The National Bail Out Collective launched in May 2017 with a campaign to post bail for Black mothers who would otherwise be separated from their children on Mother’s Day. The effort raised enough funds to free about 100 women who were in jail awaiting trial and sparked a year-round movement, with fundraising drives for Father’s Day, Juneteenth and Pride. In all, the group’s efforts helped more than 200 Black people return home to their families while the await trial, effectively giving them a way out of a system that disproportionately impacts African Americans.
Yesterday (May 6), the collective launched the second year of the National Black Mama’s Bail Out campaign alongside 13 partners, including Southerners on New Ground, Black Alliance for Just Immigration and Dream Defenders. In addition to raising funds for cis and trans women and femmes who act as the glue in their families and communities, the campaign will highlight local organizing efforts as activists call on legislators, judges and district attorneys to abolish the cash bail system, which effectively incarcerates people for living in poverty. At press time, organizers in 21 cities were set to participate.
From an emailed statement:
We are committed to building a community-based movement to end pretrial detention and ultimately mass incarceration. The Mama’s Day action is rooted in the tradition of our enslaved ancestors who went to every length, including harnessing their collective resources, to purchase each other’s freedom and keep their families together.