Transformative Action Network

What is the Transformative Action Network (TAN)?

Purpose:

By learning to relate effectively with racism and interrupt patterns of white supremacist culture, TAN members become allies and co-conspirators to Black and Brown community members. Using restorative justice work, TAN is helping Timebank build resilience instead of fragility, action instead of silence and solidarity instead of hierarchy. Abolitionist restorative practices become powerful tools that enhance mutuality and respect across gender, race and class lines. They lead to the kind of collaboration that can move Madison beyond anemic liberalism to real progressive alternatives. Anti-racist restorative practice among Timebankers is leading to racial justice.  

As James Baldwin wrote, “Any citizen of this country who figures himself as responsible – and particularly those of you who deal with the minds and hearts of young people – must be prepared to “go for broke”. As a network, we are striving to give racial justice everything we have. 

What Is It?

Getting involved with TAN means first taking an orientation that explores diaspora identity and racial disparities. The diaspora activity gives participants an opportunity to examine elements of entitlement and dispossession connected to identity, history, and perceptions of belonging. At the core of this introduction to diaspora identity is the question: ‘how does one’s personal investment in narratives of domination perpetuate white supremacist culture?’ In any given moment, we have a choice about which narrative we’re going to subscribe to. That choice is enacted in our every day actions. By examining our own cultural identities, we create the possibility of dismantling hierarchies grounded in privilege, racism, and ignorance.

Approaching racial disparities from the perspective that we all inherited the social conditions and inequities that we’re experiencing provides further opportunity to change the way we act. We can transform the cultural practices that we have inherited. Transformative Action Network takes this as its first priority. Within this context, ‘action’ is not grounded in guilt or shame or blame. Rather, it emerges from a self-awareness and conviction about personal power to make change. We engage in this work through Community Lab for Intentional Practice (CLIP) and other opportunities to build collaborations and to seek out co-conspirator alliances that end racial disparities.

Our CLIP labs are loosely guided by the work of Dr. Bettina Love and her book ‘We Want to Do More Than Survive: Abolitionist Teaching and the Pursuit of Educational Freedom’. The abolitionist approach is valuable because it is committed to the idea of replacing institutional harm. The educational survival complex is something that is replicated in all of our institutions. We use that premise in building collaborations with other organizations and groups that seek to do similar abolitionist and anti-racist work in other institutions.

How This Helps

  • Builds community for people who want to do anti-racism work
  • Encourages the transformation of silence into action
  • You can learn practical ways to interrupt, dismantle, and replace white supremacist ways

How to Get Involved

Getting involved with TAN means first taking an orientation that explores diaspora identity and racial disparities. We also encourage you to attend our Open House to learn about restorative justice and our current projects.

For More Information

Please contact Mariah at tan.timebank@gmail.com

Cost

The cost of participating in TAN is free, however, we ask for contributions of whatever you can afford that will be used for scholarship funds for Black students.

Who Can Be Involved?

Whether you are a seasoned anti-racist or just starting out your input is needed and welcomed!

Letter Writing Action for James Washington

  • Posted on: 12 May 2021
  • By: Ryan Eykholt

Written by Jake Rodgers and Hanna Lichtenstein 

James Washington is an inmate currently incarcerated in Columbia Correctional Institution. Over the course of the past four years, James has filed dozens of complaints related to being given the wrong medication, being denied access to dental and other health related services, and denial of care related to hip treatment. James recently underwent a thirty day hunger strike in an effort to meet his demands for adequate care.  (If you would like to learn more about his list of demands from the hunger strike please click here.) 

Medical attention and preventative care within prisons is notoriously horrible. People that are incarcerated are more likely to have chronic health problems like diabetes, high blood pressure and HIV (source).  Even though people are more likely to have health conditions, correctional health care is difficult to access and of very low quality (source). For every year that an individual is incarcerated, their life expectancy drops by two years. (source). 

The Transformative Action Network and 100 Strong are looking to support and amplify James’ calls for better and more humane medical treatment for himself as well as other folks within Columbia Correctional. We are inviting you to join us on May 13th from 5:30 to 7 pm in a collective letter writing action to support James and work to end medical violence. 100 Strong will be providing a template and a space to develop a letter to send to individuals within this institution and to demand action. 

You can sign up for the event here

An Intern's Reflection on a Year of Growth at the Timebank

  • Posted on: 30 April 2021
  • By: Elizabeth Arco

For the last nine months, I have had the privilege of interning with the Dane County Timebank through my MSW program at UW-Madison. Prior to starting this internship, I had never heard of a timebank and my understanding and experience with restorative justice, contemplative practice, and abolitionism were very minimal. I was eager to dive into the work and soak up as much knowledge as I possibly could.

I quickly realized I had a lot to learn, and it was humbling to engage in groups such as Community Lab for Intentional Practice (CLIP), Restorative Antiracism Circle, and 100 Strong. I was continually impressed with the eagerness to learn among participants and the vulnerability they showed. These groups gave me the opportunity to think critically about antiracism and how to take action. It is not enough to just read books and watch films and these groups helped me to recognize the complacency in that. While working towards being an antiracist is a lifelong journey, I now fully recognize the importance of my daily actions in dismantling systems of oppression.

A highlight for me was joining the Just Peace Meditation Circle when it started in February. I have attended nearly every sitting during the week and have found adding contemplative practice to my daily routine to be useful to both my antiracism work and social work practice. It gives me space each morning to connect with myself and to be gentle and kind towards myself. As a form of self-care, it allows me to practice being well which supports an ethical social work practice and the ability to recognize the humanity in others. I highly recommend this group to others! You can find out more here: Just Peace Meditation Circle | Dane County TimeBank. In adding contemplative practice to our antiracism work, we can begin to recognize how deeply racism affects all of us.

Although I completed this internship entirely remotely and never got the chance to actually meet the staff of the Timebank face to face, I am so grateful to them for welcoming me to the team and supporting me throughout this experience. I also want to thank all the Timebank members I have gotten to know over the year. I appreciate your willingness and eagerness to engage in this work and to be vulnerable in your learning. You helped me to grow and challenged my thinking in so many ways. However, I especially want to acknowledge Dr. Damita Brown, who served as my supervisor throughout the year. I learned so much from Damita as she challenged and encouraged me to show up as a coconspirator. In social work, we talk a lot about having an anti-oppressive practice. Damita helped me to recognize the way towards that is to constantly strive towards coconspiratorship. While I still have a lot of room for growth, I am so grateful for the opportunity to learn and grow with the Timebank.

My Internship Experience at the Timebank

  • Posted on: 29 April 2021
  • By: Mariah Kozmer

            When I started interning for the Timebank I was planning on being involved in starting up their community helpline. Unfortunately, doing outreach in a pandemic to spread the word about the helpline is extremely challenging. Therefore, the helpline was shut down, but I hope in the future the Timebank can bring it back because it truly is a great resource for the Madison community. Also, since I came into this internship during a global pandemic it prevented me from being able to meet in person with the Timebank staff and members. Even though I was never able to meet everyone I worked with this year, I still felt a part of the amazing community the Timebank has.

            I’ve learned a lot while interning for the Timebank. I not only learned valuable skills but also learned a lot about myself. I came into this internship knowing very little about what anti-racist and abolitionist practices looked like. The Timebank gave me the opportunity to learn these concepts in a way that they are not taught in college. I was able to participate in restorative justice circles, start meditating multiple times a week, read an amazing book by Bettina Love, and much more. These experiences allowed me to see my own privileges in a way I have never before. After reading Bettina Love’s book my biggest takeaway was that I need to work towards co-conspiratorship instead of allyship. Bettina talked about how allyship is often performative or self-glorifying. I now recognize that I am guilty of performative allyship. However, throughout my time at the Timebank, they provided me with the skills I needed to start my journey working towards co-conspiratorship.

          One of my favorite parts of interning at the Timebank was connecting with all of the amazing Timebank members. The Timebank has such an incredible group of individuals working towards co-conspiratorship and abolitionist practices. These individuals create an amazing environment that truly helped me engage in important conversations about privilege, white supremacy and ways to put my thoughts into actions. I am so grateful for my time working with the Timebank staff and members. As I move on to getting my graduate degree and becoming a social worker, I will continue to use and build off of the skills and knowledge the Timebank provided me with.

A Year In Review: From an Intern's Perspective

  • Posted on: 28 April 2021
  • By: Mayra Dominguez

This year the Dane County Timebank has taught me a lot about anti-racist and abolitionist practices. The organization exposed me to how much white supremacy dictates our everyday life. As a social work student and proponent of social justice in the Black community, I am well aware of the systems that continue to perpetrate racism, however, the degree to which it is ingrained in our lives is something I was unaware of. Studying different works by Dr. Bettina Love, and Ibram X. Kendi has taught me that I really do not know much about our world. It has reminded me the amount of knowledge I do hold is the tiniest of fractions compared to all the knowledge in the world. It has forced me to humble myself and walk into conversations and situations with the assumption that I know nothing. It has demanded me to relearn topics I thought I knew and others at a deeper level than I imagined.

This internship has pushed me to deal with uncomfortable situations and how to navigate them in a professional and elegant manner. This work is continuous and there will always be room for me to improve myself as human in this society and as a social worker. I have also had the opportunity to understand my place in the movement for Black liberation and how being a co-conspirator is just as important to reaching the goals set forth. It has also been an incredible journey of examining myself as a mixed person and the intersecting identities that make my work in this field just as unique and important.

When I started out with this internship I was hoping I would be able to work a lot with our youth at La Follette. I unfortunately, had minimal participation in these events and programming and took a different role regarding the volunteers in general. I had the pleasure of working with our volunteers and assisting in creating events and programming for them. I assisted in coming up with volunteer opportunities during a COVID world which presented its own unique obstacles.

I have had the honor of working with such an intelligent and proactive woman, yet I have not had the pleasure of meeting Dr. Damita Brown or any other of the staff at Timebank in person. It’s surreal to be interacting with the community and other professionals while never being able to truly meet them. I have not been able to truly interact with our community, but my work in the background has always strived to ensure their well-being and involvement in advancing these practices. 

I have admiration for each and every one of the volunteers and Timebank members I have interacted with because of how dedicated they are to their community. I have loved attending meetings and seeing how many of you have grown and the affinity groups you possess to implement this work. I have watched our members dismantle white supremacy and it has made me incredibly hopeful for the longevity of this work. It is impossible to dismantle the systems in place without the active participation of citizens to undo them. It has been a hell of a year and I have learned a lot about myself and abolitionist practices that will continue to influence how I carry myself and my expectations for others. It is translated in my work as a social worker while combating the mass incarceration of Black children with the vision of abolishing the prison system in general. As my time has come to a close I want to say thank you to each of the staff members who have supported me, especially Damita, and to all those volunteers who continue to practice this work. My experience would not had been possible without you and always remember “keep ya head up child, things’ll get brighter.” 

Call to Action: In Response to Racism at Patrick Marsh Middle School

  • Posted on: 12 February 2021
  • By: Dane County TimeBank

As you may know 100 Strong put out an open letter to the Sun Prairie School Board and Patrick Marsh Middle School Administration denouncing the racism that a group of teachers carried out at Patrick Marsh through their assignment about ancient Mesopotamia and Hammurabi’s Code, which included a question that asked the 6th grade students how they would punish a slave. Over the last couple of days, the media and the Sun Prairie School District have shifted the public narrative away from the incident itself and instead are targeting those who are working to support addressing and eliminating racism. We want accountability in addressing the deep harm caused all involved.

The Transformative Action Network asks that you break silence now.

How you can help:

We are asking you to call the Sun Prairie School district to share your concerns and demand action. Please share this widely with your networks. If your organization hasn't issued a statement, consider doing so. Ask your members to voice their concerns and demand change. Once you have made calls, contact tan.timebank@gmail.com and let us know you stood with us.

Demands:
1. Stop the character attacks on YWCA employees.
2. Stop the public misrepresentation of the work relationship with YWCA and Dane County Timebank.
3.Tell us what you are doing to address the racism of your staff and to support the victims of your racism. What best practices are you putting in place to resolve this problem.
4. Community partners should be included in plans for eliminating racism in the Sun Prairie School District. Specifically, Black parents, Black youth, and anyone who cares about ending racism.

Do not allow the conversation to be diverted from addressing racism and white supremacist culture. Please join us in taking action and demanding accountability.

People to call and write:

Brad Saron
Sun Prairie School District Superintendent
bgsaron@sunprairieschools.org
(608) 834-6502

Stephanie Leonard-Witte
Assistant Superintendent of Teaching, Learning & Equity
smleona@sunprairieschools.org
(608) 834-6516

Theresa Wisden
Executive Assistant to the Assistant Superintendent of Teaching, Learning & Equity
tawisde@sunprairieschools.org
(608) 834-6517

Dr. Steve Schroeder, School Board President
608.834.4005 Home
608.347.9324 Cell
shschro@sunprairieschools.org

 

Thanks for your ACTION,
Transformative Action Network
 

The December Challenge

  • Posted on: 27 November 2020
  • By: Damita Brown

What is the December Challenge? 

By Dr. Damita Brown 

It's been one hell of a year. Recognizing that we all are dealing with personal and social impacts of COVID-19, democracy under attack, racist violence, economic hardships, and more, we need inviting community space to decompress, rally and strengthen our collective resolve. December Challenge is about the power of people coming together. The Transformative Action Network (TAN) of Dane County Timebank would like invite you to finish 2020 with a healing, supportive and determined anti-racist practice grounded in the contemplative practice. Drawing from personal experience, creativity and commitment to addressing racism, TAN participants offered suggested racial justice journaling prompts and daily actions that we can all take over the month of December.  

By participating in the challenge, we send the message that racism does not take the holidays off, and neither will we. The ideas for the prompts include actions and journaling which help educate and transform our habitual patterns. It is the on-going commitment to daily action that makes a difference. Another important part of making lasting change is sustainability - finding ways to keep this work fresh, creative and supported by other anti-racists.  

If we want to change the cultural norms that maintain racism, we will have to examine our investments in white supremacist culture at the level of every institution – family, school, media, finance, government, judicial, healthcare, arts, religion, community organizations and others. The action prompts from which Challenge participants choose offer insights for dealing with each of these institutions.  

When we look at the ways we invest in racists norms, we can begin to question the language, social ques, racist decorum, coercion, expectations, inducements, intimidation, benefits and pay offs of complicity, silence and inaction.   At that point the possibility of building alternative racial justice norms gains more power. Racial justice norms are key building blocks of a socially just world. They include openness, equality, integrity, fairness and bravery, initiative, commitment, willingness to be unliked, regard for common well-being, and rejecting privilege. Perhaps the most important of these is going beyond the us/them logic of divide and conquer to rebuild connection to our common humanity. That work requires understanding the harm of racism and personal commitment to transformation. 

The real challenge is looking in the mirror everyday with enough gentleness, honesty and patience to come away with the confidence to act. Are you feeling brave? Take the challenge.  

 

How it works: 

Step One: Register here.

Step Two: Join the Zoom meditation session every day at 8 am for a 10-minute meditation session. A meditation instructor will offer meditation instructions as needed.  

Step Three: The journaling prompts for the day will be shared daily. Take 5 or 10 minutes to respond to the prompt in your “racial justice journal”. We recommend that you designate a folder on your computer or get a notebook. You can also make or buy a journal. You will need to date each entry. 

Step Four: Choose an action from the Action Prompts. We suggest you set aside time in your calendar for anti-racist challenge action. That way, the day doesn’t get away from you before you have had a chance to act. 
Step Five: Spread the word. Tell others what you are doing so that more and more people begin to see that support and community and commitment is happening and it plants a seed for them about collective change. Break the silence, make anti-racism visible at the everyday level without shoudifying. 
  

For more information, write to Dr. Damita Brown, Dane County Timebank, Restorative Justice Director at this email address: damita@danecountytimebank.org

 

Take the December Challenge! We dare you... 
 

Action Plan Worksheet

  • Posted on: 16 November 2020
  • By:

Action Plan 101

Charting a path toward abolitionism as a daily practice is not easy. It requires a certain amount of reflection, willingness to self-educate and an ongoing commitment to working with uncertainty, fear, and other discomfort. No matter what social position you hold, it’s important to examine your motivation. What is in it for you? How connected do you feel to others? How separate? Why? Do you compare yourself to others? Why? Where is your power? How do you carry it?

Abolitionist restorative practice is transformative when it shifts the way we relate to power to create substantive and sustainable beneficial impact for those most vulnerable to exploitation, violence, and disregard. Racism manifests in beliefs, practices and systems and replicates itself at physical, structural and cultural levels. Abolitionist practice involves transforming personal entry into this matrix in ways that challenge and replace illicit power with investment in liberated narratives. This means building personal, interpersonal and institutional alternatives.

Answer these questions to find further openings for being a co-conspirator:

Individual/Reflective: 

  1. What are the first areas you want to dig into?
  2. Where is the reflective awareness building at the individual level?

Interpersonal/Institutional:

  1. How do you envision yourselves interacting with other people?
  2. How are you creating spaces that are free from harm?
  3. How are you breaking down us/them narratives?

Enriching Your Action:

  1. What are community-based actions to add to your individual action plan?

 

Please see the images of the Action Plan Worksheet below for more examples and guidance in creating your action plan!

White Privilege Checklist

  • Posted on: 16 November 2020
  • By:

Peggy McIntosh, Associate director of Wellesley College Center for Research on Women, describes white privilege as “an invisible package of unearned assets, which I can count on cashing in each day, but about which I was ‘meant’ to remain oblivious. White privilege is like an invisible weightless knapsack of special provisions, maps, passports, code books, visas, clothes, tools, and blank checks” (McIntosh, 1989).

The following are example of ways white individuals have privilege because they are white. Please read the list and place a check next to the privileges that apply to you or that you have encountered. At the end, try to list at least two more ways you have privilege based on your race.

___ 1. I can arrange to be in the company of people of my race most of the time.
___ 2. I can go shopping alone most of the time, pretty well assured that I will not be followed or harassed.
___ 3. I can turn on the television or open the front page of the paper and see people of my race widely represented.
___ 4. When I am told about our national heritage or about “civilization,” I am shown that people of my color made it what it is.
___ 5. I can be sure that my children will be given curricular materials that testify to the existence of their race.
___ 6. I can go into a music shop and count on finding the music of my race represented, into a supermarket and find the food I grew up with, into a hairdresser’s shop and find someone who can deal with my hair.
___ 7. Whether I use checks, credit cards, or cash, I can count on my skin color not to work against the appearance of financial responsibility.
___ 8. I am not acutely aware that my shape, bearing, or body odor will be taken as a reflection of my race.
___ 9. I can worry about racism without being seen as self-interested or self-seeking.
___ 10. I can take a job or enroll in a college with an affirmative action policy without having my co-workers or peers assume I got it because of my race.
___ 11. I can be late to a meeting without having the lateness reflect on my race.
___ 12. I can choose public accommodation without fearing that people of my race cannot get in or will be mistreated.
___ 13. I am never asked to speak for all of the people of my racial group.
___ 14. I can be pretty sure that if I ask to talk with the “person in charge” I will be facing a person of my race.
___ 15. If a traffic cop pulls me over or if the IRS audits my tax return, I can be sure I haven’t been singled out because of my race.
___ 16. I can easily buy posters, postcards, picture books, greeting cards, dolls, toys, and children’s magazine featuring people of my race.
___ 17. I can choose blemish cover or bandages in “flesh” color and have them more or less match my skin.
___ 18. I can do well in a challenging situation without being called a credit to my race.
___ 19. I can walk into a classroom and know I will not be the only member of my race.
___ 20. I can enroll in a class at college and be sure that the majority of my professors will be of my race.

Racial privilege is only one form of privilege. What are other examples of privilege? (e.g., privilege based on gender, sexual orientation, class, and religion). Can you think of ways one might have privilege based on these factors? (e.g., that you do not  have to worry about being verbally or physically harassed because of your sexual orientation; or you can be sure that your religious holiday will be acknowledged and represented in store displays, classroom discussions, etc.). Please list these forms of privilege.

Letter Campaign Writer Puts Pressure on Police and Fire Commission

  • Posted on: 9 September 2020
  • By: Ryan Eykholt

We are highlighting powerful letters written through the Letter Campaign to End Violence Against Black People. This Letter of the Week is written by Olivia Barrow and was sent to the Police and Fire Commission, as the PFC gathers public input for the next Chief of Police. 

Please join us in writing letters for the campaign. Our next information and writing session will be Thursday, September 10 at 7:00 - 8:30pm on Zoom. You can RSVP here for the Zoom invitation. 

Our goal is to send 2,000 letters to elected officials, government agencies, schools, nonprofits, local businesses, community organizations, and more, by November 3rd, 2020. So far, we have 1100+ letters. 

 

June 26, 2020

To: PoliceChiefSearch@cityofmadison.com

Subject: End Racist Police Violence in Madison

Hello, 

I’ve been a Madison resident for almost four years. I love this city and all of the opportunities it has given me. I love exercising on the steps of the Capitol early on Friday mornings with the November Project. I love stringing up a hammock in Law Park to swing in the breeze and watch the boats and the ducks. I love biking home on the bike path at night after hanging out with friends. I love doing all of these things without ever thinking twice about whether my presence is welcome in these public spaces. 

I’ve come to understand that Black Madisonians don’t have that same privilege. For them, Madison is one huge white space, and because of the racist prejudices of our police, Black Madisonians know that simply existing in those white spaces means risking harassment, unjust arrest, or death at the hands of cops.  

Knowing all of this, I still would not have thought the answer was to abolish the police as an institution, if you’d asked me two months ago. When I first heard that proposal, I balked, like most middle class Whites did. Of course, the irony is that I already experience abolition every day. In my four years in Madison, I’ve never once interacted with police. I live in a neighborhood that has benefited from decades of investment in live-affirming community services and economic development. And the result is a community where police are not necessary. 

However, the events of the last month have convinced me that the police only exist to keep one kind of Madisonian “safe” — and that is White people like me. And we are kept “safe” by a system built around the basic assumption that Black people are dangerous criminals.

In the 10 days between when I decided to write this letter and finally found the words to say, my conviction has only been strengthened by more examples of outright racism, negligence, and inappropriate decisions by the Madison Police Department. 

  • An 18-year-old Black woman was the victim of an unfathomable hate crime and an act of terrorism by a group of white men, and when she reported it to the police, they said they were too busy to take a statement because they were preparing to stand around and antagonize peaceful protesters. 
  • Another Black woman was struck by a pick-up truck in a hit-and-run incident near UW’s campus, and when MPD arrived on the scene they used pepper spray on her friends and family.
  • Police made the decision to arrest a Black man who was protesting at the Capitol because he made White people uncomfortable inside a restaurant. They brought in nine officers to apprehend a Black man who was “armed” with a bat, which he was not threatening to use in a violent way. And when the man asked why he was being arrested, the police provided no answer, but instead pinned him down in a humiliating way. Compare that to the response to dozens of White men who brought assault rifles to the Capitol a few months ago and were allowed to protest with no hassles. The situation proves that when it comes to dealing with the Black community in Madison, our police force only has one playbook: assume guilt, assume aggression, and prosecute to the absolute maximum. 

We have an unjust police force, creating unjust outcomes for Black Madisonians. This is absolutely morally wrong. 

I condemn the racist violence perpetuated by the Madison Police Department. It is not the work of a few racist cops. It is the result of a system that was built to oppress Black people in order to create a comfortable society for White people by removing Black people from public spaces. 

I stand in solidarity with the Black community, and the courageous leaders of Freedom Inc., Urban Triage, and the Transformative Action Network.

As you evaluate candidates for Madison’s next Chief of Police, I ask that you keep in mind the eight demands laid out in the Campaign to End Violence Against Black People in Madison (a collaboration between the Dane County TimeBank Transformative Action Network and Freedom Inc.)

  1. Remove all harmful punitive policies, practices, and people from school environments, including police, suspension, and expulsion.
  2. We want public institutions to engage in 360-degree accountability through abolitionist restorative justice.
  3. Support and fund a Black-led committee with decision making and implementation power to remedy the deep patterns of harm caused by racist violence in all of its forms.
  4. Using recommendations of said committee, invest in a campaign to decriminalize and humanize Black people.
  5. Provide reparations to said committee to create educational initiatives for the Black community.
  6. Provide reparations for Black land trusts and other remedies for gentrification and hyper-segregation.
  7. Create a truth and reconciliation process to replace the punitive criminal justice system with abolitionist restorative justice.
  8. Adopt the demands developed by the Movement for Black Lives.

Black Lives Matter. It’s past time that the Madison community proved we believe that Black lives truly matter as much as White lives. 

 

Respectfully,

Olivia Barrow

 

Image: Graffiti on a wall in Minneapolis, Minn., on June 6. | AP Photo

Letter Campaign Writer Calls for Release of Marquon Clark

  • Posted on: 17 August 2020
  • By: Damita Brown

This addition to the Letter Campaign to End Violence Against Black People was submitted by Clinton Otte-Ford. So far the campaign has sent over 1,000 letters.
August 17, 2020


Dear Ms. Phillips and Mr. Enger,
My name is Clinton Otte-Ford, and I am a resident of Dane County. I am following up on the email, copied below, that I sent to you on July 11th asking for the immediate release of Marquon Clark. I am also sending this email as a part of the Dane County TimeBank Transformative Action Network and Freedom Inc.’s Campaign to End Violence Against Black People.

At this point it has been a month and a half since Mr. Clark was detained and held without charges, other than a parole/probation violation that relies on him being a person of interest in a crime that he, again, has not been charged with and claims innocence of. This hold is an abuse of a loophole in a system that claims to consider people innocent until proven guilty. If no action is to be taken at this time, please release Mr. Clark immediately so that he can rejoin his community, one that he has worked hard to support and represent.  

One of the demands of the Campaign to End Violence Against Black People, listed below, that I would like to highlight here is the demand for public institutions like the Department of Corrections to invest in a campaign, organized by a Bleck-led committee, to decriminalize and humanize Black people. Just because a person like Mr. Clark is Black and has come into contact with the DOC in the past does not make him a criminal or less than human. He deserves to be free, protected from exposure to Coronavirus, and allowed to thrive.

Please update me on the status of Mr. Clark’s release as well as any steps the DOC is taking in alignment with the demands listed below.  
Sincerely,
Clinton Otte-Ford, Ph.D.  

Demands of the Campaign to End Violence Against Black People:

1. Remove all harmful punitive policies, practices, and people from school environments, including police, suspension, and expulsion.
2. We want public institutions to engage in 360 degree accountability through abolitionist restorative justice.
3. Support and fund a Black-lead committee with decision making and implementation power to remedy the deep patterns of harm caused by racist violence in all of its harms.
4. Using recommendations of said committee, invest in a campaign to decriminalize and humanize Black people.
5. Provide reparations to said committee to create educational initiatives for the Black community.
6. Provide reparations for Black land trusts and other remedies for gentrification and hyper-segregation.
7. Create a truth and reconciliation process to replace the punitive criminal justice system with abolitionist restorative justice.
8. Adopt the demands developed by the Movement for Black Lives.
You can learn more about the letter campaign here.

Pages