Updates from some B&P Chapters

Black & Pink has chapters or is forming chapters in the San Francisco Bay Area, Chicago, Boise, San Diego, Portland, and San Antonio.

From the Boise Chapter:
Black and Pink: Boise hosted two holiday card writing parties in December at different locations in the Boise downtown area. With the help of free world members, we successfully wrote to 200 individuals currently incarcerated and spending their holidays away from loved ones. We also fund raised $80 towards covering the cost of creating the cards as well as postage. Through these parties we also introduced more Boise folks to the work that Black and Pink does and helped connect a few people to potential pen pals. Moving forward, we continue to hold weekly space at a local downtown cafe for letter writing, reflection, and discussion.

From San Francisco/ Flying Over Walls:
Our 3 holiday card making events were a huge hit and we were able to send over 110 cards to our current penpals and other incarcerated family in Mule Creek SP, CSP Solano, CMF and a few other nearby prisons. Our study group continues; this will be the last month in this 6-month cycle that it is still open for new participants. Our readings this month are on the criminalization of queer youth and the school-to-prison pipeline. We will hopefully start our monthly penpal/letterwriting nights again soon – once we find a good BART-accessible venue in downtown Oakland to host us. Folks can continue to be in touch with us through our email if they would like support finding a penpal and using our PO box to correspond. And we are still open to meeting new folks who want to join us in bottomlining the core organizing this chapter with us – so that we can sustain and grow!

From the San Diego Chapter:
1) 5 free world pen pals have signed up
2) In communication with the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force regarding information on the abuse of a Pleasant Valley State Prisoner.
3) Cosponsored Rally to Defend Trans* Rights on AB1266 “Transgender students moved one step closer to justice with the passing of the School Success and Opportunity Act (AB 1266) this year. This brand new California bill guarantees transgender students safe access to necessary school facilities & activities in public schools. As you may know, this bill and these students are under attack by national transphobic organizations. Since the fall of 2013, they have been running a media smear campaign against trans* youth and lying to the public to get this issue on the ballot.” California officials have until Jan. 8th to complete a random verification sample of the signatures. Depending on the validity rate, they may either a) qualify the referendum b) fail to qualify the referendum or c) trigger a complete verification process which would take until March to complete. WHETHER THEY QUALIFY THE REFERENDUM OR NOT, WE WILL RALLY IN HILLCREST TO SUPPORT OUR YOUTH!” next rally in San Diego will be scheduled for January 11th.
4) Black and Pink San Diego’s Pen Pal Correspondence and Film Study of “Cruel and Unusual: Transgender Women in Prison” Black and Pink San Diego will join People’s Power Assembly as we examine The U.S. prison industrial complex’s brutal and oppressive system of injustice. About the Film “Cruel and Unusual: Transgender Women in Prison” “Imagine being a woman in a men’s prison. For many individuals, this is a grim reality because the U.S. prison system decides where to place inmates based on their genitalia, not their gender identity. This award-winning documentary makes an unflinching examination of transgender women in men’s prisons. Ashley, Linda, Anna, Yolanda and Ophelia describe their experiences undergoing inhumane and humiliating treatment including rape, violence, solitary confinement and denial of medial care. One interviewee explains. “A lot of times I wake up, and I look around at my surroundings, and I see all these men. I think, ‘What am I doing here?'” The women in Cruel and Unusual don’t deny that they must serve their sentences, but their stories raise very important questions about their treatment.”
5) Black and Pink San Diego will join the Committee Against Police Brutality for the screening of “Books Not Bars” a documentary film about public policy, prisons, the justice system, and youth advocacy around the declining investment in public education. CAPB is making the call to mobilize different organizations to come together for a peoples power assembly, addressing the different issues surrounding youth in different areas of San Diego leading up to the prison industrial complex.

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