If history is our guide, for a movement to be successful it needs to be comprised and led by people who have been impacted by the injustice. In September of 2018, The FICPFM hosted a historic convening of roughly one thousand individuals directly impacted by the criminal justice system leading, organizing, and advocating for change.
They chose to gather in Orlando, Florida to support the passage of Prop 4, a November ballot initiative seeking to amend the State Constitution and restore voting rights for up to 1.4 million Floridians with felony convictions.
A number of movement leaders sat down with us to discuss and commemorate this historic moment. Below are their stories and words.
“I have like two sons who exist in dark bodies. They are amazing people. It’s my duty to create a world they can exist in and not dim their light.”
Tamisha Walker, Executive Director, Safe Return Project
“Funny. Beautiful. Strong. Survivor. Compassionate.”
Dolfinette Martin and Danielle Metz, Organizers, Voice of the Experienced (VOTE)
“The modern minority myth disempowers many in the [API] community, especially when it comes to incarceration, deportation or mental health”
Eddy Zheng, Co-Director for the Asian Prisoner Support Committee
“I would hope that people recognize that something historic is happening in this country, and that they can be a part of it, whether they’ve been affected by incarceration themselves or not. Because I think the success of any one of us, speaks to the success of all of us.”
Administrative Director Legal Services for Prisoners with Children
“Most times treasures are hidden, and it’s only when a treasure is found that you see the value in it. So because you have been isolated, that does not mean you have no value.”
Pastor Gregory James, CEO, Reclaiming the Land