We begin our 3rd season journey into learning and uncovering as much as we can about our truthful past with RedLining – a practice that purposely maintained segregation through discrimination in lending. We discuss its racist history, how it promoted both segregation and the wealth gap, and the continued forms it takes even today.
A couple of books we mentioned to learn more about RedLining:
Race for Profit: How Banks and the Real Estate Industry Undermined Black Homeownership by Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor
The Color of Law: A Forgotten History of How our Government Segregated America by Richard Rothstein
An After Hours session with Allison Gibbs, LCSW (Therapy Concierge, LLC) focusing on the Coronavirus health disparities highlighted in the news. We first debunk a very offensive and baseless idea that this is because of some biological predisposition to the novel coronavirus among Black people, and talked more sanely about why these inequities truly exist and why we’re seeing them right now. Not the most lighthearted of our After Hours conversations, but it’s always a positive experience to open up in heartfelt dialog with Allison.
The session in which we speak with Kimberly McGlonn, Ph.D. about her brand, Grant Blvd and the ways she works to challenge economic injustice and marginalization. Dr. McGlonn launched Grant Blvd – named for the Milwaukee street where she grew up – as a sustainable design brand creating pathways to employment for people with a history of incarceration. All of their original and stylish garments are made from reclaimed fabrics, and through her brand, Kimberly works to advance the collective good of both people and the planet.
You can learn more on her website; you can also shop there! Fyi – they’re also making and selling masks right now.
The session in which we spoke with Selena Alonzo, J.D. a public defender in Maryland. Selena is a Mexican-American and was strongly influenced by her family experience of having several of the most important men in her life (grandfather, uncles, cousin) incarcerated for various reasons. Selena holds deep knowledge of the effects of incarceration on people and their families. Knowing that the truest solution will be systemic change in our criminal justice system, Selena uses her law degree to work within the system to help change a potentially negatively spiraling life course for people as best she can.
We spoke with Selena just as the pandemic began to shut down the nation and asked for an update – this update also needs an update as we received it on March 25, 2020 but is interesting nonetheless:
It’s incredible how much everything has changed. I never realized how much I took for granted before…
I’ve been working remotely since 3/13. All of the cases I had set have been postponed until May. As of right now, the only thing we are able to do is file bond review motions to get our clients who are detained pre-trial out of jail. The majority of Assistant State Attorneys are opposing our bond review motions and are trying to keep people in jail. They are willing to release clients if they plead guilty to something but that is incredibly coercive given that we have no way of conveying any plea offers to our clients. We still have to go into the jails to interview clients which is a risk to both us and a bigger risk for our incarcerated clients because we could be silent carriers. I’m really hoping they figure out a way for us to interview clients over the phone soon… A small bright spot has been that police are arresting far less people. On an average bonds docket, I would have 15-20 people. Yesterday, I only had 4. Maybe after this cops will realize they don’t need to arrest every single person for “crimes” like disorderly or obstructing and hindering. SA
The session in which we talk with Cheri Honkala, co-founder of the Poor People’s Economic Human Rights Campaign (PPEHRC). Cheri was removed from her Mother’s home as a girl and raised in foster care. She later attended college and had a child of her own. After experiencing homelessness as a single mom due to unfortunate circumstances, Honkala realized her Mother was not ‘bad’ after all; She was struggling in a society that offered no resources. Cheri has been organizing poor and homeless people for over 30 years and is now a General in the Poor People’s Army.
The session in which we chat with 3 passionate team members from the North Philadelphia Peace Park. The NPPP is a charitable eco-campus providing free education, health & wellness, and produce programs to the Philadelphia Community. We chatted with Nyasha Felder, Li Sumpter, and Bird – each bringing different knowledge, skill, and perspective to their volunteer work at the NPPP.
The Peace Park has recently launched a project campaign to get their planned Peace Pavilion completed. To learn about it and donate please visit: https://ioby.org/project/north-philly-peace-park-peace-pavillion-project
The session in which we chatted with Brandy Ryan,JD, staff attorney at the National Law Center on Homelessness and Poverty in Washington, DC. Brandy is a strong advocate for people experiencing homelessness and her work focuses right now on homelessness and education. Nobody should have to live without a home to live in. There’s just no place like a home.
Check out the National Law Center on Homelessness and Poverty nlchp.org. According to the website:
“Given close quarters, compromised immune systems, and an aging population, people experiencing homelessness are exceptionally vulnerable to communicable diseases, not excluding the current outbreak of coronavirus, COVID-19”
You can read more about the impact of coronavirus on homelessness at nlchp.org.