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PROJECT: Building Unity Against Hate
How the prison industrial complex impacts our communities & what we can do to change it
Next convergence to be scheduled in September. To get involved in planning, contact pghrights [at] riseup [dot] net

Help deepen our collective understandings of how policing and prison policies impact individuals and communities and learn more about how groups in our region are working to promote change. We want to stop merely reacting to threats to advancing more proactive demands for human rights and dignity for all of us. Participants can find ways to contribute to this critical work in our communities.

June 17 2017 Program:
  • The Human Face of the Prison/Detention/Policing System''-hear from students, immigrant families, and formerly incarcerated residents directly impacted by the prison system.
  • Perspectives on inter-sectional organizing- Leading organizers will share analyses of how the prison system in this country impacts diverse communities and the lessons about how to build strong inter-sectional coalitions to defend human rights and advance changes in this inhumane system. What have we learned? What models work? How can we build power?
  • Strategies for local, state and national action-Learn about organizations and initiatives in our area to support communities and residents and challenge the prison system. Speakers: Jordan Malloy, Fight for Lifers; Monica Ruiz, Casa San Jose and Labor Council for Latin American Advancement ; Erika Almiron,Juntos (Philadelphia); Rodger Jay, Foundation of Hope; Youth leaders from Casa San Jose: Samantha Esquivel, Moises Jerrero, Alma Brigido

Questions, Topics and Themes

  • Why do people facing greatest employment and housing insecurity ”low-income, people of color, immigrants, and youth”are also disproportionately subject to arrest, imprisonment, and abuse by police?
  • Why are politicians simultaneously gutting funding for public services while dramatically increasing spending on prisons?
  • Is it just a coincidence that governments are relying more on prisons, police, and militaries at a time of slowed economic growth and rising unemployment?
  • Did you know that the United States has been coming under growing international scrutiny for human rights abuses, most notably in regard to its criminal punishment system?

    • Criminalization & over-policing of communities of color
    • Deportations, detention centers, and privatized prisons
    • How mass incarceration debilitates people and communities
    • Strategies of resistance
    • What is the prison industrial complex & the school-to-prison pipeline?
    • No escape: Barriers to life after prison

Co-sponsors: Alliance for Police Accountability, Casa San Jose, Labor Council for Latin American Advancement, Pittsburgh Human Rights City Alliance, Thomas Merton Center


  • Deepen people's understandings of the prison industrial complex, intersecting human rights concerns, and the impacts of this system on our communities and on the individuals most impacted;
  • Mobilize and motivate a broad coalition of activists and groups to unite around these issues;
  • Highlight work being done in our community to address these issues, and invite people to engage with this work;
  • Create opportunities for different organizers and groups to network and develop strategies for increasing the impacts of our work.

Take Action



  • Freedom Cities Initiative:Freedom Cities demand that our communities have the resources they need to thrive. It's about making entire cities, towns, and communities safe for immigrants, Black people, Muslims, workers and all oppressed communities. We believe we all deserve to live with dignity and have the opportunity thrive without fear of physical or economic violence at the hands of the corporations, vigilantes or government. (Platform):Public funding to support people and communities, not the prison system; end criminalization of oppressed people; build community power and control of institutions; economic justice & community self-defense.
  • Housing not Handcuffs
  • Beyond the Moment: The Movement for Black Lives includes a number of organizations, individuals and networks focused on a hopeful and inclusive vision of Black joy, safety and prosperity. ... Although in power, hate is not the majority. People who believe in freedom, justice and the humanity of all people are the majority, and we've had enough. We won't stand idly by and watch our communities be attacked and torn apart.
  • A Federal Agenda to Reduce Mass Incarceration presents four pieces of legislation and three executive actions that supporters of criminal justice reform ” from all political backgrounds ” can unite behind. It offers a bold plan for progress in the face of Attorney General Jeff Sessions' directive, which reinstated outdated federal charging policies that contributed to mass incarceration in America.
  • ACLU's Freedom City initiative
  • The Jericho Movement to free political prisoners
  • Ben & Jerry's “milk with dignity migrant workers action

Voices of Immigrants and Victims of Prison System

Learn More