#FreeBlackMamas: This Organization Aims To Reunite Black Moms With Their Families For Mother’s Day

May 10, 2019  |  

Mother and her kids embracing in a hug

Source: FatCamera / Getty

On Mother’s Day you are called to be part of a transformative effort, to help end the stigma towards pretrial detention and the cash bailout system which disproportionately affects communities of color.

A Black led advocacy organization, National Bail Out (NBO), has been enthralled in doing this important work day in and day out with a special emphasis on Mother’s Day to reunite Black women with their families. Members of National Bail Out are composed of lawyers, organizers and activists who have either been personally affected by systems of mass incarceration or heeded the call to fight this terrible injustice.

Since the inception of the campaign, NBO has helped release 308 incarcerated persons, and has paid almost $1 million dollars towards cash bail, according to the group’s website. The efforts on the ground have spread nation wide from New York to California.

According to the organization’s official Twitter page, 55 Black mothers have been released over the last three days due to donations and fundraising.

In 2015, Kalief Browder’s tragic suicide shed light on the harshness of pretrial detention, where many Black men and women are held in jail due to lack of funds for bail. The harshness of pretrial detention, which is often framed from the lens of men, also affects Black women who have become one of the largest rising populations in jail.

According to a 2016 Vera Institute of Justice report, since 1970, the number of women in jail has increased 14-fold—from under 8,000 to nearly 110,000. 80 percent of women jailed are mothers.

Black women account for the highest percentage of the rising jail population, nearly two-thirds of women in jail are women of color—44 percent are black, 15 percent are hispanic, many of them first time or non violent offenders.

NBO also offers resources for the women to help them acclimate back into society once they’re released, by enrolling them in an 8-week paid fellowship. In 2017, the organization launched the Free Black Mamas Fellowship in order to give women an opportunity to learn about organizing and to create a safe space for open sharing of their experiences.

NBO hopes to one day eliminate pretrial detention and mass incarceration which is a direct offset from chattel slavery. On Mother’s Day we hope you will join the efforts to help Black women come home to their families.

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