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Mother's Day bail

When mothers and caretakers are locked in cages, families and communities suffer devastating consequences. We need to join the movement to help bail them out.

No mother should be separated from her children because she can’t afford bail. Unfortunately, the prison-industrial complex thrives by incarcerating and dehumanizing Black women for non-violent crimes.

Mama’s Bail Out Day is a massive mobilization, with a goal of reuniting as many incarcerated Black mothers, including those who are queer, trans, gender-nonconforming, immigrant, young and old, with their children this Mother’s Day. The movement is being organized by Southerners on New Ground (SONG) in collaboration with numerous national Black liberation organizations, including Color of Change and the Black Alliance for Just Immigration to build power, raise bail money and gather resources to liberate incarcerated Black mothers from jails and immigrant detention centers in time for Mother’s Day this Sunday.

According to the Vera Institute, women in jail are the fastest-growing correctional population in the country — increasing 14-fold between 1970 and 2014. The rise in incarcerated women can be attributed to many factors, including the profiling of trans women, the targeting of sex workers, the criminalization of survivors of domestic and sexual violence, a severe lack of sustainable systems that treat substance abuse and mental illness and the rise in arrests for minor drug offenses. The Sentencing Project pegs the total number of women currently in jail at 1.2 million, with Black women twice as likely to be jailed as white women.

Related: Hope From a Prison Cell: Angela Davis, Mumia, and the State of Black Lives

Incarcerated women endure horrible human-rights violations. They’re often denied reproductive health care, including access to abortion and prenatal care. They’re shackled during pregnancy and labor, and lack access to menstrual products. Trans women are also often thrown into prisons that do not align with their gender and are subjected to high levels of abuse and violence.

The Mama’s Bail Out Fund is part of a national effort to reform the criminal justice system, end cash bail and abolish the prison industrial complex. According to the National Bail Out site, there are more than 700,000 people in jail simply because they cannot afford bail. Meanwhile, eight out of 10 women currently in jail are mothers. When mothers and caretakers are locked in cages, families, and communities suffer devastating consequences. Even a short stint in jail can result in the loss of employment, housing, children being placed in foster care, the possible loss of rights to their children, not to mention the trauma that is imposed on the children.

SONG and the Dream Defenders have already begun bailout actions across the country this week. Check out a few of the beautiful actions that have reunited Black mamas with their children:

You can support and donate to the movement to liberate Black mamas and help reunite them with their families here and here.


Nazly is a Persian-Venezuelan organizer, writer and trauma informed yoga teacher who has worked in various communities in the US, Latin America and the Middle East. She is fluent in Spanish, Farsi & Arabic and is a classically trained violinist. Nazly is also the founder of La Feminista Descolonial, a Spanish-language intersectional feminista platform designed to spark activism & facilitate dialogue in various Spanish speaking communities from an anti capitalist, anti racist, anti oppressive & decolonized perspective. Nazly is determined to unapologetically exist and resist in the world while grounding her work in transformative practices in order to lay the foundation for global movement building.

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