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katal newsletter – october 11, 2018

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In this issue…

Justice Not Harm

Katal joins Perrin Family Foundation Strategy Council

katal’s 2018 justice not harm donation drive



On Saturday, October 6, Katal Center for Health Equity and Justice held our 2nd annual Justice Not Harm care package drive in Bridgeport, Connecticut This year, we partnered with the Mary Magdalene House (MMH) in Bridgeport, Connecticut.

The Mary Magdalene House is a 15-bed halfway house for women coming out of York Correctional Institution, Connecticut’s sole correctional institution for women. Joining forces with Lauralton Hall High School alums, we created dozens of care packages for women in the prison facility. These packages included harm reduction pamphlets, menstrual hygiene products, bedding, pillows, cosmetics and other hygiene necessities.

This annual event is held in honor of our Co-Founder and Co-Executive Director Lorenzo Jones’s sister, LaShaundra Jones and his niece/her daughter, Ni’Asia Jones. We lost both Shaun and Ni’ because Shaun feared she would lose her children if she sought help for some mental health issues and drug use she was dealing with. We at Katal organize with people to change these realities for their families and we partner with groups that would have helped LaShaundra and Ni’. We do appreciate Mary Magdalene House for their daily work and this year’s partnership to put together care packages to support life-saving harm reduction work.


Lauralton High School alums alongside Kenyatta Thompson at MMH.

Kenyatta Thompson, Katal’s Community Organizing Fellow, met with residents and staff during the drive, and talked about the roadblocks many women who return from incarceration face. “It is important to keep women in mind when we discuss criminal justice reform. Women are often forgotten in this work. They are harmed in many ways by the system, and we do women a disservice and further harm them if we don’t prioritize them as in the way that we prioritize men.”

With a car filled to capacity with care packages, the donation drive was a success! We look forward to continuing our work with the MMH, and other facilities in Connecticut. For more info on how to get involved with our harm reduction and organizing work in Connecticut, contact Kenyatta at, or at (860) 937-6094.


katal joins perrin family foundation strategy council



We are pleased to announce that our Co-Founder and Co-Executive Director, Lorenzo Jones, has been selected to serve as a member of the Perrin Family Foundation’s newly appointed Strategy Council. The Perrin Family Foundation (PFF) partners with organizations based in under-resourced communities across Connecticut in order to create environments that support youth as leaders of social change. The foundation understands and respects the complexity of youth and community-driven social change efforts. Their trustees recognize that in order to effectively execute PFF’s mission, their strategies must honor, reflect, and intentionally activate the knowledge, expertise, and experiences of those living and leading social change efforts in the communities they serve.

With the launch of the Strategy Council, the foundation seeks to ensure the efficacy, and impact of their work. The strategy council will be intergenerational and two youth members will be added to the Council this Fall. Lorenzo will join other notable figures within the community on the council including: freedom fighter, grassroots community organizer, and radical educator, Kerry Ellington; Founder and President of Launch Consulting, LLC, Kia Levey-Burden; and Director of Wesleyan University’s Jewett Center for Community Partnerships, Clifton Watson.

To learn more about the Perrin Family Foundation, visit their website here.




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