All of the following information was written by WOCN, Inc. We are one of the co-sponsors for this call and hope you will stand with us as we work in unison to in essence, give this young woman a second chance. Photo credit: WOCN, Inc. website.
SEE BELOW HOW YOUR ORGANIZATION CAN CO-SPONSOR THIS VERY IMPORTANT CALL.
Join us for “Second Chance”: #JaggedJustice Call for Cyntoia Brown
Monday, January 7, 2019
from 5:00 pm – 7:00 pm EST
Featured Guests:
Marissa Alexander
Alisa Bierra

Sponsored by:
Women of Color Network, Inc.

Co-Sponsors:
Minnesota Indian Women’s Sexual Assault Coalition
National Coalition Against Domestic Violence
Pennsylvania Coalition Against Rape
Marissa Alexander Justice Project
MACOSH Healing Network
Center for Survivor Agency & Justice
Girls for Gender Equity
Walking Into A New Life, Inc.
National Crittenton
Soul Sisters Leadership Collective
National Indigenous Women’s Resource Center
The Hampton Institute: A Working Class Think Tank

See details below for how your organization can co-sponsor this call.

Register here for the call:
https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/TDB9NTT

“I do pray that you will show me mercy and that you will give me a second chance.” 

-Cyntoia Brown, May 23, 2018 Parole Hearing, 
Tennessee Prison for Women

Join us on Monday, January 7, 2019 from 5:00 pm – 7:00 pm EST for a #JaggedJustice Call for Cyntoia Brown.
We will gather to:

  • Hear from featured guests working with currently and formerly incarcerated girls and women of color who can share insights on Cyntoia’s story.
  • Discuss action steps we are currently taking and can take to strongly encourage Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam to grant clemency to Cyntoia before January 19, 2018 when he leaves office.
  • Discuss ways we are showing up and can continue to show up and support girls and women of color who are currently and formerly incarcerated.
  • Discuss methods of self-care and wellness that we are doing and can do to show up better for ourselves, so that we can show up to address #JaggedJustice.
A Brief Overview of Cyntoia’s story:
  • In August 2004, as a 16-year-old victim of child sex-trafficking, Cyntoia killed a man who endangered her life in self-defense.
  • In August 2006, Cyntoia was tried as an adult and sent to jail for first-degree murder and robbery without possibility for parole for 51 years.
  • A 2011 film, “Me Facing Life: Cyntoia’s Story”, was made about Cyntoia’s case. Since then Tennessee’s law changed so that juveniles can no longer be sentenced to life in prison without parole. In addition, Cyntoia would now have been treated as a victim of child sex-trafficking rather than tried as an adult.
  • On May 23, 2018, Cyntoia requested a second chance after serving 14 years, mentoring other women, and pursuing a formal education.
  • The Tennessee Parole Board denied her request.
  • On December 6, 2018, the Tennessee Supreme Court ruled that she would have to serve the full 51 years to be eligible for parole. The Court stated that under state law, a life sentence is 60 years and because the sentence is for 51 years, it is technically not a “life sentence” and can stand.

This is a travesty, and a severe form of victim blaming and dehumanization of Black girls. We are asking for the Governor to grant Cyntoia clemency for the “second chance” that she has asked.
We are inviting national, state, local and Tribal organizations to co-sponsor this call, which entails:

  1. Sending your permission for your organization to be added to the call announcement as co-sponsor.
  2. Ensuring at least one person from your group is on the call.
  3. Sending the announcement out to your networks.
  4. Committing to contacting the TN Governor to ask for Clemency for Cyntoia.

Register here for the call:
https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/TDB9NTT

If you are interested in co-sponsorship, please contact Tonya Lovelace at tlovelace@wocninc.org.

In Solidarity,
Women of Color Network, Inc.