Fund

Healing to Advocacy Program

Host Organization: Essie Justice Groupmdi-circle-small Oakland, CA, USA mdi-circle-small essiejusticegroup.org/

About

The incarceration of a loved one is a life altering experience. Women with incarcerated loved ones take on an extraordinary financial and emotional toll as we strain to bring resources into our families in the context of often overwhelming criminal justice costs (phone calls, prison visits, commissary bills, attorney fees, bail bonds debt, and more). Moreover, the separation from a loved one by prison or jail is traumatic. Although millions of people experience the effects of mass incarceration, social support for women with incarcerated loved ones can be hard to find due to the intense stigma surrounding incarceration. The result is isolation. Women with incarcerated loved ones experience significant or extreme isolation, which is a barrier to our health, joy, and power to create change in our families and communities.

Our nine-week Healing to Advocacy model works to break isolation, increase wellness, and facilitate personal and community transformation among women with incarcerated loved ones. Women who join one of our cohorts commit to nine-weeks of 3 hour weekly sessions. During the nine weeks,12 -15 women move together through individually held pain to begin journeys of collective healing, share resources that offer beams of support to families during crisis, and gain confidence to advocate for change. To reduce barriers for women’s leadership, Essie provides transportation support, childcare, and meals.

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About the Host

Essie Justice Group is a nonprofit organization of women with incarcerated loved ones taking on the rampant injustices created by mass incarceration. Our award-winning Healing to Advocacy Model brings women together to heal, build collective power, and drive social change. We are building a membership of fierce advocates for race and gender justice — including Black and Latinx women, formerly and currently incarcerated women, transgender women, and gender non-conforming people.

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