Dear America,

Here we go again. We’re writing another statement about another Black person killed by police. When will the names Ayanna Stanley Jones, Tamir Rice, Atatiana Jefferson, Philando Castile, Breonna Taylor, George Floyd and, now, Daunte Wright, matter? When will the criminal legal system tire of killing Black Indigenous People of Color (BIPOC) with impunity? When will we — everyday citizens, corporations, nonprofits, and philanthropy — say enough is enough and really mean it?

Once again, we are writing a statement about the killing of another Black person in America. The recent killing of Daunte Wright in Minnesota is…

Dear Community,

The recent killing of six Asian-American women and two others in Georgia has left us heartbroken. We know that racism, sexism, and xenophobia are at the core of this loss of life. We recognize the unspeakable tragedy of the children left behind without their mothers and the loved ones now mourning their family members and friends.

The Asian-American community has experienced a rise in hate crimes and violent acts after the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, in great part because of the irresponsible rhetoric spoken by then-President Trump — which has encouraged, inflamed, and exacerbated existing hate, tensions…

Dr. King’s Legacy, Notions of Progress, and the War on Drugs in 2021

by Damali Robertson, Deputy Director of Strategic Partnerships

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. moved to Alabama in 1954. In his first major civil rights case, he pursued justice for 16-year-old Jeremiah Reeves. Jeremiah, a black man, was arrested for raping Mabel Ann Crowder, a white woman, in her home, although many in the community knew they were having an ongoing consensual affair. Four years later, Dr. King stood on the steps of the Alabama State Capitol to console a crowd of nearly 2,000 people. Jeremiah was executed on March 28, 1958, only 22 years old.

Jeremiah was condemned to death…

By Katherine Katcher & Rebecca Berry


As we are all aware, the 2020 presidential race was called last Friday by the Associated Press for Joe Biden and Kamala Harris. Many of us are breathing a sigh of relief about this much-needed change in federal leadership, but we all know this is just the beginning. There is so much work to be done.

It was heartening to hear both the President-Elect and Vice President-Elect call for reforms to systemic racism, particularly within the criminal justice system, and we hope that call to action represents a true commitment to these issues. If…

By Dr. Noel Vest, Andrew Winn, Sonja Tonnesen-Casalegno, and Emily Blake

Students at the University of California, Berkeley. (source)

Banning the Box Movement

The United States leads the world in incarceration and criminal convictions. Approximately seventy-one million, or roughly one in three adults, have criminal convictions and are subject to discrimination on the basis of that conviction. This is widely documented in the areas of employment, housing, and access to services. Justice system-impacted people face some of the largest hurdles in their quest to rehabilitate and integrate back into society. That needs to change.

The Ban the Box (BTB) movement in workforce, housing, and higher education advocates for removing barriers to reentry…

Breonna Taylor (Source: Taylor Family)

The US criminal legal system has proven again that it serves an incomplete form of justice — justice without accountability — because it is a system never designed with Breonna Taylor, or people who look like her, in mind.

This week, a grand jury indicted Officer Brett Hankinson on three counts of wanton endangerment for shooting into a neighboring apartment, while not a single officer was charged with the killing of Breonna Taylor. The $12M settlement paid to Breonna Taylor’s family does not represent justice and only scratches the surface of accountability. An innocent woman, asleep in her home, was…

By Eliana Green, Root & Rebound’s Equal Justice Works Fellow, whose work is sponsored by Hewlett Packard Enterprise and Morgan Lewis and Bockius.

New York Liberty players standing in unity for the #SayHerName campaign. (Source)

On Saturday, July 26, 2020, the WNBA tipped off the season with a message all businesses and industries should add to their playbooks, especially the Cannabis Industry, given its relationship to the war on drugs and police violence. The Seattle Storm and New York Liberty left the court prior to the playing of the national anthem, in peaceful protest. The players also observed a moment of silence in memory of Breonna Taylor, a young Black woman and…

Abby Abinanti, Chief Justice of the Yurok Tribe.

“The more I consider the condition of the white men, the more fixed becomes my opinion that, instead of gaining, they have lost much by subjecting themselves to what they call the laws and regulations of civilized societies.”

Tomachichi, Creek Chief

Dear Human People,

Our story, the story of Tribal Nations in this country, is important to you. Because, if you do not know our story, you can not right yourself or help to right this country that your ancestors have created. Each of you will have to define for yourself, your family, your community — what is justice? What…

“If one really wishes to know how justice is administered in a country, one does not question the policemen, the lawyers, the judges, or the protected members of the middle class. One goes to the unprotected — those, precisely, who need the law’s protection most! — and listens to their testimony.”

James Baldwin

“In a racist society it is not enough to be non-racist, we must be anti-racist.”

― Angela Y. Davis

George Floyd with his daughter, Gianna.

Dear Community,

George Floyd took his final breath on May 25, 2020, as officer Derek Chauvin pressed the weight of his knee and body on the unarmed…

A Call to Collective Action for Nationwide Reform

Not everything that is faced can be changed, but nothing can be changed until it is faced.”

James Baldwin

By: Katherine Katcher and Damali Robertson, Root & Rebound

Patrick Jones and Andrea Circle Bear could still be alive today. In a system of justice, one worthy of such a name, they would be. But in the United States, we do not have such a system.

Patrick Jones (left) and Andrea Circle Bear (right)

Patrick, a 49-year-old Black man from Temple, Texas, was the first person in federal prison in the United States to die of COVID-19. In 2007, he was sentenced to 27 years in federal prison for…

Root & Rebound

Restoring power & resources to the communities most harmed by mass incarceration through legal advocacy, public education, policy reform & litigation.

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