Grassroots Leadership Blog

David Venturella, GEO spokesperson pushing Indiana detention center, is former top ICE official implicated in deportation quota scandal

Today's Chicago Tribune has a story about the fight in Gary, Indiana over a new immigrant detention center proposed by private prison corporation GEO Group.  The new for-profit prison is heavily opposed by local immigrant rights groups, Black Lives Matters protesters, and members of the faith community.   According to the Tribune: Read more about David Venturella, GEO spokesperson pushing Indiana detention center, is former top ICE official implicated in deportation quota scandal

Grassroots Leadership and Texas Advocates for Justice Welcome Jorge Renaud!

New TAJ Organizer!
New TAJ Organizer, Jorge Renaud

Jorge comes to Grassroots Leadership after a long journey, from prison to walking the halls of the Texas Lege as a policy analyst for the Texas Criminal Justice Coalition and as an organizer with the Center for Community Change. An occasional slam poet and a fulltime believer in the necessity of those most affected by policy to be at the forefront of change, Jorge now is devoted to assisting the incredible work of the individuals in the Texas Advocates for Justice as they chop away at the roots of incarceration.  Read more about Grassroots Leadership and Texas Advocates for Justice Welcome Jorge Renaud!

VICTORY! Austin becomes the first city in the South to pass a Fair Chance Hiring Ordinance!

Last Thursday night, organizing efforts by a powerful group of formerly incarcerated people and their allies made history by making Austin the first Fair Chance Hiring City in the South! Austin City Council voted 8-2 to pass a Fair Chance Hiring Ordinance — an anti-discrimination policy that moves the background check to the end of the hiring process for most private employers, allowing candidates to be considered based on their merits first, without the stigma of a conviction history. Read more about VICTORY! Austin becomes the first city in the South to pass a Fair Chance Hiring Ordinance!

ACTION ALERT: 3 things you can do to support Fair Chance Hiring in Austin this week!

This Thursday, Austin City Council will debate and vote on a Fair Chance Hiring Ordinance that will allow individuals with a conviction history to fairly compete for jobs, without the stigma of a criminal record. 

We need your help to send a strong message to councilmembers that you support a Fair Chance Hiring Ordinance that seeks to restore civil rights and combat institutional racism in our city! Here are 3 things you can do this week to join the fight: Read more about ACTION ALERT: 3 things you can do to support Fair Chance Hiring in Austin this week!

New Grassroots Leadership report reveals private prison corporations profiting from warehousing individuals with mental health issues

A new report released today by Grassroots Leadership details the strategic expansion by private prison corporations to fill profit gaps from efforts to reduce mass incarceration through an emerging Treatment Industrial Complex. Read more about New Grassroots Leadership report reveals private prison corporations profiting from warehousing individuals with mental health issues

Welcome Rebecca Sanchez!

Grassroots Leadership is pleased to welcome Rebecca Sanchez as our new Administration and Development Associate! Rebecca first came to Grassroots Leadership as a volunteer to help coordinate our 35th Anniversary campaign and celebration, made her way into our hearts, and now joins our full time staff.  Read more about Welcome Rebecca Sanchez!

What you need to know about Fair Chance Hiring in Austin!

In the coming weeks, Austin City Council will be debating a Fair Chance Hiring (FCH) ordinance aimed at eliminating employment discrimination against individuals in Austin with a criminal record. This would be a huge step toward creating a more equitable Austin, strengthening our communities, and dismantling institutional racism in our city.

What exactly is Fair Chance Hiring? Read more about What you need to know about Fair Chance Hiring in Austin!

#Hutto27 update: Maribel is free from immigrant detention, but the fight isn't over

This photo was taken right after Maribel's bond hearing, where the judge flippantly commented, "Well, [Honduras] is a dangerous place" in response to her attorney explaining her case for asylum. In the end, he granted Maribel a $8,500 bond.

Click here to find out how to continue the fight to #FreeTheMadresLuchadoras

On Friday, fourteen people arrived to fill the small courtroom at the San Antonio immigration court and surprised staff with matching t-shirts to support Maribel Zelaya at the bond hearing she had finally been granted after more than a year in detention. Read more about #Hutto27 update: Maribel is free from immigrant detention, but the fight isn't over

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