Mother’s Day is for all mothers — no matter if you are incarcerated or not.
Activists are taking this philosophy to heart this week by helping to bail out Black mothers in time for the holiday on May 14. Their effort, a campaign called National Mama’s Bail Out Day, is a step to fight a prison industrial system that is becoming even more precarious for Black women, studies show.
“Money bail and the industry that profits from it has long been destroying our communities, so this Mother’s Day Black people across the country are going to reunite our families and demand an end to that system,” said Rashad Robinson, executive director of Color Of Change, in a statement sent to HuffPost.
His organization has joined over a dozen others like Black Lives Matter, Color of Change, Sistersong and the Dream Defenders to coordinate fundraising in many cities to help bail out mothers. From Baltimore to New Orleans, public defenders, community members, and churches are all banding together to bail out as many Black women as possible.
Their campaign also works to spotlight the plight of Black women in the prison system. More than 700,000 people are incarcerated each day because they cannot afford bail, according to the movement's site. The number of incarcerated women having increased by 700 percent since 1980. And with Black and transgender women both being disproportionately represented in these numbers, our Black mothers are directly affected.
Indeed, Black women are twice as likely to be put in jail than White women, making them the fastest growing correctional population in the country, according to a report by the Vera Institute.
“We must demand and fight for the ending of money bail and destructive policies that keep putting us in cages and separating us from our communities,” says Mary Hooks, the co-director for Southerners on New Ground, an organization that is part of the campaign. “We are the ones who take care of and hold down our families, chosen and biological. When we, black women and black mamas, are taken from our communities, we all suffer.”
You can help the campaign by donating here. We look forward to seeing mothers make it home in time for the special day.