Calling All Crows has announced the second Unlocked Voices livestream fundraising event, next Thursday, October 8 at the ONCE Ballroom in Somerville, Massachusetts. The event is co-presented with Nine Athens Music, a company dedicated to helping musicians take the next step and to building the local music community. The show will feature performances by Boston-based artists Anjimile, Hawthorn, Will Dailey, Ripe, Brandie Blaze and Chadwick Stokes of Dispatch, with proceeds from the event benefiting Black & Pink Boston, with the MultiFaith Initiative to End Mass Incarceration.
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Following Unlocked Voices’ debut benefit event last week in Nashville, which featured Julien Baker, Maddie Medley, San Franklin, Lydia Luce and Austin Grimm, raising funds for the local Tennessee community organizations Unheard Voices Outreach and Free Hearts, the campaign will head to Massachusetts, to continue its mission of raising awareness.
Unlocked Voices looks to use the power of the music and faith communities to shine a spotlight on the issues of mass incarceration here in the U.S., where 1 in 2 adults has an immediate family member in the prison system, 1 in 3 women have experienced housing insecurity because of family incarceration, and 1 in 5 Americans have had a previously incarcerated parent.
Along with the live events, the campaign looks to amplify the stories of people, especially women, impacted by incarceration, while acting in partnership with existing movement leaders and community organizations. Through the 8-part concert series Unlocked Voices looks to educate and grow new supporters, to drive action and celebrate the movement.
Discussing the upcoming second event, Chadwick Stokes of Dispatch & co-founder of Calling All Crows stated, “We started the Unlocked Voices campaign with the MultiFaith Initiative to End Mass Incarceration because we believe that mass incarceration is the key racial and civil rights struggle of our generation and we want to support musicians and music fans in finding their voice and their role in this fight. Sometimes people get complacent living in Massachusetts and point to other states as the evil oppressors of Black and brown people, but we have a lot of work to do right here. Black & Pink is an incredible leader that we feel lucky to march and make art alongside.”
Representatives from Black & Pink Boston added, “Our most urgent work involves housing support and court support for LGBTQI/LWHIV people. Due to COVID-19 there is more demand than ever for housing support for formerly incarcerated and court involved Queer & HiV+ people. Black & Pink Boston has been able to support 6 people, thus far, in paying their first month’s rent, and we are committed to supporting more of our siblings when we have funds to do so. Court support is the practice of just being with someone through the terrible and dehumanizing experience that is a court appearance. It's also a chance to connect members to a network of other LGBTQI/LWHIV people who get what they're going through as they navigate the violence of the court system, and to help assess other help they may need.”
"As a black, trans, and non binary person living in a white supremacist, fascist police state, Black & Pink's radical commitment to prison abolition is one of the few things in this world that gives me hope,” stated Anjimile, regarding them taking part in the Boston performance and raising funds for the organization. "Abolish mass incarceration, and long live the resistance." Will Dailey added, “Justice is only equitable and competent when you are continuously assessing it, examining its humanity and efficacy. Otherwise it's just rules. And rules are made by those in power who don’t always have justice on their minds.”
With the spread of COVID-19 across the U.S. in 2020 one of the organization's greatest focus has been on getting hygiene kits inside prisons and assisting inmates who are being released early from prisons due to coronavirus. America's prison population is at even greater risk than the general public. As of last month, nearly 160,000 incarcerated people and staff had been infected with COVID-19 and over 1000 had died.
For additional information on Unlocked Voices, please check out the website at: http://www.callingallcrows.org/unlocked-voices
About The Organizations:
Calling All Crows is a national nonprofit based in Boston, Massachusetts that partners with musicians and fans to create change for women through service and activism. Founded by musician Chadwick Stokes and former tour manager Sybil Gallagher, the organization builds campaigns with issue-based local organizations to add capacity and momentum to their work through the platforms, community, and creativity that the music industry provides.
The MultiFaith Initiative to End Mass Incarceration (EMI), made up of the Ebenezer Baptist Church, The Temple, Auburn Seminary and other interfaith partners are collaborating on a national initiative to leverage spiritual power, people power and faith community resources to end mass incarceration in the United States. EMI is focused on catalyzing a faith-rooted response to the issue in a way that adds value to existing work and furthers coherence in faith-rooted efforts. Our vision is for multifaith communities to exercise and amplify their calls for eliminating mass incarceration in a dedicated, savvy, and impactful manner.
Black & Pink's mission is to abolish the criminal punishment system and to liberate LGBTQI+ people/people living with HIV who are affected by that system through advocacy, support, and organizing. The group actively looks to build a community between incarcerated LGBTQI/LWHIV and 'free' worlders in this fight and help formerly incarcerated and court involved Queer & HiV+ people, through housing assistance and court support. To get involved, call/text 617-420-5899 or e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org