Celebrating Our Community: The Decarcerate and Be Merry Holiday Party

Friends huddle together at our movement holiday party

Since Amistad’s inception, we’ve known relationships fuel the movement to bring incarcerated people home from prison. It’s a movement borne of mentorships formed behind prison walls, where folks studied complex legal arguments to advocate for their own liberation, and family members of incarcerated people came together to strategize ways to bring their loved ones home. Amistad wasn’t borne of a political vision detached from the experiences of people in Pennsylvania. It was the outgrowth of friendships with incarcerated leaders and community organizing efforts to win second chances for people sentenced to Death By Incarceration.

Since relationships are the heartbeat of our work, we see community gatherings for celebration and connection as central to our mission to end mass incarceration in Pennsylvania. That’s why we were delighted to host our second annual movement holiday party to close out a year of progress toward making second chances a reality for people caught up in Pennsylvania’s prison system.

With catering from chef-activist Kurt Evans, a 360 Photo Booth, and a DJ to pump up the dance floor, there was no shortage of entertainment for the bustling crowd of close to 100 people. Folks drove in from counties across PAsome even made the trip from Pittsburghto laugh, dance, and dine with new friends and old.

We are grateful to have such phenomenal partners in this work. Like so many of the events we host, The Abolitionist Law Center, Straight Ahead, Free The Ballot, and our broader community at the Coalition To Abolition Death By Incarceration (CADBI) joined with us to put on this special celebration. As we look ahead to a new year, we know the relationships we cultivate will be central to the work of expanding second chances for incarcerated people and building a world based in equality and abundance.