Closing Words and Laying on of Hands for Babies and Bailouts 4 26 20
Wow! So much brilliance. Amazing.
Let us pause to first say thank you. Thank you so much for everyone this evening, being present, sharing, and your witness.
Now, let us take a moment to ground in. Let’s connect with our principles… our purpose: decarceration and abolition. Let us breathe that in… I invite you into three deep breaths.
Nice. It is so very important that we remember to come back to center… and to center on purpose, in our purpose, in this work. We must be practitioners of radical self care and use our resiliency tools.
So, as we are taking this learning from here. I want us to be clear about our language and our story… we are people of purpose, participating in the project of liberation, affirmed by the Great Believing. We are modern day abolitionists who have been called to task by BLUU, Team Sankofa, and the National Bailouts… We have been called to act NOW… and participate in Babies and Bailouts this May… and beyond.
There are so many ways for people to get involved:
· Share our posts on social media
· Share your stories… We have folks that can help coach you with crafting a powerful story
· Give… this is often the most accessible way for people to get involved. I’m gonna ask Team Sankofa to drop the links in the chat for giving to Babies and Bailouts and supporting the work of the Highlander Center. These are partners in solidarity. We all rise together, y’all.
· Host a Bailout political education event
· Create ministries and support groups in your local community and congregation to support women getting out and reduce recidivism
· Sponsor a bailout and encourage others to do so
If you need any one-on-one assistance and/or support for your community, please do not hesitate to reach out to us. We are here to be co-learners in this great project… we all succeed together.
Can we pause for just a moment… I would like you to think of three groups of people or organizations with whom you can talk too about Babies and Bailouts. Write them down. ….. Now, write down three things you have learned this evening… Write those down…. Start to jot down thoughts…. Help us make sure this learning leaves from here. If you are a commitment to abolition, will you raise your hand… You can raise it on the Zoom too, just be sure to put it down. Now, if you are willing to share on social media, will you raise your hand? Great! Are you willing to donate and share? Fantastic! And lastly, are you willing to stay in conversation with us, over the next year, as we get Black mommas free? Amen, saints!
We are being called to not just abolition but abolition democracy. That which deconstructs the harmful systems and systemic injustices and creates opportunity for all to be healed, transformed, and liberated. We are called to be fiduciaries of justice and liberation. We are called to be active participants constantly being perfected in the project of the Great Believing. We are called, as Rev. Dr. Lorena Parrish says, to that which is life affirming, life nourishing, and life giving. And simply, that is abolition… now.
Before I offer a blessing for the work ahead, I would like to share this excerpt from Angela Y. Davis contained in The Meaning of Freedom and Other Difficult Dialogues. As you are feeding your brain and spirit and increasing your knowledge, may we recommend this book for your library. Hear these words for our prophetess:
We must work to end the and “consider how to articulate a triple abolition: abolition of the death penalty; abolition of the prison-industrial complex…and abolition of the sediments of slavery that have been sustained by capital punishment and the prison system…. [W.E.B.] DuBois argues that a host of democratic institutions are needed to fully achieve abolition –thus abolition democracy. ‘If we think about capital punishment as an inheritance of slavery, its abolition would also involve the creation of those institutions…. That still remain to be built 140 years after the end of slavery. If we link the abolition of capital punishment to the abolition of prisons, then we have to be willing to let go of the alternative of life without possibility of parole as the primary alternative. And thinking specifically about the problem of prisons, using the approach of abolition democracy, we would propose the creation of an array of social institutions that would begin to solve the problems that set people on the track to prison, thereby helping to render the prison obsolete.’”
Exhale. That’s heavy stuff. Triple abolitionists.
And to whom much is given, much is required.
Now, prepare yourselves for a posture of worship, a worship without ceasing. I believe it was our comrade, Ash-Lee who said, and I am paraphrasing, worship is showing up actively in the work of liberation.
Hear these words offered to you, as a virtual blessing, a laying on of hands, for this work ahead:
Omnipotent Crew of Ancestors,
Harriet, Mary, Sojourner…
Ancestors known and unknown…
Be with us in this moment
Grant to us the spirit of the Great Believing
As we leave this space
Empowered with your love
Equipped as abolitionsts
For the liberation of your people
Go with us, before us, next to us, and behind us
Give us strength when the journey gets long
Give us joy in times of despair
Anoint the heads, the feet, the spirit, and the souls of each on the call
As they arrive
In this project