April Share the Plate: SouthernersOnNewGround.org
Who is SONG?
Southerners On New Ground (SONG) is a regional Queer Liberation organization made up of Black people, people of color, immigrants, undocumented people, people with disabilities, working class and rural and small town, LGBTQ people in the South.
SONG envisions a sustainable South that embodies the best of its freedom traditions and works towards the transformation of our economic, social, spiritual, and political relationships. We envision a multi-issue southern justice movement that unites us across class, age, race, ability, gender, immigration status, and sexuality; a movement in which LGBTQ people – poor and working class, immigrant, people of color, rural – take our rightful place as leaders shaping our region’s legacy and future. We are committed to restoring a way of being that recognizes our collective humanity and dependence on the Earth.
What is the Black Mamas’ Bailout Action?
We are working to end systems of mass incarceration and support our communities. We work with groups all over the country on Mother’s Day to bail out as many Black Mamas and caregivers as we can, provide fellowship and employment opportunities for those we bail out and work with groups across the country to support ongoing bail reform efforts. NationalBailout.org
Why support the Black Mamas’ Bailout?
On any given day in the US, there are 700,000 people in pre-trial detention; 450,000 are in jail simply because they cannot afford bail. They've been convicted of no crime, but sit in a cell waiting for their day in court because they are poor.
This disproportionately impacts black women. A report by the Vera Institute found that number of women in jail increased 14-fold between 1970 and 2014, making them the fastest growing correctional population in the country. "Women often become involved with the justice system as a result of efforts to cope with life challenges such as poverty, unemployment, and significant physical or behavioral health struggles, including those related to past histories of trauma, mental illness, or substance use," the report indicates.
Information from the last two slides courtesy of Mariame Kaba. You definitely want to check out MariameKaba.com
Forty-four percent of those women are black and 80 percent are parents. According to the report, over 80 percent are in jail for non-violent misdemeanor offenses, meaning that they pose no threat to anyone's safety but stay behind bars because their families don't have the money to bail them out.
When mothers are locked up, it hits their communities—and families—hard. The impact can include losing jobs, housing, and even having children removed by the state. Indeed, mass incarceration has separated tens of thousands of mothers from their children. Across the country, 2.7 million children have an incarcerated parent. Many of these children experience various traumas and negative outcomes including depression, anxiety, and lower grades in school because of this forced separation.
“When Black mamas are taken from our communities and put in cages, we all suffer.
Mary Hooks, SONG co-director
These actions are in honor of the Black mothers, known and unknown, that sacrificed, worked long hours, put themselves last and continue to act as the foundation for their chosen family, loved ones and communities. While Black mothers act beyond measure for our communities, they are often targeted by criminal legal system. This very system attempts to destabilize fabric of all of our communities because it was not meant to protect or represent Black people.
We are called to collectively welcome home, center and support Black mothers. We join several organizations nationally to build power and bail Black mothers out of cages. The criminal legal system justifies money bail as a tool to hold individuals accountable. Across identity, money bail is yet another tool used to hold our people hostage simply because they cannot pay, inevitably pushing people deeper into the criminal legal system.
Your generous support is greatly appreciated!