CLOSE THE JAIL ATL CAMPAIGN & WOMEN ON THE RISE BRING ATLANTA CITY REPRESENTATIVES TO VISIT REPURPOSED WOMEN'S JAIL IN NEW YORK
This October, the Close the Jail ATL Campaign, led by Women on the Rise and the Racial Justice Action Center, brought representatives from Atlanta City Council and the Mayor's Office to New York to be inspired by the transformation of the Bayview Correctional Facility into the Women's Building. Representatives from the City of Atlanta included Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms Office, Amol Naik (Director of Resilience), Rashad Taylor (Chief Equity Officer), and Councilmembers Matt Westmoreland and Paige Fenn from Councilmember Andre Dickens' office. We also brought Marilynn Winn, Director of Women on the Rise, and Tatiana Lima, Legal and Policy Associate for Women on the Rise.
The New York former prison is being transformed into a hub for women's organizing and advocacy through the support of the NoVo Foundation, who is funding the effort.
We learned what's possible when city officials listen to currently and formerly-incarcerated women about what our communities need. In addition to hearing from the NOVO Foundation, we heard from Just Leadership USA. Both organizations spoke about closing the city's extra jail and the importance of repurposing the facility to right the wrongs of the past. And we participated in the third annual block party to celebrate their vision!
Bringing decision-makers with us on this trip helped us share our vision with Atlanta city representatives who have since expressed their support for the transformation of the Atlanta City Detention Center into a Center for Wellness and Freedom.
After the trip, Tatiana from Women on the Rise reflected, "If a large metropolitan city like New York can do this, imagine the possibilities for Atlanta!"