Reply To: Session #1: Key Takeaways

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Norma (she/hers)

My key takeaways from this week’s readings:

– I did not realize that the largest population in jail has yet to be sentenced & they are held in jail because they cannot afford bail money. This particular reality hit too close to home.

– I had always heard that private prisons drove policy and were the main reason prison reform was impossible – they are too wealthy and powerful. Upon reading the Mass Incarceration: The Whole Pie 2020 article, it is clear that they hold a sliver of the piece, and mass incarceration is driven by government spending & policy.

– I had an “aha” moment while reading the Hope is a Discipline article specifically when MK was speaking about her politics being centered “at the source of people suffering.” She mentioned how mutual aid was a key proponent of her work and organizing “because we have to actually help people to survive if we’re going to get to the point where we can be fighting together.” It made me realize that early in my career through my Peace Corps work and jobs leading up to my current position – at the core, it was always about serving and helping people/families fulfill their immediate needs before engaging them for any type of community organizing. In the last 6 years, my work has slowly but surely steered away from this practice and it struck a chord.