Wednesday, September 22, 2021, 6:30 pm
Calling All Crows, with the MultiFaith Initiative to End Mass Incarceration, has announced the 7th Unlocked Voices livestream fundraising event, September 22 in Atlanta at 7:30pm EDT. The event, hosted by Rabbi Lydia Medwin (The Temple) and Rev. John Vaughn (Ebenezer Baptist Church), will feature performances by Crys Matthews, Heather Mae, Jesus The Dinosaur, Justin Nash Fisher and Dr. Patrice Turner, with speaker Welesiah Wilson (New Life – Second Chance Outreach) and Estrella Sanchez (Community EsTr(El/La)). Proceeds from the night will benefit the National Incarceration Association, New Life – Second Chance Outreachand Community Estrella.
Unlocked Voices, which was launched in 2020 by Calling All Crows with the Multifaith Initiative To End Mass Incarceration, has to date staged livestream events in Nashville, Boston, Dallas, Charlotte, New York Cirty and Los Angeles. The events, featuring over 30 artists (including Julien Baker, Maddie Medley, Anjimile, Lizzie No, Chadwick Stokes, Brainstory), a wide array of speakers, and over 15 local partners, raised over $25k and captured the stories from people directly affected by the mass incarceration problem here in the United States.
Discussing taking part in the Atlanta event, Tommy Ng of Jesus the Dinosaur, “Growing up in Atlanta, especially as a white-passing kid in a wealthy neighborhood, music was my awakening to ongoing social/political/systemic crises in our country. It was a way for me to hear direct experiences from those affected most by our oppressive systems and be introduced to crucial American history that was not taught to me in school, so I’m proud to support Calling All Crows and their Unlocked Voices campaign in uplifting these often silenced voices and the movement for ending mass incarceration.”
Regarding the National Incarceration Association’s involvement, COO Roland Washington stated, “The National Incarceration Association (NIA) pushes the integration of assets and strategies to eliminate duplication and fragmentation among allies in the movement to end mass incarceration. In partnership with others, our fight centers on the impact of mass incarceration on families; helping them navigate systems during the journey of incarceration. NIA’s advocacy and direct services work challenges policies and practices that continue to fail in correcting, curing, rehabilitating, and restoring individuals for the greater social, civic and economic good.”
“Freedom is a central theme of the Jewish faith,” notes the Rabbi Lydia Medwin. “We know, from our Bible and from our history, what it means to have been shut out, locked up, oppressed, silenced. And we know that our tradition demands that we respond to those who are oppressed, in every age and in every place, with messages of hope and with action that frees those who are imprisoned. This is what it means to show up as a person of faith today: to hear the cry of the oppressed, to free the captive, and to create more compassionate and forgiving alternatives. We must be the bearers of a moral witness who will no longer tolerate this country’s addiction to using incarceration as a solution to all of our challenges. We can do better; our God is calling us to do better.”
The National Incarceration Association (NIA) was born from the personal story of its president and chief executive officer, Kate Boccia and her husband Frank. NIA exists to provide the community of families, loved ones and advocates of the incarcerated reliable information and resources to help them during their difficult journey while also coordinating actions among community and those who have the authority to make measured changes, and reform our system of justice for the better public interest and safety.
New Life-Second Chance Outreach, Inc. is an ALL VOLUNTEER ORGANIZATION that seeks to reduce crime and recidivism by equipping, empowering and restoring hope to socially and economically disadvantaged individuals affected by a criminal record through workforce development and job readiness training so that they may become productive, self-sufficient and law-abiding citizens.
Community EsTr(El/La) is a community-based project that advocates, fights, defends, and guarantees the rights of LGBTQIA+ immigrant communities in the state of Georgia, particularly trans and gender non-conforming folks. Community EsTr(El/La) organizes in Georgia and across the Deep South to close immigrant detention facilities and release those being detained at facilities.
Along with these live events, Unlocked Voices looks to amplify the stories of people, especially womxn, impacted by incarceration, while acting in partnership with existing movement leaders and community organizations. Through the 8-part concert series Unlocked Voices looks to educate and grow new supporters, to drive action and celebrate the movement.