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News: Black August 2021 — Fighting for Freedom from the Inside

 text reads black august a celebration of freedom fighters past and present

Black August 2021 — Fighting for Freedom from the Inside 

Black August honors the freedom fighters, especially those inside the walls of our sprawling prison-industrial complex, who, with their vision, tenacity, and deep love for our communities, are leading us toward the horizon of abolition. This year, we celebrate the jailhouse lawyers, who protect and promote the rights of people incarcerated and have been the driving force behind key legal victories that have mitigated the power of the state to cause harm. As they work to secure freedom for all, jailhouse lawyers have improved prison conditions, intervened to stop mistreatment, and used the law to expose the inherent violence and racism of incarceration. 

This Black August, we are launching the Sixth Edition of our Jailhouse Lawyer’s Handbook, a free resource designed to help incarcerated people assert their constitutional rights and hold prison officials accountable, to be released August 16. 

In addition to the release of the Sixth Edition of the Jailhouse Lawyer’s handbook, we also invite you to join us August 17 for a special virtual event, Fighting for Freedom from the Inside: Celebrating the Advocacy of Jailhouse Lawyers.

Learn more about Black August on our website.


Racial justice and immigrant rights coalition send open letter to President Biden 

The Until We Are Free coalition, led by the Black Alliance for Just Immigration , sent an open letter to President Joseph Biden and his administration Tuesday calling on Biden to honor his commitment to create a fair and humane immigration system by applying the mandates of his Racial Equity executive order to his immigration policy. The open letter specifically calls for the Biden administration to grant immediate humanitarian parole for all Black asylum seekers currently languishing on the Mexican side of the U.S./Mexican border; to end its reliance on categories of enforcement and instead adopt categories of protection; and to call for the removal of criminal carve-outs from all citizenship bills so that all immigrants have a clearer pathway, as well as other recommendations.

Learn more about the Until We Are Free coalition on our website and read the full letter here.

 text reads Disability Pride Month Honoring Disabled Joy, Activating Social Change

On the blog: “Disability Pride Month: Honoring Disabled Joy, Activating Social Change” 

Latest on our blog is a piece titled “Disability Pride Month: Honoring Disabled Joy, Activating Social Change” penned by Ella Baker intern Lucy Trieshmann. She writes: 

On July 26, 1990, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) was signed into law after the tireless organizing of disability activists across the country. Disability Pride Month takes place each July to commemorate this historic milestone. It is a month to honor disability culture and history and to uplift the stories of people with disabilities. However, as this year’s celebration comes to a close, we must also take action to revitalize the movement’s roots in activism and reflect on how far we must still go to achieve meaningful equality.

For many disabled people, this 31st milestone was bittersweet at best. Our society has yet to embrace people with disabilities as equals at the most basic level, let alone develop respect for disabled experiences and perspectives. Black people with disabilities experience poverty at a rate of 36 percent, compared to 23 percent of white disabled people and 10.5 percent of all people in the U.S. Disabled people in this country still do not have marriage equality. Legally, employers may pay disabled people a subminimum wage through “sheltered workshops” — an average of $3.34 per hour.

Continue reading the piece on our website. Lucy Trieshmann is a disability rights activist, third-year NYU Law student, and Ella Baker Intern at the Center for Constitutional Rights. See more of her work on her website.


Last modified 

August 9, 2021