Black and Pink Providence is the Rhode Island volunteer-run chapter of Black and Pink. Our chapter was created in summer 2015.
Our work towards the abolition of the prison industrial complex is rooted in the experiences and wisdom of currently and formerly incarcerated people. We are outraged by the specific violences of the prison industrial complex against LGBTQ people, and respond through advocacy, education, direct action, and community building. Our penpal program links free world allies to incarcerated queer and trans folks as a powerful resistance to the violent isolation of the prison system.
Once there were no prisons. That day will come again.
Our local incarcerated members, mainly at the ACI in RI, identify within the LGBTQ umbrella and/or as HIV+. Our chapter communicates with and takes leadership from them in what we do and how we do it, especially when it comes to advocacy and direct action to change policy! Members get linked up with local pen pals and receive chapter updates and communications.
We contribute to Black and Pink national efforts and hear from members across the country by volunteering to process mail on the first Sunday of each month. This consists of reading mail and entering information into an online database that we provide training for. This volunteer work allows people who are incarcerated to get involved with Black and Pink by receiving a newsletter and/or penpal.
Monthly Organizing Meetings
“Free world” members meet monthly to organize all that we do! We encourage people who want to get involved to come to a mail processing or penpal matching event before attending your first organizing meeting (then please be in touch to make sure we don’t forget to loop you in to come to the next organizing meeting!). Typically we meet on the third Thursday evening of each month in members’ homes in Providence.
We hold penpal 101 info sessions around RI for anyone interested in starting a penpal relationship with a currently incarcerated LGBTQ or HIV+ person through Black and Pink. Please get in touch at if you are interested in us holding a session for your community group. You can also read more and sign up for a penpal online today!
One of our biggest & best events each year is our holiday card-writing party in early December, where we eat food, write, draw, and color postcards for Black and Pink inside members around the country. We also raise money and send a holiday food package and/or book to each of our inside members in RI.
In addition to Penpal 101 trainings, we occasionally we host other events and educational workshops related to the Prison Industrial Complex, including Naloxone (Overdose Prevention) Trainings. Local friends and partners We support all local prison abolitionists! Direct Action for Rights and Equality (DARE)’s Behind the Walls Committee, PrYSM’s Community Defense Project, The AMOR Network, Incarcerated Workers Organizing Committee PVD, RailRoad, and Sex Workers Outreach Project (SWOP, organized locally by COYOTE RI) all do directly related work in our area.