Credit: Giovanni Solis

Our Prism | Prioritizing Healing Through Art During COVID-19

Prioritizing Healing Through Art During COVID-19: Q&A with Cultural Architect Damon Turner

April 30, 2020. Our Prism. Patrisse and art curator Autumn Breon Williams met with cultural architect Damon Turner for an interview on art and its impact on the pandemic (and visa versa) in Patrisse’s Prism series on conversations about the impact of COVID-19 on artists. Damon is a multi-hyphenate artist and opens up about his initial thoughts about the coronavirus, how he has reimagined the impact of his art, and how history seems to be repeating itself in terms of classism and power.

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Our Prism | New PBS Doc ‘Bedlam’ Shows Prisons’ Treatment of Mentally Ill

New PBS Documentary, ‘Bedlam,’ Spotlights How People with Mental Illness Are Funneled into Prisons

April 13, 2020. Our Prism. COVID-19 has highlighted the existence of a pandemic, and it’s not the novel coronavirus. A virus that has festered for far too long is how the prison system treats the mentally ill, and this PBS documentary could not have aired at a better time to help the country move forward into change. Patrisse Cullors and her previously incarcerated brother Monte (who has lived with schizophrenia for his adult life) are documented in this film directed by Dr. Kenneth Paul Rosenberg. 

Setor Tsikudo

Our Prism | The Role of Art and Music During a Pandemic

The Role of Art and Music During a Pandemic: Q&A with Grammy-Nominated Artist Nana Kwabena

April 29, 2020. Our Prism. Patrisse and art curator Autumn Breon Williams sat down with grammy-nominated artist Nana Kwabena to discuss how musical artists are expressing themselves during these strange times and why art in general is so essential to getting by in this current world. As part of an Our Prism series that focuses on multidisciplinary artists who approach their work in a way that focuses on movement-building, Nana speaks up about how he uses his music as a tool to unify the African continent and its worldwide dispersion of communities. He also talks about why music is more important now than ever and how it informs his ongoing activism.

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USA Today | Fighting for Eric Garner’s Justice

Eric Garner didn’t get justice in our system. Let’s build one in which others do.

July 17, 2019. USA Today. Eric Garner died at the hands of a police officer choking him on July 17, 2014. Although he pleaded for his life, his death is one more in a rapidly-increasing line-up of proof that the police state needs reform now. 5 years later, in this poignant piece, Patrisse remembers his death and discusses the justice system overhaul that still needs to take place to keep people like Garner safe. 

Complex | COVID-19 Means Freeing Inmates with Minor Offenses

Complex | COVID-19 Means Freeing Inmates with Minor Offenses

Why COVID-19 Means Inmates with Minor Offenses Should Be Freed

May 20, 2020. Complex. Many convicts, especially Black people, are in jail because of non-violent crimes like marijuana possession; they are serving time for a substance that was once a crime, and is now considered in many states an essential industry. And yet they are forced to stay in prisons and contract this deadly virus. Patrisse unpacks this aspect of the unethical prison state and shows how for many people who are only serving short two-year sentences are forced to serve death sentences, trapped by COVID-19.

Credit: Library of Congress

Harvard Law Review | Abolition’s History & the Modern Freedom Fight

Abolition and Reparations: Histories of Resistance, Transformative Justice, and Accountability

April 10, 2019. Harvard Law Review. Applying the historical context of abolition to modern-day freedom fighting is often lost in translation. Patrisse dives into the history of abolition and reframes the meaning of the word for today’s freedom fighters and organizers in an effort to create a praxis for those who make a difference in Black communities around the nation.

Patrisse Cullors

Vice | Exhaustion Is Not an Option in Activism

Exhaustion Is Not an Option: BLM’s Patrisse Cullors on Grief and Activism

February 1, 2019. Vice. Criminalization of Black communities doesn’t stop — and neither should organizers. That’s what Patrisse Cullors learned early on, and how she leads her work. But burnout can happen, and requires gentle care to rekindle the fighter’s flame. She shares experiences about her drive to never stop working to meet goals of the cause, and why taking time for yourself, finding a balance between unending labor and self-care, is the key to effective activism.

 

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The Appeal Political Report | Expansion of US Jails System Must End

Expansion of Largest Jails System in the US Must End

January 23, 2019. The Appeal Political Report. Los Angeles County is home to the country’s largest jail system, with roughly 17,000 people held behind bars. These incarcerated communities are often subjected to abhorrent conditions, and many are pre-trial, meaning they are still innocent. Patrisse Cullors teams up with Lex Steppling in this article that explores the conditions inmates experience in the LA jail system and what needs to happen to end this decades-long legacy of brutality. 

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HuffPost | 5 Years Later, BLM Still Going Strong

We Founded Black Lives Matter 5 Years Ago Today. We’re Still Going Strong

July 13, 2018. HuffPost. Marking the 5th anniversary of Black Lives Matter, co-founder Patrisse Cullors looks back on what inspired the movement and explains why the organization is fueled by great momentum that shows no signs of slowing down. Although our country remains increasingly divided, the drive to bring justice to victims and continue to bring Black communities to justice is a tirelessly burning flame.