The first time I heard JillisBlack speak, I knew I wanted to work with her. Her wit and intelligence are palpable and it's very clear that she has her finger on the pulse of our current social climate. The stars aligned just the right way and now we are setting out to raise money for a substantially worthy cause, The Decarceration Collective. But who exactly is JillisBlack and why should you care about The Decarceration Collective? Allow me to enlighten you with her own words:
"I am a writer, facilitator/lecturer, and community activist, focusing on issues of Race, Power, and Privilege in modern-day America. I recently amassed a diverse following via the social media account, @jillisblack--where my social commentary is centered around inner and outer-community hierarchies, the myth of white fragility and other words for racism, and the endlessly-pending and highly-exclusive revolution. It is my belief that the shift away from anti-blackness will begin with an outpouring of radical, multi-generational, inclusive and validating honesty.
The Decarceration Collective is a collective of lawyers, community organizers, policy analysts, and crisis managers dedicated to dismantling mass incarceration, disrupting obstacles for released citizens, and deepening the civic voice of people affected by America’s prison policies. They provide federal criminal defense, community mediation, strategic communications and public relations counsel. Headquartered in Chicago, they serve individual, public and nonprofit clients throughout the United States. From the courtroom, to the community, to Congress, they solve problems and free people.
So, how do these two very different pro-black movements come together? While I certainly believe in the words, I’m not as sure about the ego-driven nature of social media popularity. And yet, platforms are important. Access is essential. Numbers are necessary. So I thought to myself, “Is it possible to spread the message while supporting a community-focused black business and a community-focused black organization at the same time?” This is the answer.
It is my desire that “social media activism” begins to shift away from the smart phones, and directly into the black community. Proceeds from the sale of this item will go to The Decarceration Collective’s work to strengthen and empower our communities through practical and effective action."
And there you have it! So grab a tee and support an extremely worthy cause at the same time. Our fundraising goals are quite ambitious so we'll be appreciative of any and all involvement. That means buy a tee lbvs!!!! BUT IF YOU CAN'T, share this blog through your social media channels. AND IF YOU CAN'T DO THAT, tell someone that the prison industrial complex needs to be reformed as there are far too many people sitting in prison NOT out of concern for public safety, but because it helps municipalities pay the bills among other nefarious reasons. (HINT: this destabilizes communities by destabilizing families.)
Thank you so much for taking the time to read this. As a parting gift, I've embedded one of my favorite JillisBlack diatribes for your viewing and listening pleasure :-)
Hannibal Pace, Lead Servant
The Free Breakfast Movement