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Black and Pink Announces National Structure Transition Team

At Black and Pink’s 10 year anniversary organizing weekend we decided it was important to create a team of people who would help revamp Black and Pink’s national structure. For the last ten years decisions have been made for the organization by a group of people based in Boston informed by relationships with prisoner members of Black and Pink. As we have grown and the family has widened, it is important that the decision making body also grows. This Transition Team has been created to ensure that we do that new structure well. The team consists of long time leadership and volunteers as well as brand new members to Black and Pink. It is a majority formerly incarcerated and people of color team as it is essential that we are centering the voices of those most affected by the prison industrial complex in our leadership and decision making. This team is tasked with coming up with a new structure that aligns with our values and purpose; that is practical and effective; that includes prisoner voices; and that ensures we are strengthening the movement for abolition, not simply building our organization. The Transition Team’s work should be completed by Fall of 2016. Notes from meetings and progress of the team will be made available.

Here are our Transition Team members:

Anja is a queer, white, never-incarcerated gender variant woman who was introduced to prison abolition during their tenure as an HIV test counselor in the San Francisco city and county jails. She continues to be inspired by the strength and vulnerability of incarcerated queer and trans siblings, which keeps her practicing liberatory approaches to psychology work, life, and love.

Anja is a queer, white, never-incarcerated gender variant woman who was introduced to prison abolition during their tenure as an HIV test counselor in the San Francisco city and county jails. She continues to be inspired by the strength and vulnerability of incarcerated queer and trans siblings, which keeps her practicing liberatory approaches to psychology work, life, and love.

Protagonist Ashley Diamond a transgender woman who has faced tremendous odds and been victorious in the face of many adversities continues to use her music and powerful voice to bring awareness to the transgender movement. While in-prisoned in the department of corrections in Georgia Ashley began litigation that change the lives of transgender inmates all across the country all across the country.

Protagonist Ashley Diamond a transgender woman who has faced tremendous odds and been victorious in the face of many adversities continues to use her music and powerful voice to bring awareness to the transgender movement. While in-prisoned in the department of corrections in Georgia Ashley began litigation that change the lives of transgender inmates all across the country all across the country.

CeCe McDonald is young and passionate transgender activist. In 2011, CeCe McDonald was studying fashion design student at Minneapolis Community and  Technical College when while walking to a grocery store, she and her friends were attacked by a group of white people shouting racist and transphobic slurs. After fatally stabbing one of her attackers, she was unjustly imprisoned for 19 months. Throughout her time in prison, CeCe openly discussed issues around mass incarceration and its intersections with transphobia, homophobia and class. Now, CeCe McDonald brings her creative and energetic personality to stages all over the country. She uses storytelling to articulate the personal and political implications of her time in prison and ways to heal. She fosters conversations and discussions around the intersections of trans identity including but not limited to prison abolition, homelessness, and love. CeCe has given talks from college campuses to Wall Street and is highly sought after for her raw and honest dialogue.

CeCe McDonald is young and passionate transgender activist. In 2011, CeCe McDonald was studying fashion design student at Minneapolis Community and Technical College when while walking to a grocery store, she and her friends were attacked by a group of white people shouting racist and transphobic slurs. After fatally stabbing one of her attackers, she was unjustly imprisoned for 19 months. Throughout her time in prison, CeCe openly discussed issues around mass incarceration and its intersections with transphobia, homophobia and class. Now, CeCe McDonald brings her creative and energetic personality to stages all over the country. She uses storytelling to articulate the personal and political implications of her time in prison and ways to heal. She fosters conversations and discussions around the intersections of trans identity including but not limited to prison abolition, homelessness, and love. CeCe has given talks from college campuses to Wall Street and is highly sought after for her raw and honest dialogue.

Charles Jefferson

Charles Jefferson is a Black gay man from the South with years of organizing experience for LGBTQ justice. Recently out of prison, Charles has become an active volunteer with Black and Pink on a national level.

Charlie is a queer, feminist, white anti-racist organizer from rural working class background rooted in movements for social & economic justice & committed to building the movement to abolish police and prisons.

Charlie is a queer, feminist, white anti-racist organizer from rural working class background rooted in movements for social & economic justice & committed to building the movement to abolish police and prisons.

Jason Lydon is a Unitarian Universalist community minister and founder/National Director of Black and Pink. Jason is a white, anti-racist, formerly incarcerated, anarchist fag who loves cats and abolishing prisons.

Jason Lydon is a Unitarian Universalist community minister and founder/National Director of Black and Pink. Jason is a white, anti-racist, formerly incarcerated, anarchist fag who loves cats and abolishing prisons.

Nora Berson has worked with low-income, HIV+ and immigrant communities in Metro Boston, and is trained as a meeting facilitator and Spanish legal interpreter. Nora has been volunteering with Black and Pink since 2012, and is excited to be a part of the Transition Team!

Nora Berson has worked with low-income, HIV+ and immigrant communities in Metro Boston, and is trained as a meeting facilitator and Spanish legal interpreter. Nora has been volunteering with Black and Pink since 2012, and is excited to be a part of the Transition Team!

Reno Neeley

Reno Neeley is a Black gay man living on Columbus, Ohio working on grassroots campaigns to support LGBTQ people in Ohio prisons. Reno spent decades in the Ohio state prison system and brings much knowledge and wisdom needed for the movement towards abolition.

Tanya Nguyen grew up in the South (y'all), started organizing with Black & Pink in the Midwest, and is now back in the Northeast where she belongs. She has really enjoyed several pen pal relationships over the past couple of years and is excited to help us with our new structure to greater enable our struggle for prison abolition!

Tanya Nguyen grew up in the South (y’all), started organizing with Black & Pink in the Midwest, and is now back in the Northeast where she belongs. She has really enjoyed several pen pal relationships over the past couple of years and is excited to help us with our new structure to greater enable our struggle for prison abolition!

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