November 15, 2017

Renewed justice work (Fall 2017)

There are two justice-related issues I am dedicating some time and energy to currently.

One is related to what a queer Black UU [BLUU] organizer is calling "returning stolen wealth," in this case to African American organizers and activists who are carrying crushing student loan debt. (My spouse and I are also participating in other, less organized activities for reparations related to stolen land and the indigenous community.)

The other is exploring role Quakers could play, if any, in ending the practice of corrupted and inhumane solitary confinement--since solitary confinement--and penitentiaries themselves--are cruel distortions of what they were originally intended for. I heard that a Jewish group to which I'm connected in the Twin Cities might begin to tackle this issue, and this might be an important opportunity for local Friends to engage and partner in as well.

Thanks to Friend Marshall Massey for sharing with me his knowledge of some of the early history of Friends with prison reform and solitary confinement. Much of his remarks to me in an email are mirrored in the story about solitary confinement, from 2006, linked above.

I'm hoping my energy keeps going, though with our government's extreme dysfunction the way it is, I'm in and out of slogging my way through the days and weeks, staying connected mostly through social media and a few face-to-face visits with justice-oriented F/friends.


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