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Katal New York Update- August 4, 2022

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#LessIsMoreNY Info Session with Red Hook Initiative 

We spoke to young adults about the inhumane conditions on Rikers and the death toll that continues to mount due to inaction by the Mayor. During the discussion, we connected this to our #CutShutInvestNY Campaign, and the youth discussed the communities that continue to be harmed by mass incarceration and the parole system. We shared the latest updates on #LessIsMoreNY and its positive impact on so many people on parole and their loved ones. Participants discussed where they would rather invest resources to keep communities safe; instead of prisons, jails, and criminalization, participants called for investments in mental health services, housing, education, jobs, and transportation.

If you would like to get involved in the fight to close Rikers, please reach out to Melanie Dominguez at 

Black August

About 1,500 mourners give the Black Panther salute as the body of “Soledad Brother” George Jackson was carried from St. Augustine’s Episcopal Church in Oakland, California, in 1971.

For Black August, we’re reading up on the history of political struggle in the U.S. and the role of political prisoners in advancing the cause of freedom.  The history of Black August is critically important in the fight to end mass incarceration. From Dr. Charisse Burden-Stelly: “Black August emerged from the August 21 Coalitions, which were organized in the late 1970s to honor George Jackson, a political prisoner who was assassinated on August 21. It also served as tribute to his brother, Jonathan, who was murdered on August 7, 1970, and to Jeffrey Khatari Gaulden, who was killed in San Quentin on August 1, 1978. Black August expresses solidarity with these and other Black political prisoners and prisoners of war. It’s supposed to be a month of sacrifice and self-discipline. From the outset, it was aimed at strengthening the Black freedom struggle within and beyond the walls of prisons. It’s a commemoration, not a celebration. Mumia Abu-Jamal, who is one of the longest-standing political prisoners, called Black August “a month of injustice and divine justice, of repression and righteous rebellion, of individual and collective efforts to free the slave and break the chains that bind us.

Read the full Essence interview with Dr. Charisse Burden-Stelly about Black August here.

Upcoming #LessIsMoreNY Town Hall:
Thursday, Aug 18 at 5:00 pm

Join Unchained and Katal on Thursday, August 18 at 5:00 pm for a #LessIsMoreNYTown Hall hosted by Assemblymember Demond Meeks and Assemblymember Sarah Clark. We will share updates about the impact of the #LessIsMoreNY Act thus far and discuss reinvesting the cost savings from the law into communities most impacted by incarceration. Register here to attend

To learn more about our upcoming #LessIsMoreNY events, reach out to Melanie at 

Katal on Capitol Pressroom

Last week, our Director of Advocacy Yonah Zeitz joined the Capitol Pressroom with David Lombardo to discuss the implementation of the Less Is More Act. Yonah described the enormous impact this reform is having across the state, some of the implementation challenges, and the need to reinvest the savings into communities most impacted by parole and mass incarceration. Check out the full interview.

Katal Quotes of the Week

These are some of the quotes we’re thinking about this week.

Star Trek did not promise that people would magically become inherently “better,” but that they would progress, always reaching for their highest potential and noblest goals, even if it took centuries of taking two steps forward and one step back. Ideally, humankind would be guided in its quest by reason and justice. The ultimate futility of armed conflict, terrorism, dictatorial rule, prejudice, disregard for the environment, and exercising power for its own sake was demonstrated time and again”–Nichelle Nichols, who played Nyota Uhura on the original Star Trek

“What we see is what we bring to the seeing.”–George Nelson, How to See

For printing and distribution, download the Katal Weekly Update PDF version.

Katal works to strengthen the people, policies, institutions, and movements that advance equity, health, and justice. Join us: web, Twitter, Facebook! Email: Phone: 646.875.8822.

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