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Black Women Stand Together to Fight Mass Incarceration of Mothers

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Event organizer of Free Her Rally and founder of Families for Justice as Healing Andrea James. www.naturallymoi.com

Rally Participant

Reported by Yolanda Spivey

Your Black World had the pleasure of attending the Free Her Rally on Saturday, June 21, 2014 in Washington, DC. The rally was geared at ending mass incarceration and the War On Drugs as it relates to women and their families.

Event organizer and founder of Families for Justice as Healing, Andrea James, was overjoyed that the event was a huge success. Her Boston, MA-based organization brought together other organizations for one common goal: To raise awareness of the ever increasing prison population in the United States of America. According to Corrections.com, the female prison population has increased 757 percent from 1977 to 2005. In addition, more than 90 percent of incarcerated women are imprisoned for non-violent crimes.

James stated, “We wanted to raise awareness of the increase in incarceration of women and the impact on their children.” More than 70 percent of women incarcerated are usually caregivers prior to their incarceration.

“We want to encourage President Obama to commute the sentences of women in the federal system and to encourage our communities to organize and to pass the Smarter Sentencing Act and to put an end to voter disenfranchisement,” James continued.

Tia Titus, founder of Help Management Services, LLC, stated, “The Free Her Rally was a PHENOMENAL event! I am grateful that I was a part of this great movement.”

Titus’ organization helps those returning home from prison to integrate back into their communities, while promoting cognitive behavior—helping them to see another way to resolve their issues.

“Being amongst the most passionate and powerful women for the same mission spoke volumes. Although we have our work cut out, it gives me more of a gist to accomplish what’s set out for me to do,” said Titus.

Your Black World’s founder and avid supporter of the initiative, Dr. Boyce Watkins, couldn’t make the event; however, the network’s Social Justice Manager Yolanda Spivey, spoke on his behalf at the affair.

She addressed the crowd with the following words written by Dr. Watkins:

“Only a nation in the midst of misguided chaos would make the decision to incarcerate so many of our mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers, daughters and sons. By allowing capitalist entities to implement modern day slavery in order to make a profit, we are signing our own economic and spiritual death certificate.

This work is not for the faint of heart, but for the modern day abolitionist and freedom fighter who loves this country enough to fight against corrupt systems that are designed to destroy it. This is our civil rights movement, our call to greatness and our chance to create a better and safer world for our children.

We must NOT lose this fight. “

Andrea James feels the fight is just beginning. She is asking for support from the public to continue her mission in bringing awareness and a voice to incarcerated and formerly incarcerated women. She ask that anyone who is interested in becoming a member of her organization to please do so by visiting her website at www.justiceashealing.org.