Throughout this month, we're highlighting organizations focused on dismantling systems built on racial injustice. We'll be donating 20% of this week's sales to Essie Justice Group, an organization harnessing the collective power of women with incarcerated loved ones to end mass incarceration’s harm to women and communities.
the issue: mass incarceration hurts women
Essie works to make clear mass incarceration's distinct harms to women with incarcerated loved ones, and the legacy of intersectional harm to Black women. Our participatory research project and report Because She’s Powerful: The Political Isolation and Resistance of Women with Incarcerated Loved Ones confirmed what our communities know from lived experience: mass incarceration disproportionately impacts Black women (1 in 2 Black women has a family member in prison) and the consequences are devastating. Our survey of 2,281 participants found that nearly 70% of women with incarcerated loved ones are their family’s only wage earner; More than half the women (56%) have children or childcare responsibilities; and 94% of women whose partners are incarcerated reported that the strain on their emotional and mental health is significant or extreme. The isolation; compromised mental and physical health; unsupported, solo caregiving responsibilities; and financial hardship causes mass isolation of Black women from political power. Essie seeks to address this root challenge.