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Valentine's Day Card Making Multi-City Events Feedback

It has been a bit more than a month and all the feedback has come in from the Valentine’s Day Card Making events!  Firstly, we are incredibly thankful to everyone who put on an event.  There were events in Massachusetts, New York, Maryland, Louisiana, Washington D.C., Illinois, Wisconsin, Arizona, California, and Indiana!  That is an incredible reach.  Nearly 1,000 cards were sent to LGBTQ prisoners across the country – many of whom received a Valentine for the first time in years!  Some of the positive feedback is as follows:

“It felt rejuvenating to take some time to do some artwork.  It was nice doing this with people who I have typically been in more intense organizing situations with.  Also felt nourishing to be making the connection with people inside.” Z from Madison, WI

“We had a good conversation with a pre-teen about why we were doing something nice for people in jail. and some of us had a chance to experience a non-couplist, non-romantic expression of valentine’s day.” -Rev. Miller from Boyds, MD

“Fit in well with our typical monthly letter-writing parties to connect penpals with folks in immigrant detention– we’re always trying to make the links between the pic and the detention system.” – Caroline from Phoenix, AZ

“It was really great being crafty for a purpose, working to be subversive of things that are meant to tear us apart and take us down by creating something beautiful.” – Jennifer from Chicago, IL

Like with anything we do, there were downfalls too.  A number of cards were denied to individuals because they were made from construction paper – apparently some prisons find construction paper to be really dangerous to the security of the institution (oh how I wish).  A few of the addresses we gave out did not match the prisoner or the inmate identification number, on a plus side some of them were sent back because the person had been released!

There was also at least one individual who wrote back some harassing and threatening letters.  This is very sad for all of us.  Just as rape culture permeates outside the prison walls, it also exists on the inside.  Black and Pink is committed to challenging behavior of individuals who are threatening or harassing.  We are open to your creative abolitionist suggestions on how to address sexually inappropriate and harassing letters.  Please do email suggestions to blackandpink99@gmail.com.  It was also suggested that we may want to honor a different holiday as Valentine’s can be confusing for some people, especially those who are seeking romantic relationships with people on the outside.  We certainly don’t want to send mixed messages to folks.

Many thanks, again, to all those who put events on.  We intend to coordinate another multi-city card making event this summer and look forward to having even more folks connected!

Check out some pictures of the events!

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