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.

What does true safety look like? Last night, the Ella Baker Center tried to answer that question with Night Out for Safety and Liberation.The Lake Merritt Boulevard Amphitheater was packed with a diverse group of Oaklanders and people from around the Bay Area watching performers, getting...
This week, as with every other week in 2015, and likely before, has been punctured with the loss of Black lives at the hands of police and the criminal justice system. Here are this week's stories on the harsh realities and glimmers of hope in the criminal justice system....
Laura Browder, a single mother of a two and a six-year-old, had just moved to Houston and was trying to start her life there by getting a job. Called in for a last-minute job interview, she had no one to watch her kids, so...
Let us remember that no woman is more likely to be murdered in America today than a Black woman. No woman is more likely to be raped than a Black woman. No...
It’s been a big week for criminal justice news. Here are a few of the top news stories, essays, and must-read articles from this historic week, good and bad:Obama’s Call for Reform
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On June 28, 1969, police performed a routine raid of a gay bar in New York City called the Stonewall Inn. However, not so routine was the response of the patrons, who were tired of being discriminated against for their sexuality and gender identity by the police....
Last Tuesday night, around 300 people gathered at St. Columba Community Catholic Church to hold elected officials accountable for how they are spending county public safety funds, and ensure that jobs, not jails are the priority.“Freedom for our families” was the title of the...
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...

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