Photo: BreakOUT! presents at Southern Network to End Mass Criminalization meeting in North Carolina 

BreakOUT! is excited to join with Representatives from Spirit House, Racial Justice Action Center, VOTE, Southerners on New Ground, Justice 4 Families, National HIRE Network, BreakOUT!, TOPS, Southern Coalition for Social Justice, Texas Advocates for Justice, New Orleans Workers Center for Racial Justice, Center for Community Change, and other southern truth tellers to develop the Southern Network to End Mass Criminalization.

The Southern Network to End Mass Criminalization first convened in 2015 and developed this concept paper, which contains more background about the need for the Southern Network and its activities to date.  In 2016, the Network will be developing a Southern Social Action Blueprint. The Blueprint will be the “guide that is used to design and implement the Southern Network’s infrastructure and strategy to build strategic regional alliances that will work together to end the over- criminalization of our communities.”

In March, BreakOUT! will be attening a retreat where we will work to “1) build and deepen new and existing relationships among southern organizers, cultural workers, and advocates working to end state sanctioned police violence, mass criminalization, and the New Jim Crow; 2)  develop a shared regional analysis of the problem of mass criminalization in the South; 3)  construct a regional plan and strategy to combat the structural and racial oppression we see manifested in the criminal legal system; 4)  identify a leadership infrastructure for ongoing decision-making, communication and relationship building across the organized formations in the southern region; 5)  coalesce around 2 to 3 policy priorities to collectively advocate for as a region; 6) develop a plan and outreach strategy to build strategic regional alliances; and 7) build capacity of participating organizations to conduct or increase its social action activities.”

BreakOUT! looks forward to the opportunity to build alongside other Southern folks working to end the criminalization of our communities!  For more information on this area of our work, contact Shaena Johnson.