Students: we are
Strides for Social Justice was funded at UCLA during Spring quarter 2014. The prison system, along side many social justice issues, is one concerning social justice issue that affects the mass society in America. Given that in the last 30 years, the numbers of incarcerated prisoners have increased from 300,000 to 2 million of which 65% are incarcerated for drug substance, this makes the United States the leading country with the largest and fastest growing count of prisoners. After being released, convicts are labeled as “felons” and obtain a second-class citizen, which decreases their opportunities of finding stable jobs because of their “felon” status or access to financial aid.
One solution, Strides for Social Justice proposes is to fund crucial community organizations that address our ex-convict communities. One of them being Homeboy Industries, who lowers the societal barriers of these individuals who strive to better themselves by offering multiple services and programs for free. These programs include: tattoo removal, employment services, case management and legal services, mental health-substance abuse-domestic violence services, education services, and a solar panel installation training and certification program. Another program we are looking into funding is called A New Way of Life, who gives housing to women who are recently released from jail and gives them access to legal and community support to claim their children who may have fallen into the Child Care system during their incarceration. Lastly, we hope to fund some rehab centers, given their crucial contribution to inner city communities and ex-convict community.
To make this happen we will follow the following process:
1. Use running as a means to educate America on the American Prison System for the sake of educating America on the Prison System for the overall length of 2 years (this will mean breaking the New Guineas World Record of the Youngest Women to 100 Marathons).
2. Building running teams to run and fund for the cause.
3. Hope to expand to other UC-institutions, while educating students on the prison system through university faculty guest lecturers, brochures, and media.
4. Outreach to the communities (e.g. high schools and community organizations to help us create a pedagogical space to address community issues that directly affect them-given that they are the most likely to get incarcerated).
Our only challenge in accomplishing this goal is the financial obligation that comes with it-we plan to fundraise a total of $500,000 in a span of two years to financially support these community organization. For that reason, any donations towards the project, towards the marathon races, traveling expenses, attire, shoe donations, water, wearing strides for justice apparel, or raising awareness within your own community to support the cause will be greatly appreciated and greatly valuable in helping us raise awareness. Please help us reconstruct society’s misconception of ex-convicts and the prison system and financially support the community organizations and the invaluable resources they provide to these neglected members of our community.
I thank you for your time and consideration.
If you have any questions about this project feel free to contact me at StridesForSocialJustice@gmail.com
Strides for Justice Founder, Representative, and Runner
Homeboy Industry Advocate