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Rally & press conference for Day of Redemption, outside of Atlanta City Hall, 5.6.19 [Photo by Jerome Bryant]

On Monday, the #CommuntiesOverCages #CloseTheJailATL Campaign, led by Women on the Rise and the Racial Justice Action Center and supported by over 40 organizations comprising the Campaign Alliance, held our Day of Redemption at City Hall.

The Day of Redemption was an opportunity for the city of Atlanta to redeem the past harms caused by the city's reliance on the jail and broken windows policing and commit itself to invest in its PEOPLE, not in PUNISHMENT.

Prior to the event, the Mayor’s office committed to our campaign goal of a legislated Design Team to repurpose the jail. This was publicly announced to our Alliance members by Mayor Bottoms' Senior Advisor, ​Rashad Taylor​ as he stood in front of our design renderings of the repurposed jail, which we call a Center for Wellness & Freedom.

Mayor Bottoms' Senior Advisor, ​Rashad Taylor​, publicly announcing the city's commitment to legislation to create a Design Team to repurpose the jail [Photo by Jerome Bryant]

But while Council Members Westmoreland, Dickens, Farokhi, and Hillis have all committed to support such legislation, we need at least 8 council members to vote yes to ensure it passes.​ We expect the legislation to be introduced in the next month.

The event was also an opportunity for the organizations who packed City Hall like Project South, Southerners on New Ground, Amplify GA and the Feminist Women's Health Center, Innovation Law Lab, Southern Center for Human Rights, ACLU of GA, BAJI, LaGender, Inc., Trans(forming), and Georgia Justice Project to put forth their visions of a redeemed Atlanta and for our Campaign Alliance to stand in solidarity together.

Among the ideas put forward included ideas for repurposing the jail that included sustainable jobs and worker-owned coffee shops, ending ICE detentions and participation in the Georgia International Law Enforcement Exchange, decriminalizing self-managed abortion, sealing criminal histories, and more.

Participants at the Day of Redemption were also able to stand in solidarity with the family of 21 year old Jimmy Atchison who was shot and killed by the Atlanta Police Department in January as they demanded justice for their son.

You can see more photos of the day here.

See coverage from the day’s events here and here.

P.S. Don’t forget to contact your Councilmembers and stay tuned for ways to encourage them to vote YES to a community-led design team to close and repurpose the jail.

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