Mentor, Ultimate Re-Entry Opportunity Program, and Svante Myrick, Mayor, City of Ithaca. Corresponds with NJC Chapter 2                                                            

 

THE COLOR OF JUSTICE  

DECEMBER 12 5:30pm - 7:00PM | BJM Gym                                

Hosted by Dr. Nia Nunn, Department of Education, Ithaca College. Corresponds with NJC Chapter

 

MARTIN LUTHER KING JR. DAy: FELONS NEED NOT APPLY

JANUARY 16TH | 5:30 PM - 7:00 PM | BJM Gym                                          

Hosted by Ultimate ReEntry Opportunity Development Group. Corresponds with NJC Chapter 4

 

MAKE AMERICA SAFE AGAIN  

FEBRUARY 13 | 5:30PM - 7:00PM | BJM Gym                                 

Hosted by Civic Ensemble, ReEntry Theater. Corresponds with NJC Chapter 5

 

DISMANTLING THE MASTER’S HOUSE

MARCH 13 | 5:30PM - 7:00PM | BJM Gym                                    

Hosted by Black Lives Matter Ithaca. Corresponds with NJC Chapter 6

 

WHAT NEXT? TAKING ACTION TO END THE NEW JIM CROW

May 1st | 5:30PM - 7:00PM | BJM Gym  

A community conversation to discuss and initiate next steps for addressing mass incarceration locally.

2017 MARTIN LUTHER KING COMMEMORATIVE LECTURE

February 21st, 6pm State Theater 

Dawn Porter, award winning filmmaker and director of an upcoming documentary about The New Jim Crow and mass incarceration will speak on February 21, 2017 at 6:00pm at the State Theater of Ithaca for Cornell's annual MLK Commemorative Lecture. 

Porter's Film, Gideon's Army, which won the Sundance Film Festival Editing Award, the Tribeca All Access Creative Promise Award, and was nominated for an Emmy and an Independent Spirit Award, will be screened on February 18th at 2pm, at Cinemapolis.

While Michelle Alexander, author of the The New Jim Crow, was forced to cancel her scheduled appearance for the MLK Commemorative Lecture, we are very excited to host Dawn Porter, whose work explores the topics raised in Michelle Alexander's work.       

FILM SERIES

TOMPKINS COUNTY PUBLIC LIBRARY FILM SERIES        101 East Green Street, Ithaca, 6:00pm - 8:00pm

Slavery By Another Name | Nov 17, 2016

Broken On All Sides | Dec 6, 2016

The House I Live In | Jan 26, 2017

The Central Park Five | MARCH 1St, 2017

 

AFRICANA LIBRARY FILM SERIES AT LIFELONG

119 West Court Street, Ithaca, 5:30pm

The House I Live In (Part One) | Sept 13th

The House I Live In (Part Two) | Oct 18th

Bill Moyers Journal: Economic Justice for All? | Nov 29th

Fruitvale Station | Dec 20th

 

THE HISTORY CENTER

401 East State Street, 5:30pm 

Angela Davis Lecture: Slavery and the Prison Industrial Complex | Nov 1

Serving Life | Dec 7


MANY THANKS TO OUR COMMUNITY partners: 

MULTICULTURAL RESOURCE CENTER, ACTION (ACTIVISTS COMMITTED TO INTERRUPTING OPPRESSION NOW), DIVERSITY CONSORTIUM OF TOMPKINS COUNTY, CIVIC ENSEMBLE, THE CITY OF ITHACA, GREATER ITHACA ACTIVITIES CENTER (GIAC), SOUTHSIDE COMMUNITY CENTER, TOMPKINS COUNTY PUBLIC LIBRARY, AFRICANA LIBRARY (CORNELL UNIVERSITY), CU PUBLIC SERVICE CENTER, COMMUNITY FOUNDATION OF TOMPKINS COUNTY, PARK FOUNDATION. TST BOCES, DORTHY COTTON INSTITUTE,  ITHACA COLLEGE, DURLAND ALTERNATIVES LIBRARY, CATHOLIC CHARITIES TOMPKINS/TIOGA, TC3, GREENSTAR, ECO-DEFENSE RADIO, ¡CULTURA! ITHACA, LATINA/O STUDIES PROGRAM (CORNELL UNIVERSITY), SHOWING UP FOR RACIAL JUSTICE (SURJ) ITHACA, THE VILLAGE AT ITHACA, KENDAL AT ITHACA, NATURAL LEADERS INITIATIVE, TOMPKINS COUNTY, GROUNDSWELL, COLLEGETOWN BAGELS, AFCU, HISTORY CENTER, TEMPLE TIKKUN V'OR, Building Bridges, Tompkins COunty Workers' Center, Ithaca First Unitarian Society, Ithaca City School District, First Baptist Church


Why does the United States — which represents 5% of world population — hold 20% of the world’s prison population?
Why do black people and Latinx people make up 58% of the incarcerated population in the U.S., when these groups make up only 25% of the U.S. population?
Why do black people represent 38% of those arrested and 59% of those incarcerated (in state prisons) for drug offenses, when this group represent only 12% of drug users in the U.S.?