Next Letterwriting Dates

Save the date for our upcoming monthly letterwriting events:

SF Afternoons
Sunday, April 24 3-5pm
Sunday, June 26 3-5pm (canceled)
Wicked Grounds – 289 8th St, San Francisco, California 94103


Oakland Nights

Monday, May 9 6:30-8:30pm
Monday, July 11
Somar Bar – 1727 Telegraph in Downtown Oakland

February Letterwriting Event

Join Flying Over Walls for our Monthly Queer & Trans Prisoner Pen-Pal Letter Writing Event at Wicked Grounds to write letters to incarcerated queer and trans people. Join us to help create a critical lifeline for queer/ trans prisoners. This event meets in the front room.

We’re always looking for new penpals to join our team, so please tell your friends!

Sunday, February 28
at 3 PM – 5 PM

Wicked Grounds
289 8th St, San Francisco, California 94103

Lisa on Prison Radio!

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:

Correspondent Spotlightunnamed
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.

SF Bay Area Black & Pink Holiday Card Writing & Survey Release Party

Join Flying Over Walls (SF Bay Area Black & Pink) at our annual holiday card writing event! The holidays can be a challenging and lonely time when you’re locked up and away from loved ones, so we’ll be decorating and … Continue reading

October & November Upcoming Events

Next Monthly Letterwriting Event:
Sunday, October 25th 3-5pm
Wicked Grounds Cafe
289 8th St, San Francisco, California 94103
We’ll make time for letterwriting, sending one time cards, penpal checkins, and orientations for any new penpals.
Support our Indiegogo!
Also, the 2015 round of our study group started!!!! We have so many amazing folks involved – both incarcerated and non-incarcerated, and we could really use your help making it happen through support of our indiegogo fundraiser. Our topics include the history of prisons, queer and trans experiences of the PIC, and envisioning the future without prisons. We’re trying to raise $800 to pay for stamps, copying, materials, complete transcription of all the meetings, and possible prison visits after the study group ends, so that we can break down the walls and our inside members can have the fullest experience possible. Please check it out and support if you can! Also, we currently have one of our non-incarcerated penpals set to do the transcription, but if you know of a formerly incarcerated person who does transcription, please put us in touch. Check out all the details here!
Other Abolition Community Events!!

As always, we’re supporting TGI Justice Project with their Legal Support Mail Nights for queer and trans incarcerated folks. Some Mondays and almost every Tuesday night from 4-8 at 1372 Mission St, San Francisco, California 94103.

Justice Now’s Building Our Future: Celebrating 15 Years Towards A World Without Prisons will be on Saturday, October 10 at 1pm at Omni Commons, and we’ll be co-hosting a workgroup on building solidarity through letterwriting.

National Black & Pink is raising funds for the upcoming Decade of Black & Pink in Boston, October 16-18. Speakers include: Miss Major, CeCe McDonald, and Bo Brown. There will also be evening celebrations and a day of healing for formerly incarcerated members of Black & Pink. We are raising funds to give travel stipends to any formerly incarcerated Black & Pink that wants to attend the weekend!
October 25 from 4-8pm will be Miss Major’s Retirement Party in SF! At 73 years of age, following a lifetime of struggle and dedication to this work, Miss Major has decided to retire her position as Executive Director at TGI Justice. This event will be a fundraiser for her retirement.
CCWP’s anniversary event – 20 Years of Speaking Truth to Power! – will be November 7 at 7pm at the Women’s Building in San Francisco. Featured guests include Patrisse Cullors, co-founder of Black Lives Matter, Jayda Rasberry, organizer with Dignity & Power Now, and Thao Nguyen of Thao & The Get Down Stay Down. A major highlight of the event will be the presence of many formerly incarcerated women and trans people who have been leaders and members of CCWP over the years.

November 21 will be a recruitment training for Prisoner Advocacy Network (PAN) – Our focus is narrow and specific – supporting people in California’s solitary confinement and similar conditions of isolation such as security housing units (SHUs), administrative segregation, and gender-based segregation. We prioritize advocating for jailhouse lawyers and those engaged in political activity.

Support Our Study Group!!

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

Stop jail expansion in Alameda County! (From our friends at CURB and EBC)

We need transparency and a public meeting

Just days ago, we learned that Alameda County Sheriff Greg Ahern submitted an application to the state for $80 million dollars of jail construction funds. The Board of Supervisors quietly authorized this move at the end of June, in an apparent effort to avoid the attention and opposition that has risen against new jail plans throughout the state.

CURB members have been fighting jails from Los Angeles and Contra Costa to Santa Cruz and San Francisco. Sheriffs are moving forward with plans for new jail beds, often advertised as “nicer” jails that would supposedly provide treatment and opportunities for rehabilitation. But we know better. We know that what we need are treatment and services based in the community — not in cages.

We have a lot of questions for Sheriff Ahern: Will there be new jail beds? Why a mental health unit in the jail, instead of more services in the community? What better alternatives to incarceration could this money be spent on?

Now, after several attempts to get our hands on the application for a new jail, Alameda County’s Sheriff has arranged a small meeting with a few local allies to discuss the jail plan.
That’s where you come in.
We plan to bring the list to our meeting with the Sheriff and we will keep you in the loop on how the community can continue to push for jobs not jails, healthcare not handcuffs, and books not bars.

In Solidarity, 

Tash Nguyen

Ella Baker Center for Human Rights

A member of Californians United for a Responsible Budget

P.S. Please share Emily Harris’s commentary about the jail plan in last week’s Oakland Tribune on Twitter andFacebook!

Will you add your name to the list of community members who are concerned about the jail plan?

accepting applications now for the next round of our queer/trans prison abolition study group

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.


Updates from Pride + July Events!

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