penpal & newsletter

It's Here! Our Annual Holiday Card Campaign!

The holiday season can be a really difficult and isolating time for folks inside, especially for our Black & Pink National family who might not have loved ones to connect with on the outside. Our holiday cards help to bring moments of joy, connection, and community to our members, and serve to send a clear message to correctional staff that people on the outside are watching out, and care for our inside family.

Please visit our PenPal Pairing Site where we have included a holiday feature allowing community members to receive the contact information for 5, 10, or 15 inside members, and send some holiday love to our incarcerated family!

Please print off this holiday letter (color version, black & white version) and make sure to write a personalized holiday greeting to make each of your assigned members feel seen, affirmed, and cared for this holiday season. 

Want to go even further in supporting our trans and queer incarcerated family this holiday season? Check out this toolkit for community leaders and mobilize your community to join you in sending holiday love and care!

WE IMAGINE A WORLD WHERE THE PRISON INDUSTRIAL COMPLEX IS ABOLISHED

At Black & Pink National, we coordinate a nationwide penpal program in which we match incarcerated members with penpals who correspond, build relationships, and participate in harm reduction and affirmation. For an incarcerated LGBTQIA2S+ person, corresponding with someone on a regular basis is itself a harm reduction strategy, giving that person a support network outside of prison.

penpal program

Our penpal program is where Black & Pink National all began. We have thousands of pairs that have joined us since the program first began in 2005.

Check out our PenPal Pairing Site to learn more about how to be an awesome PenPal and to connect with our inside family!

Read our release about the importance of our revamped PenPal Pairing Site (new as of November 2020)!

why others became a penpal

Black & Pink National Newsletter

The Black & Pink National Newsletter has been distributed free of charge to a rapidly growing list of incarcerated LGBTQIA2S+ members and incarcerated members living with HIV/AIDS around the country since 2010! We now have over 19,000 subscribers. Each issue is full of pieces submitted by our incarcerated members; relevant news, history, and opinions from our non-incarcerated community; and reflections from our national Executive Director.

We include a calendar so that people in solitary confinement can keep track of which day it is. Periodically, the newspaper includes a form for inside members to update their PenPal listing. Each month, we ask inside members to reply to a feedback questionnaire via mail to inform our organizing efforts.

If you submit the form below, you will subscribe your incarcerated loved one to the Black & Pink National PenPal Program and/or Newsletter Program. If you are signing up on behalf of an incarcerated person, please inform them of this and discuss it with them before signing them up. Please do not subscribe if you/your loved one do not understand and agree to all of the following statements.

These requests are handled through the mail and processed by a small staff at Black & Pink National. Both the postal service and carceral facility mail processing take a long time. Because of this, it could take up to 6-12 months to be removed from either of our programs. We appreciate your understanding and patience. Please consider this before signing up if you feel it may endanger you or cause inconvenience. If you need immediate assistance, please reach out (or have someone outside reach out) to community@blackandpink.org.

request a newsletter & PenPal for an inside member

To request that a newsletter be sent to someone inside and to sign them up for our PenPal program, please fill out the below form to the best of your ability. We will reach out if we have any additional questions, and will add them to the distribution list! Please specify if interested in only one program. 

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Please join our annual Holiday Card Campaign & send some love & care to our incarcerated family this holiday season!

Brightly colored neoncomic, reads from right to left “No matter where you are … you are family. No matter where you are … you are loved. No matter where you are … you matter. At the holidays … and always.” Images include an older man by a flower box giving a flower to a person wearing a hijab, a person on the phone holding a small child, a person throwing a paper airplane to a seated person, a person with a beard chatting with a woman who is inside prison using prison communication software and finally, a person with shoulder-length hair reading a letter.

Head over to this blog post or our PenPal Pairing Site to learn more and register today!