We just met for our last official meeting of our Inside/Outside Prison Abolition Study Group! Readings here: https://flyingoverwalls.wordpress.com/study-group/ We’re still wrapping up the final logistics of this round of the study group, and are additionally dividing up into subgroups now to … Continue reading
We’re so proud that Lisa, a member of our Inside/Outside Prison Abolition Study Group, and long time member of Black & Pink, just created her first recording with Prison Radio:
We’re glad to have recorded our first radio essay with Lisa Strawn, a trans woman held inside a men’s medical prison in Vacaville, CA. Thanks to Black and Pink for their collaboration, Lisa will be calling in again soon to report more from inside. Stay tuned.
We recently launched an Indiegogo to raise funds for our upcoming Inside/Outside Prison Abolition Study Group!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Check it out, support it if you can, and read below if you want more info about the project. What We’re Doing We’re planning … Continue reading
Flying Over Walls, the Bay Area chapter of Black and Pink, is planning the third round of our “Queer/Trans Prison Abolition Study Group” for this coming Fall 2015. This session will be quite different from the past two because instead of having only free world folks involved, we are in the process of recruiting 10-12 incarcerated folks who are interested in discussing the readings through penpal letters.
The Flying Over Walls Study Group aims to:
-Support both incarcerated and free world folks in building a critical, intersectional understanding of the prison system and the criminalization of queer/trans bodies,
-Support the building of leadership development skills and shared understandings between both incarcerated and free world leaders.
Here’s how we laid out the logistics:
- 10-12 incarcerated folks will be paired with 10-12 free world folks.
- We send out 1-2 readings on prison abolition at a time to our incarcerated members and ask for a letter back with comments, questions, etc.
- The readings will be varied in style- some will be formal articles or excerpts of book chapters, others will be parts of graphic novels or mixed media/art. Our intention is to maximize reading accessibility for differing levels of education.
- Free world members do the reading between meetings and bring thoughts, questions and reflections to the meeting. Each incarcerated person’s letter gets read aloud during the meeting by their free world partner.
- Outside folks discuss both the readings and the perspectives from the prisoners’ letters. At the end of each meeting, free world participants will write a short letter to their matched person.
- We audio record this discussion. After the meeting, the recording will be transcribed, any content that might get labeled as a Security Threat will be edited to increase safety of our incarcerated members.
- We send the next packet back to the folks inside which includes: everyone else’s letters from the inside, the transcribed discussion, next month’s reading, and a personalized note from the partner with whom they are matched.
- Incarcerated participants are currently being held at CA Medical Facility, Mule Creek State Prison, CSP-Sacramento, San Quentin, and Central CA Women’s Facility.
We ask that folks make a solid 100% commitment to attendance in order to join. It is crucial that we stay accountable to our folks on the inside. Obviously, emergencies may arise, but please confirm you can attend these dates before registering.
- THURS 9/10/15 @ 6:30-8:30 PM – Orientation, Introductions, and Dinner
- SUN 9/20/15 @ 12:00-2:00 PM – Discussion of First Set of Readings – Background on PIC
- SUN 11/22/15 @ 12:00-2:00 PM – Discussion of Second Set of Readings – PIC through a Queer/Trans Lens
- SUN 01/17/16 @ 12:00-2:00 PM – Discussion of Third Set of Readings – Abolition & Alternatives
Please check out this link for all the details and to register.
Our Pride events were very successful- we helped TGIJP table at TransMarch, then on Sunday we concurrently ran our monthly letterwriting event and a booth at the SF Pride Festival. At the SF Pride festival, we handed out lots of schwag, met … Continue reading
We’re excited for June! In solidarity with Prisoner Hunger Strike Solidarity Committee, and the SCATESC, we started painting a banner at our May Letterwriting Night! It still needs some finishing touches, but we’re excited to use it at our Pride … Continue reading
Hello & Happy May!
Upcoming Events & Updates (including our first workshop – at the very end!):
Our study group met on May 8 – focusing on intersections of religion, queerness and criminalization. This group is currently closed to new members, but will re-open for a new round in the fall. Check out the reading list & email us to hear about the next round.
We are supporting a local queer arts and prisoner solidarity book project, PASSAGE & PLACE, that will be including voices of B&P and TGIJP members on the inside. Check out their indiegogo! There are 60 hours left to pledge and secure a copy for you and someone on the inside.
This Wednesday, May 14 from 5-7pm: LGBTQ Prisoner Solidarity Project: Letterwriting, Dinner and Discussion with the Pacific School of Religion (1798 Scenic Ave, Berkeley, CA). This evening will include a penpal orientation, letterwriting, and an overview of the work of Black and Pink, an open family of LGBTQ prisoners and “free world” allies who support each other. There will also be information about current prison abolition campaigns and discussion about theological theory & practices related to prison abolition.
We are also working on collectively writing two pieces to submit to local and LGBTQ news media – one drawing attention to the Global Week of Action Against Incarcerating Youth on May 19-25 (including Tuesday, May 20 – National Day Against the Criminalization of Queer Youth and Youth with Disabilities) as well as a piece looking at the newly proposed CDCr regulations to ban “obscene material,” which no doubt will include leftist media and our queer mail/letters. We are encouraging everyone in our community to write in to the CDCr by June 17 to oppose these proposed regulations. Let us know if you want to help with these drafts.
We are also endorsing the upcoming Formerly Incarcerated People’s Quest for Democracy Lobby Day on May 19th in Sacramento, CA. This will be an event focused on supporting “formerly-incarcerated people, our family members, and other community leaders to show our support for pending legislation affecting the quality of life of people directly impacted by incarceration, but to also assert ourselves as leaders, experts, and contributing members of our communities in a space where we are normally considered statistics, storytellers, and seat fillers.” Get involved!
A few of us are also usually there every Tuesday evening from 4:30-8pm at the new TGIJP office (1372 Mission St. SF, CA): Legal support clinics at TGIJP to provide information and self-advocacy resources for incarcerated queer and trans folks. Training & dinner provided each week. RSVP to Janetta@tgijp.org if it’s your first time.
And… Our first workshop!!
Thursday, May 29 from 7:30-9:30pm: Intro Workshop on the Prison Industrial Complex & Queer Resistance at Wicked Grounds Cafe (289 8th St, SF, CA). Our workshop will explore the underlying framework of the prison industrial complex. Participants will develop a historical analysis of the policing and incarceration of LGBTQ people while exploring alternatives to incarceration. RSVP here.
Hope to see you somewhere!
We have been kicking off 2014 with a lot of getting things going again! We had a great January Letterwriting night in South Berkeley at the Starry Plough – sending a few cards and making 4 new penpal matches! … Continue reading
Please help us spread the word – we are putting out a call and forming a Queer/Abolition Bay Area Study Group.
It will likely look like a group of 5-10 folks who are invested in deepening their critical and intersectional understanding of the prison industrial complex and prison abolition frameworks as they relate to queer/trans bodies and identities.
We will meet one Sunday afternoon/evening a month for a few hours (likely on 1st Sundays, except around the holidays – but this is negotiable) from about September through January (alternating meeting in east Bay and SF living rooms). We’ll hopefully do it dinner or potluck style and keep it casual. In our first meeting, or prior to it, we will collectively create a structure around readings/films/lectures that we want to use for our discussions and everyone will have a chance to propose material and/or co-facilitate a discussion group. We ask for a 5-month commitment, and we can decide in January if we’d like to keep meeting.
This study group will be held in conjunction with prisoner letterwriting times – an hour prior to every study group will be open for anyone in the community that would like to connect to a queer/trans prisoner penpal. We will hold orientations for new folks at this time and wrap up prior to the study group starting. Study group members would be welcome to come early to join letterwriting times, but not required.
Beja & Charlie