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weekly update – march 22, 2019

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In this issue…

Op-Ed, “Key to Communities of Color: What does that key open?”

Brooklyn, Sunday, March 24th: Discussion about NY’s broken parole system

Albany: Monthly Harm Reduction Roundtable

Key to Communities of Color: What doors does that key open?

Rapper and REFORM Co-founder, Meek Mill. Matt Rourke/AP

On Monday, March 18th, Quinnipiac University in Connecticut held a Criminal Justice Reform Summit, and hosted attendees Governor Ned Lamont, TV Commentator and CEO of the REFORM Alliance, Van Jones, some local advocates, and elected officials, to discuss criminal justice reform. Based on news reports, it appears that the most tangible outcome of the meeting was state leaders giving Van Jones and REFORM co-founder Meek Mill “Keys to Communities of Color,” in recognition for their work on criminal justice reform outside of Connecticut.

What exactly do these keys open? Do these keys open opportunities for communities of color in Connecticut? Do these keys open doors for health, equity, and justice in our state?

We explore these questions in a new op-ed by our Co-Executive Director, Lorenzo Jones, and Community Organizer, Kenyatta M. Thompson. Read the full Op-Ed  “Key to Communities of Color: What doors does that key open?”

Brooklyn, Sunday, March 24th: Discussion about NY’s broken parole system

Join us this Sunday, March 24th, at Plymouth Church at 12:30pm, to learn about the parole system in New York, and proposed reforms including our #LessIsMoreNY bill. We’ll talk about what can be done to win reform and help people get back on their feet and stay out of prisons. We’ll also talk about how parole reform is urgently needed in the fight to close Rikers Island Jail Complex once and for all.

Katal’s Donna Hylton will be speaking on this panel alongside Eric Gonzalez, Brooklyn District Attorney; our partner Vincent Schiraldi, Senior Research Scientist at Justice Lab of Columbia University; and Rob De Leon, Associate Vice President of Programs at The Fortune Society. It’s going to be a great event and we hope to see you there.

Click here for more details and to RSVP. 

Albany: Monthly Harm Reduction Roundtable

Katal ally, Robert Suarez, presenting on drug user organizing at our March Harm Reduction roundtable in Albany.

Our team is busy at work in the Albany Capital Region! This week, we co-facilitated our Monthly Harm Reduction Roundtable alongside our partners at Project Safe Point.

During this meeting, our ally Robert Suarez presented on and discussed drug user organizing. Within his presentation, Suarez named an important, and humanizing fact: “People who use drugs are some of the most talented, gifted, and blessed individuals on the planet,” he said. “We can’t afford to lose one more.”

The Monthly Harm Reduction Roundtable is an opportunity for folks in the Capital Region to get together and discuss harm reduction in our region. Join us!

Our Community Organizer, Cedric Fulton, facilitating today’s Harm Reduction Roundtable.

For more information about the Monthly Capital Region Harm Reduction Roundtable, please contact Keith Brown at 518.527.6263 or

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