Color of Change and the Movement for Black Lives are joining local grassroots organizers to reunite incarcerated black fathers with their families and highlight the inhumanity inherent in the cash bail system by bailing out black fathers who would otherwise spend their Father’s Day in jail because they cannot afford bail.
“For June, we want to continue to highlight both the historic connections between bailing folks out and the long struggle of black folks in America to be free,” Scott Roberts, senior campaign director for criminal justice at Color of Change, said. “This is highlighting black people in communities that are particularly impacted by bail. There are people incarcerated for no other reason than they can’t afford to purchase their freedom. One of our goals is to get households out of cages, person by person, and at the same time using this as an opportunity to educate people about how destructive our money bail system is and how it impacts black lives.”
As previously reported on The Root, organizers with Southerners on New Ground, the Movement for Black Lives, Color of Change and other groups raised more than $250,000 for what they called National Mama’s Bail Out Day.
They bailed out women in dozens of jails across the country who had not been convicted of crimes, but remained in jail because they were unable to pay the bond or fines that would allow them to go home to their families as they awaited trial.
Along those same lines, Father’s Day Bail Out will raise awareness of the human and financial costs of money bail and emphasize its impact on black mothers and caregivers.
The statistics are staggering. Every day, nearly 700,000 people are incarcerated despite often not being charged with a crime, simply because they cannot afford to make bail. In addition, there are more black men in prison now than were enslaved in 1850, and many of the black men serving pretrial detention have been accused of minor drug and “public order” offenses that disproportionately target black people.
“Getting fathers out of jail for Father’s Day is the emancipation proclamation of freedom,” Pastor Kenneth Glasgow, executive director at the Ordinary People’s Society, said. “What we are doing is putting our money where our mouth is. Those who are active in the community are always committed to doing direct service work, advocating for laws and protesting to get poor people out of jail. But this time we are asking every organization, church, politician and advocate to put their money where their mouth is and get somebody out of jail.”
Participating cities in the Father’s Day Bail Out include Birmingham, Ala.; Miami.; Memphis, Tenn.; and Montgomery, Ala.
The participating organizations include Color Of Change, Brooklyn Community Bail Fund, Movement 4 Black Lives Policy Table, Law for Black Lives, Ella Baker Center, Essie Justice Group, LA CAN, Dream Defenders, the Ordinary People’s Society, Project Jackson, Dignity and Power Now, Black Alliance for Just Immigration, Texas Organizing Project, Black Lives Matter Memphis, Southerners On New Ground, Neighborhoods Organizing for Change, Black Lives Matter Oakland, Arch City Defenders, Decarcerate PA, Urban Youth Collaborative, St. Louis Action Council, Philadelphia Student Union, Malcolm X Grassroots Movement, Black Youth Project and Baltimore Action Legal Team.
For more details and information on how to support, visit nomoremoneybail.org.