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“On this Day of Empathy, there are 2.3 million people locked up behind bars living in crowded conditions and helpless against the Coronavirus.” – the #cut50 team and allies
“I have shirts that say Stigma Slayer, Neighborhood Hope Dealer, I Am Living Proof. It’s a clothing line based on breaking the stigma through self expression.” – Ginger Malcom, certified alcohol and drug counselor
“Black Americans are four times more likely to experience felony disenfranchisement than white Americans.” – April Grayson, Young Women’s Freedom Center
“With the Coronavirus going around, you can’t help but think about the people that are sitting up on State Road, are in the federal prisons, are in the state prisons – because they can’t separate from one another like we can.” – Tonie Willis, Ardella’s House
“We identified 50 things we needed to improve – especially in the lives of incarcerated women…One of my favorite pictures is of us hugging after we got that bill passed.” – Rep. David Dreyer, GA-59
“There has been a huge mobilization of advocates to inform decision-makers, and I think it’s important for the public to know that.” – John Cooper, Safe & Just Michigan
“Empathy is the ability to put yourself in someone else’s shoes, to care for them, to feel as they do. This is so important for the people in our prisons.” – James Sutton, Cyber Psalm
“I was incarcerated at the age of 17. I actually ended up doing four years before fighting my own case…It took me until last year to finally get it all together: be able to maintain a job, apartment, you know.” – Syimone Harris, Music Theory Teacher
“If there’s lemonade here, it might be that we come out of this with new tools and new processes for the courts of the future which hopefully will be more friendly to the public.” – the Honorable Bridget Mary McCormack, Chief Justice of Michigan
“[I was] 17 years old, finding myself locked up in a very violent young offenders jail.” – Brian Saund in conversation with Flip the Script

“Many of us have family members: aunts, cousins, and loved ones, who are incarcerated.” – Louis L. Reed, #cut 50 National Organizer
“I encourage every state to take immediate action to support recommendations and reforms that protect people behind bars from the Coronavirus.” – Alyssa Milano
“A lot of people were being arrested – people of color were being arrested in regards to the 1986 Drug [Abuse] Act.” – Douglas Reed, retired prison guard
“The Coronavirus (and no virus for that matter) can ever overcome the empathy that we have for our brothers and sisters who are serving time in prison.” Amy Povah – CAN-DO Clemency
“For me, basketball wasn’t only a sport – it was the only outlet, the only safe space that I had to get away from what was going on in my neighborhood.” – Aswad Thomas, MSW
“I know about what community means and the power that people hold. I know about fighting against big corporations and against corporate greed. I know a lot about that. But I knew only just a tad bit about the criminal injustice system.” – Siwatu-Salama Ra, environmental and racial justice organizer
“I’ve been an advocate for the last five years, and this day is extremely special for me because I get to share my personal experiences with everyone.” – Karen Morrison, Virginia Prison Justice Network
“We really need to include people who are incarcerated and people who are coming out of incarceration in the conversations – whether that is [about] getting employment, getting housing, getting transportation, or being incarcerated when there’s a pandemic.” – Jasmine Harris, RISE
“I have been in corrections for 11 years. And throughout my time predominantly at Cook County Jail, I’ve seen the number of men and women who were incarcerated decrease dramatically from about 10,000 men and women to about 5,600 today.” – Dr. Nneka Tapia, former warden of Cook County Jail
“I was 18, and married him in federal penitentiary…Some of the most brilliant minds that I know are incarcerated.” – Jessica Santonato, Flipt the Script