This year we launched a volunteer-run radical education project for Pennsylvania prisoners called Address This! Our goal was to bring a transformative collective learning resource to people living in solitary confinement and/or maximum security facilities throughout the state, who more often than not have no access to other resources or programs.
Although the costs for this program are quite low – only $40 per person for a six-month course! – we need your support by January 1st to keep this program going!
With 200 participants a year (100 each semester), our annual budget is roughly $8,000/year for costs including course readers, dictionaries, shipping/postage costs, xeroxes and other materials. This is why we’re appealing to you to help fund this important work! We need 200 people to give $40 in order to make the next two semesters of 2013 possible. If you are unable to give the full $40 yourself, find a friend and each give $20!
Students in enrolled in Address This! currently have the option of registering for one of the following five classes: Black Social Movements from Civil Rights to Hip Hop; Art and Social Movements; Transformative Justice; Latino History and Contemporary Issues; Control and Resistance: The US Prison System and its Oppositions.
And every month, here’s what happens:
- Volunteers send participants materials divided into thematic units.
- Participants reflect and respond to those materials, guided by discussion questions.
- Participants’ responses are transcribed by a team of volunteers, combined into a single document, and then circulated to other prisoners who are taking the course.
Reflecting upon receiving these responses, one participant wrote: “I enjoy seeing other people’s views, especially when someone digs below the surface – speaking forward with honesty, real feeling and emotions, not being afraid to share their real life experiences, pain, trauma, strengths, weaknesses and hopes.”
While the U.S. Prison system seeks to break existent ties of affinity and community through policies of isolation, censorship and silence, Address This! alternately works to contribute to the rebuilding and enlarging of those alliances and support networks. In the words of co-founder Robert Saleem Holbrook, our aim is to “invoke critical thinking in the hopes that the participants in the course will emerge from it with a new outlook on their lives and their present situation, believing that they can change not only themselves but also their circumstances.”
This is why we’re appealing to you for help funding this vital work by January 1st! Again, it will take only 200 people giving $40 each to insure that hundreds of PA prisoners have access to these classes in 2013!
We heartily welcome your support in this endeavor. In fact, we can’t do it without it!
In struggle and solidarity,
The Address This Team!
P.S. Don't forget to write Address This! in the "Designation Field" when you donate.
Also, if you would like to receive a special thank you gift in return, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
with your physical address.