The Community and Resistance Tour: knowledge and tools for spreading Justice
Mary Woolley Hall, New York Room
Monday, September 13, 2010
A presentation featuring Victoria Law along with Jordan Flaherty, Lois Ahrens, and Jesse Muhammad. This event is part of the Community and Resistance Tour, which seeks to communicate about current struggles for justice and liberation, from the current BP Oil Drilling Disaster devastating the Gulf Coast to nooses hung in the northern Louisiana town of Jena. From women organizing inside prisons to cultural resistance. The tour also seeks to connect communities of liberation, and to build relationships between grassroots activists and independent media.
Lois Ahrens has been an activist and organizer for social justice for more than forty years. In 2000 she started the Real Cost of Prisons Project which brings together justice activists, artists, justice policy researchers and people directly experiencing the impact of mass incarceration to work together to end the U.S. prison nation. Lois is the editor of The Real Cost of Prisons Comix.
Jesse Muhammad: Energetic, inspiring and effective are just some of the words audiences have used to describe the writings and messages delivered by writer, news reporter, artist, publicist and photojournalist Jesse Muhammad.Brother Jesse, a native of Houston, Texas, started contributing to the Final Call Newspaper in 2004 and was appointed as its Southwest Regional Correspondent. In 2005, after receiving rave reviews for his reporting on stories that mainstream media tends to over look, he was appointed as an official Staff Writer for the FCN, which is the only national Black-owned newspaper. He has been a featured commentator on various television and radio shows in Houston, New York, Chicago, Milwaukee, Philadelphia, Los Angeles, Louisiana, and as far as Ghana.
Victoria Law is a writer, photographer and mother. After a brief stint as a teenage armed robber, she became involved in prisoner support. In 1996, she helped start Books Through Bars-New York City, a group that sends free books to prisoners nationwide. In 2000, she began concentrating on the needs and actions of women in prison,drawing attention to their issues by writing articles and giving public presentations. Since 2002, she has worked with women incarcerated nationwide to produce Tenacious: Art and Writings from Women in Prison and has facilitated having incarcerated women’s writings published in larger publications, such as Clamor magazine, the website “Women and Prison: A Site for Resistance” and make/shift magazine. Her book Resistance Behind Bars:The Struggles of Incarcerated Women (PM Press 2009) is the culmination of over 7 years of listening to, writing about and supporting incarcerated women nationwide and resulted in this former delinquent winning the 2009 PASS(Prevention for a Safer Society) Award.
Jordan Flaherty is a journalist, an editor of Left Turn Magazine, and a staffer with the Louisiana Justice Institute. His award-winning reporting from the Gulf Coast has been featured in a range of outlets including the New York Times, Mother Jones, and Argentina’s Clarin newspaper. He has produced news segments for Al-Jazeera, TeleSur, and Democracy Now! and appeared as a guest on CNN Morning, Anderson Cooper 360, and Keep Hope Alive with the Reverend Jesse Jackson. Haymarket Books has just released his new book, FLOODLINES: Community and Resistance from Katrina to the Jena Six. For more info see floodlines.org.
The Real Cost of Prisons Project created workshops, a website which includes sections of writing and comix by prisoners, a daily news blog focused on mass incarceration and three comic books. See: