Free Lawrence to Feed Folks

Free Lawrence to Feed Folks!
We represent a group of racial & social justice activists, criminal & food justice organizers, artists, farmers, and family members who have joined together to initiate this GoFundMe campaign to raise $15,000 in legal fees, in support of Lawrence Curtis Jenkins’s early release from incarceration through a resentencing hearing. The urgency is NOW. Every day in prison is a day lost. We need Lawrence on the outside. Here’s WHY!

Incarcerated for eight years so far, Lawrence Jenkins has transformed himself from a deeply depressed angry young person to a master gardener, farmer, husband, and community leader. He has turned prison property into acres of fresh produce which he donates to local food banks; in fact, he and his fellow prison volunteers have produced and donated over 100,000 pounds of vegetables to his neighbors-on-the-outside who face food insecurity. Not only has Lawrence Jenkins turned his lifelong love of working outdoors into an opportunity to serve others, but he has also developed his talents as a visual wildlife artist, which culminated in his directing the Art Show held at Stafford Creek Corrections Center.
In January 2020, Lawrence Jenkins combined his talents to produce The Circle of Life Gardens and Farms Healthy Living Community Summit, at Tacoma Community College. Working from the inside with other prisoners and collaborating with individuals and organizations dedicated to community sustainability on the outside, Lawrence Jenkins demonstrated his commitment to healing others as he has healed himself.  Some of us on this campaign had the honor of participating in the Summit and experiencing firsthand the power of community galvanized to create wellness through growing vegetables and feeding people. Lawrence’s mantra, “I am because we are; we are because I am.
Let the circle be unbroken. There are no throwaways.” rang out as we all took up the call.
We urgently need to fund this campaign, so that Lawrence Jenkins’s attorney can go to work to free him.  In making a contribution at whatever level, you will not only receive his gratitude, and ours, but you will also be contributing to criminal justice… And to the release of a man who we need on the outside. Lawrence Jenkins is an inspiration to us ALL! In his words, “…  your presence, your actions, and your contributions are the roots that give this movement energy. Each one of you has a significant role in every step we take as a collective to deliver direct action, direct service, and mutual aid to those in prison and in the community, and that bring us together in love, peace, and unity.”
Join our campaign to Free Lawrence Jenkins! WELCOME HIM back into the community, so that he can live his dreams and nourish us all.
Enthusiastically and gratefully submitted by Aleta Haskins, Janie Starr and Karen Biondo,
and endorsed by representatives of the organizations below, in solidarity with Lawrence Jenkins.
Food Access Partnership of VIGA (Vashon Island Growers Assoc.), Vashon - Maury SURJ (Showing Up for Racial Justice) Criminal Justice Team, Freedom Project, - FareStart Second Chances Culinary Restaurant Caring with Compassion Community, Nurturing Roots, Pastor Prayer Power Ministry, Circle of Life Gardens and Farms, Gods House of Second Chances, Tacoma Evergreen State College, Village of Hope, Vashon United Methodist Church,  Monarch Consulting

Karen Biondo - Food Access Partnership of VIGA (Vashon Island Growers Assoc.)
Ronita Boullt - Caring with Compassion Community                                  
Thrett Brown - Freedom Project Board President
Nyema Clarke - Executive Director, Nurturing Roots
Michelle Crawford - Vashon Island Growers Assoc.
Cathy DeSmet - Vashon-Maury SURJ (Showing Up for Racial Justice) Criminal Justice Team
Karen Dhaliwal - Development Director, Freedom Project 
Donte Felder - Head Teacher, Orca Middle School; screenwriter                                          
Gretchen Graber - Master Gardener, Spokane, Washington
Tommy Hachard   Pastor Prayer Power Ministry
Aleta Haskins - Director, Circle of Life Gardens and Farms, CEO Gods House of Second Chances
David Heppard - Executive Director, Freedom Project 
Dana Illo - Food Access Partnership
Susan McCabe - V-M SURJ Criminal Justice Team
Ronelle McGraw - Pastor, Praise Chapel Ministry
Jessica Means - Co-Director, New Connections Re-entry Housing for Women; Co-Founder, Monarch Consulting
Paul Mitchell - Pastor, Vashon United Methodist Church 
Ebony Brinson Moss- DIVA Spot Beauty Bar
Richard Miller - FareStart Second Chances Culinary Restaurant
Merrilee Runyan - Food Access Partnership
Gilda Sheppard- Educator
Janie Starr - V-M SURJ Criminal Justice Team, Food Access Partnership
Natalie Thomas - City of Seattle
Duong Tran- Radiate Compassion
Check out Lawrence Jenkins’s Introduction to the Circle of Life Forum:   (audio only as it is from prison)

Dyslans Boys Ranch - Animal Keeper/Field Hand
*Raised pig, goat, duck, rabbit, chicken and protected livestock from coyotes
*Produced Crops
*Sold Produce at Farmers Markets

Olympic Corrections Center - Department of Natural Resources
*Became certified Pre-Commercial Tree Thinner, Tree Planter, Wildfire Fighter, * Did special projects such as building fence to protect farmland from elk and deer. Install camp sites and built makeshift floors for 10-man tents and also built makeshift showers.
*Became a crew lead and helped train dozens of men.

Washington State Penitentiary - Sustainable Practices Lab/Green Zone 2014-2017
*Produced 6 tons of food waste/vermicompost a month! Operating (3) Commercial EarthTub Compost Bins and breed Red Wiggler Worms specifically for maturation, compost tea and other experiments.
*Transformed Horticulture Program into a small-scale commercial operation that produced and transformed food for inmates consume, distributed thousands of starts to local schools, shelters, and community gardens, and saved the facility thousands of dollars through food waste composting and created organic fertilizer amendments that had a market value of up to $27 a pound.
*Educated himself to draw, paint, and wood burn artwork. Donated all works to charity.

Stafford Creek Corrections Center - Sustainability in Prisons Project, Black Prisoners Caucus/T.E.A.C.H. Diversity Art Committee, 

* Maintained #1 Garden/Producer for (3) years in a row. Produced 3 thousand pounds a year from 55' x 75' Raised Bed Garden
*Innovated Living Passive Solar Vermicompost Bins and Passive Solar Planter Beds constructed from sod.
*Due to recent food shortages Expanded Garden 50' x 50' with 10-man crew by hand in a single week! Repurposed sod for planter beds, worm bins, special features etc.
* Will be soon facilitating major expansions around the facility.
*So far helped produce over 100 thousand pounds of fresh produce for facility and Coastal Harvest Food Bank.

*Planned Workshops, Events, Summits, and expanded community network through community engagement.
*Introduced Sustainability and Urban Agriculture to collective and created an opportunity for BPC to extend its mission in the community through Circle of Life Gardens and Farms.
*Created curriculum for BPC/T.E.A.C.H. students and reentry pathways through Gods House of Second Chances and encouraged men to contribute, participate, and/or get loved ones involved.
*Together they organized first-ever community summit called Circle of Life Gardens and Farms Healthy Living Community Summit that sparked a community movement.
*Currently organizing with all religious and cultural groups inside prison and countless organizations, businesses, institutions, and sectors across Washington.
* Garden Class is still pending but Liberation Arts is going into 3rd quarter through BPC/

Diversity Art Committee:
*Directs Annual Diversity Art Show
*Recruits Artists to create gifts for all cultural events to be given to loved ones and community support members/groups.
*Plans and organizes fundraisers and does crowd funding for groups that have minimal support.

Circle of Life Gardens and Farms is a nonprofit organization that serves socioeconomic disadvantaged urban communities that are facing poverty food scarcity, and health risks. We provide health education, urban farm training, community food system planning, and workforce development. Our mission is: Bringing People Together to Grow Sustainable Communities.

Fundraising team: Free Lawrence (3)

Karen L Biondo
Vashon, WA
Aleta Haskins
Janie Starr
Team member

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