Accessibility & Travel for ICOPA17

$5,262 of $7,000 goal

Raised by 131 people in 23 months
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ICOPA has toured the world for 23 years bringing together prisoners, former prisoners, prisoners’ families and communities most affected by the criminal justice system, scholars, artists, community organizers and organizations. 

In its long history ICOPA has only been hosted in the United States once (in 1991). Being home to the largest criminal justice system in the world has made it necessary for us to learn about abolition as we explore and build sustainable options for liberty and justice. The University of Massachusetts, Dartmouth, in collaboration with the Bristol County Community College in New Bedford will host ICOPA 17 in July 2017.

We are all too well aware of the particular moment the U.S. is in politically – including increased investment in the systems of policing and incarceration as a response to the growing poverty, racist policies, and anti-immigrant raids. Bringing ICOPA to the U.S. in this moment is an opportunity to build international solidarity for the abolitionist work that is currently happening on the ground. It is also a moment to escalate that work to match the current conditions, and affirm the leadership of people directly impacted by the carceral state as a centra
l part of our movement.

Our goal is to raise $5,000 toward travel stipends, prioritizing the participation of formerly incarcerated people and folks with loved ones who are  in prison. We are also prioritizing the participation of low and no income folks, people of color, trans people, queer people, and youth. The remaining $2,000 will be put towards translation services and childcare, to make ICOPA 17 accessible.
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Dear Supporter,

Thanks to you, ICOPA 17 was a success! Your support made it possible for ICOPA 17 to take place with the full participation and leadership of folks targeted by prisons and police. Some of the successes of ICOPA 17 include:

- an International Jail Fighters strategy session, including activists and organizers from Ecuador, France, Canada, and Australia as well as Michigan, Massachusetts, Ohio, Northern and Southern California and elsewhere, leaving with a plan to release an international statement against imprisonment along with an international day of action

- Prisoner's work being read aloud as part of every panel presentation

- An incredible performance of original work by the Zuu Crew, including some youth performers' debut

- Tours of Nathan and Polly Johnson's house, where Frederick Douglas first stayed after escaping slavery, and other opportunities to connect with the Black abolitionist history of New Bedford

- Featured exhibitions of prisoner's art work

- A commitment to bring ICOPA back to the US in 2019, where it will take place in Miami, lead by formerly incarcerated organizers and their family members

In all, over 250 participants from all over the world and US gathered to discuss abolitionist theory as well as collaborate on concrete strategies for change. Some of the themes that emerged based on participation were; leadership of people who are incarcerated, have survived incarceration, and their families; the rights and needs of transwomen and other LGBT folks targeted by police and prisons; youth of color's leadership and cultural work; disability justice's confrontation with "carceral humanism" and it's attempts to expand the PIC in the name of mental health; among others.

Here is some media from POOR Magazine/Prensa POBRE - it includes an article and video interviews with conference participants. Feel free to share and repost this reporting!

Thank you again for making ICOPA 17 a success.

In community,
on behalf of ICOPA 17 Organizing Committee
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As we near 50% of our goal, interest in attending ICOPA is higher than anticipated! We are receiving numerous workshop submissions and financial aid applications from formerly incarcerated folks and others directly impacted by the systems we collectively resist. At this point, ICOPA stands to be a significant grassroots convening for organizers from across the US and around the world. In these times of escalating violence, our communities need autonomous spaces to come together and organize. Please give what you can to support our growing movement!

in solidarity,
on behalf of ICOPA17 organizing committee
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$5,262 of $7,000 goal

Raised by 131 people in 23 months
No Longer Accepting Donations
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Created April 28, 2017
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