On July 13th, the community came together to deliver a clear message: Massachusetts can no longer delay; we need comprehensive criminal justice reform. The gathering, entitled The Fierce Urgency Of Now, Or Else #StuckOnReplay, drew hundreds of individuals, advocates, and community leaders to Dudley Square to share stories and issue a passionate call for change.
The program included performances by local artists to illustrate inequalities in the system, a breakout session to organize advocacy and social media strategy, and pep talks from advocacy organizations working on different components of the reform agenda. James Mackey, Founder and Organizer of #StuckOnReplay, also presented awards to recognize champions in this effort, including Senator Sonia Chang-Diaz and Representative Evandro Carvalho.
The forum marked the one year anniversary of the first #StuckOnReplay gathering, which brought together members of greater Boston communities most affected by incarceration. Over the past year, #StuckOnReplay has hosted and participated in a number of events, facilitating conversations and amplifying the voices of those who are underrepresented in a truly impactful way.
It is clear that the Massachusetts Legislature does not reflect the communities who are disproportionately impacted by the justice system, and so the need to listen to the those on the front lines – those with first-hand experience, is vital in this process. Only by acknowledging these disparities can we begin to address them through reform efforts and a reinvestment strategy that actively works to break the cycle for the next generation.
Thank you to all of the partner organizations that helped make this event possible.