Meet A Roddenberry Fellow
June 4, 2019
Meet Amani, a 2019 Roddenberry Fellow
Amani is a writer and founder of the site sawarimi.org. She was also selected as Jailhouse Lawyers Speak’s spokesperson for the 2018 National Prison Strike. Her advocacy for prisoners’ human rights has stemmed from her understanding of the negative socio-political effects that stereotypical media portrayals have on Black people. Amani is fighting for the rights of incarcerated individuals through the innovative project Right2Vote.
Amani was recruited by Jailhouse Lawyers Speaks, an incarcerated group of prisoners human rights organizers, in preparation for the 2018 National Prison Strike. The strike was called in response to the completely avoidable loss of life that occurred in South Carolina’s Lee County Prison on April 15, 2018. The strike was called as a direct response to the need for a dramatic change in the way our criminal justice system operates. After the strike ended, prisoners wanted to maintain the energy and awareness around the country. Amani worked to continue collaborating with them, relating their demands, writing articles shaping public opinion and organizing outside groups on their behalf.
“The prisoners’ initiative seeks to restore sense back into our criminal justice system, which lost its mind in the 80s and 90s, by allowing the prisoners who are intimately intertwined in the system to take the lead in providing solutions because their lives depend on these changes. We understand that there are educated, informed and well organized incarcerated individuals that are passionate about criminal justice reform and it is my hope to amplify their voices in as many platforms as possible. Prisoners with the support of their recently established Prisoners’ Human Rights Coalition will release demands and action items to fulfill those demands while members of the coalition will support them in distributing and following those actions among their individual networks.”
During the 2019 Fellowship
Throughout the Fellowship, Amani is focused on the Right2Vote campaign, which is changing the game by engaging incarcerated individuals into the political processes that they’ve been barred from since the erection of our current criminal justice system. A system that was established in order to completely bar formerly enslaved Black people from the benefits of American democracy. This project aims to restore prisoners’ Right2Vote with an understanding that our criminal justice system can never operate as a rehabilitative or corrective environment without the influence of those who are most affected, the inmates.
“The goal is to support prisoner-led resistance in making transformative policy changes that actually work to positively impact prisoners’ lives on a massive scale. Prisoners are the most effected and intimately acquainted with our criminal justice system and therefore should be leading in the movement to bring sense back into this senseless system.”
How to get involved:
Subscribe: sign up for a mailing list and download issues of the Right2Vote Report http://sawarimi.org/right2vote-report
Follow/Share: Support Amani on social media
Learn more about Amani and Right2Vote: https://sawarimi.org/