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National Week of Action Against Incarcerating Youth, May 17-23

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by Karima Amin

For a full week, communities around the nation will highlight the problems associated with juvenile justice. It’s a topic that PRISONERS ARE PEOPLE TOO, INC. re-visits at least twice yearly but it is a topic that should concern all of us all the time. The U.S. incarcerates more of its youth than any other country in the world. Approximately 500,000 youth are brought to detention centers in a given year.

Save the Kids” is a fully volunteer, national grassroots organization that is building a movement dedicated to ending incarceration of all youth and the school to prison pipeline. It was started 6 years ago by 4 incarcerated youth, at Rikers Detention, who wanted people in community to understand how and why so many youth are incarcerated. They also wanted community to think about alternatives to incarceration and the critical need for returning youth to have support after incarceration. To that end, “Save the Kids,” started the campaign for a “National Week of Action Against Incarcerating Youth.” Since 2012, PRISONERS ARE PEOPLE TOO, INC. has joined with several community organizations in shining a spotlight on juvenile justice. “Teens in Progress” is to be commended for taking the lead in organizing a week of activities, which will include the efforts of 12 groups that understand the importance and value of giving our youth what they need to survive and thrive in a city that is struggling to improve itself. For more information about this campaign, contact: teensinprogress@gmail.com.

On May 18, PRISONERS ARE PEOPLE TOO, INC. will lend it support to this “National Week of Action,” with a film screening and a guest speaker, at the CAO Masten Resource Center (aka the Rafi Green Center) which is located at 1423 Fillmore Avenue (@Glenwood) in Buffalo, from 7:00-9:00pm. PLEASE NOTE: this is not our usual Monday nor or usual meeting place. The film being shown is “15 to Life: Kenneth’s Story.” It tells the story of a 15 year old Black boy, tried as an adult, who was given four consecutive life sentences. After serving 10 years, most of them in solitary confinement, Kenneth if fighting for release and a second chance. It should be noted that he U.S. is the only country in the world that condemns juveniles to life without parole. Our guest speaker, Mr. Tommy McClam, from Open Buffalo, will share his thoughts on juvenile justice and share information about the kind of work that he has been able to do, working with our youth over the years. We are urging every adult to bring a child. As always, our meetings are open to the public.

For more information: Call 716-834-8438; or contact Karima, karima@prisonersarepeopletoo.org; or BaBa, georgebaba_eng@yahoo.com. Visit our website: www.prp2.org and “like” us on Facebook.

“God has not called us to see through each other, but to see each other through.” (Anonymous)

Karima Amin is a longtime Buffalo Activist, Educator, and Storyteller as well as founder and director of Prisoners Are People Too (PRP2).

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