How long has your chapter been in your city/town? How has your work with chapters looked like over that time frame?
The SONG Durham chapter has been organizing since 2013, starting with the #FreeFromFear campaign, which won improved efforts for LGBTQIA+ people interacting with the police. In 2017, we began our first efforts in the #EndMoneyBail campaign, which led to our Black Mamas Bail outs in May and August of that year.
How many active member leaders does your chapter have?
Our chapter currently has three active member leaders.
How many active members does your chapter have?
Our chapter currently has about 25 active members as of 2019.
Has your chapter done the Black Mamas Bail Out Action? If so, what have ya’ll learned about money bail and pre-trial detention in your city?
Our chapter has had the pleasure of doing the Black Mamas Bail Out Action 4 times total since 2017, 3 specifically dedicated to Black Mamas Day. From our efforts, it has strengthened our understanding of the criminal justice system as well as the governing systems that keep our loved ones locked up.
Who are your targets?
Our targets are Judges Evans and Hudson in Durham. Judge Evans serves as a District Court Judge for the 14th Judicial District and her term ends in 2022. Judge Hudson serves as the senior resident Superior Court Judge for the 14th Judicial District of the Third Division of the Superior Court and his term expires in 2020. Potential targets in continued movement include magistrates and lawmakers.
What wins or successes has your chapter had?
A big win for us in 2019 was getting an amended bond schedule from both the District Attorney. While it has plenty of room to grow, without the efforts of our chapter and other organizers of Durham, the schedule wouldn’t have been revised. The previous schedule had been used for eight years.
What does political education work look like for your chapter?
Political education work in our chapter looks like finding a way to imbue storytelling in the work we do. When we free Black Mamas we give them the autonomy to tell their stories the way they feel comfortable. It looks like holding the media accountable in loose journalism when it comes to mass incarceration. It also looks like holding Team of the Willing Dinners, to hold space and even collaborate with others in North Carolina who share our values and goals, as well as inviting those who don’t to grow with us.
What does arts & culture work look like for your chapter?
Arts & Culture work in our chapter looks like holding space at events like Black August in the Park and community block parties, as we have in 2019. It also looks like throwing Guerilla theater workshops, sharing community in art spaces, and making art.
Want to join the Durham Chapter?