Ella's Voice

Welcome to the blog of the Ella Baker Center for Human Rights! This is where we share reflections from the movement to end mass incarceration and criminalization, analysis on criminal, economic, and racial justice issues, and updates on our work. Please read, share, and comment.

In the recently released third season of Orange is the New Black, Litchfield Prison faces a possible closure because of lack of funding, and is taken over by a private prison corporation. While Orange is the New Black (OITNB) does not always capture the true brutalities of the prison system,...
In 1829, Eastern State Penitentiary in Philadelphia began using solitary confinement to better rehabilitate prisoners. In this prison, they believed those isolated in cells alone with the Bible, a small window,...
“[Prison] relieves us of the responsibility of seriously engaging with the problems of our society, especially those produced by racism and, increasingly, global capitalism.” – Angela Davis A national tragedy, the systematic targeting of black, brown, and poor...
I have spent more than half my life as a community organizer advocating for change in the prison system in Los Angeles. My first brush with the system was as a child experiencing my father cycling in and out of the system until he passed away in 2009. Despite witnessing my father’s...
Tuesday, April 7th was my fifth day as the new State Field Director here at the Ella Baker Center for Human Rights. Along with many of our allies in the movement against imprisonment here in California, myself and other...
OAKLAND, Calif  ---  Two weeks ago, we honored Martin Luther King Jr. and others in the Civil Rights movement who were courageous enough to not remain silent. Instead, they stood together in solidarity and spoke loudly through their actions for peace, equality, and justice for all...
"Jobs, Not Jails" was the chant of the crowd of approximately 40 community members and faith leaders who gathered at the Alameda County Administration building in Oakland on Tuesday, January 20th.During the rally, people filled the Board of Supervisors' office to demand more...
Last night, 60 community members and faith leaders gathered in front of the Alameda County Administration building in Oakland to demand more funding for jobs, not jails, from the Alameda County Board of Supervisors. The candlelight vigil was organized by the Ella Baker Center as part...
California Attorney General Kamala Harris said that she was "shocked" by the...
Excerpted from Black Prophetic Fire by Cornel West in Dialogue with and Edited by Christa Buschendorf. Copyright 2014. Excerpted with permission by Beacon Press.In Black Prophetic Fire, Cornel West, in...