Katal New York Update- July 21, 2022

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Outreach in Uptown Manhattan

Even in the heat, we’re knocking on doors across Harlem and Washington Heights and speaking with community members about the inhumane conditions on Rikers Island. Today, news broke that people incarcerated on Rikers are filing complaints about no air conditioning or fans and a lack of ice and cold showers. As temperatures continue to skyrocket, the situation is even more dangerous and dire than usual. 

Last week, two more incarcerated people passed away on Rikers, bringing the total number of deaths to 11 this year. People on Rikers are being locked in narrow shower stalls as solitary confinement. This is unconscionable—and more deaths will happen because of inaction from Mayor Adams. The deaths last week have only exacerbated the necessity for more transparency and accountability on Rikers. 

As the conditions at the jail complex continue to deteriorate and the death toll rises, the Adams administration continues to do nothing to address the problems there. In the face of this ongoing crisis, we are calling on the mayor, lawmakers, judges, and district attorneys to CUT the number of people held on Rikers, SHUT down the Rikers Island jail complex, and INVEST in real community community safety: housing, health care, education, jobs. To learn more, read our #CutShutInvestNY fact sheet

If you would like to get involved in the fight to close Rikers, please reach out to Melanie Dominguez at melanie@katalcenter.org


2nd Annual Suitcase Sunday in Queens

Katal’s Melanie Dominguez speaks with a community member about the crisis on Rikers.

On Sunday, we joined Witness to Mass Incarceration, the Queens Public Library, and other community groups for the 2nd Annual Suitcase Sunday in Jamaica, Queens. During the event, we spoke with community members about our work to implement the #LessIsMoreNY Act and shut down the Rikers Island jail complex.

To learn more about our upcoming outreach events or to have us join your event, contact Melanie Dominguez at melanie@katalcenter.org.


Katal Member Spotlight: Henry’s Story 

Check out this new member video featuring Henry Robinson. Henry discusses what brought him to Katal and why he continues to organize with us. Throughout his involvement at Katal, Henry has been a leader in our #LessIsMoreNY#FreeThemNowNY, and #CutShutInvestNY campaigns throughout the state. Watch Henry’s member video and join us in the fight to end mass incarceration in New York. 

In the coming weeks we’ll be spotlighting more members in videos. Stay connected with us on socials @katalcenter.


Katal Quotes of the Week

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

“The ground has shifted. The game has changed. The only question left is whether our leaders have the strength, fortitude, and audacity to forge a new path for American democracy—and if they don’t, whether it is finally time for us to find ones who do.”—Jamelle Bouie

“One of the most vital ways we sustain ourselves is by building communities of resistance, places where we know we are not alone.”—bell hooks


Please support our work

We can’t do this work without you. Please support our work to build leadership and organizing capacity of people to self-advocate and take action together for systemic change.


Be safe as possible out there, and get vaccinated as soon as you can. If you want to get involved, learn more about our work, or just connect, please don’t hesitate to reach out.

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

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