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Message from Jason (August 2015)

Dear friends,

I hope this letter finds you as well as possible. I want to take some time with this letter to give you a bit of an organizational update about Black and Pink. I know that some folks have been feeling a bit frustrated that we are behind in responses and with the newspaper. I understand your frustration and want you to know that your concerns are not being ignored.

As you likely know, Black and Pink is nearly all volunteers. We have volunteers who open and read your letters. We have volunteers who type up your newspaper submissions. We have volunteers who edit the newspaper. We have a volunteer who does the newspaper layout. We also have volunteers who type up your feedback so we can include your ideas and opinions in our decision making. One of the things that is a challenge about being all volunteers is that sometimes people get behind on the work. Again, it is not that we are ignoring your requests or falling behind on purpose. What is happening is that everyone has their own life things going on that sometimes get in the way of volunteer work for Black and Pink. Please know that we are always recruiting new volunteers and are trying to stay on top of things as best as possible. Thank you for trying to be patient with us.

Other organization updates you might want to know about, the data from the survey is almost done being analyzed. Over 1,200 of you filled out the survey. If you filled out the survey by the deadline (December 15, 2014), you should have received a certificate from us. We printed everyone’s legal name and also gave you a blank certificate so that you could put your actual name if it is different from your legal name. We expect to be done with part one of the report by October and will send it out in the newspaper early in the winter. We are very excited to get your feedback on the report and include your feedback on the website for the survey. Thank you, again, to everyone who filled out the survey.

The weekend of October 16-18 we will be celebrating 10 years of Black and Pink’s work! We are really excited about this event. Along with many formerly incarcerated speakers, we are also including recordings from calls with prisoner members of Black and Pink. So far we have already recorded four of you and look forward to recording more brief messages. A volunteer will edit the clips together so that we can include your voices at our celebration in October. Some of the people who will be there include: Miss Major, a formerly incarcerated Black transgender woman who was at Stonewall and Attica; Bo Brown, a white anti-racist/anti-imperialist former political prisoner who was part of the George Jackson Brigade in the early 1980s; CeCe McDonald, who is a formerly incarcerated Black transgender woman who was incarcerated for defending herself against a racist and transphobic attack; TJ Parsell, a white gay man who founded Stop Prison Rape after his experiences of sexual assault in prison; and more! We are getting very excited about this event and will be sure to share all we can with you afterwards.

As always, we keep all of our work going knowing that once there were no prisons, that day will come again.

In Loving solidarity,
Jason

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