Grassroots Leadership Blog

Welcoming Sarai Morales to the Criminal Justice Team

Grassroots Leadership is excited to welcome Sarai Morales as a new Social Work Intern!

Sarai holds a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology from St. Edward’s University and is currently working on a Master’s degree in Social Work at Texas State.

Sarai will be conducting her final field placement at Grassroots Leadership this summer where she will be helping the Criminal Justice Team with research and policy. She is very excited to work with our organization to fight the criminalization of our community, promote justice and advocate for individuals. Read more about Welcoming Sarai Morales to the Criminal Justice Team

This Mother's Day, I'm Fighting to End the Mass Incarceration of Our Children

On a day like today, when everyone is smiling and wishing you a happy Mother's Day, a part of me is not so happy. Today reminds me of the day my son entered a plea deal. Just before he agreed, he looked at me, and my gut was screaming, "Noooo!" Nothing was right.

My son suffered from PTSD after the murder of his brother, my second son. He was the third and last. He got into some serious mischief with a girl that lured him away from me with some Bonnie and Clyde nonsense. They hired a lawyer and he got 6 years, she got 6 days. Read more about This Mother's Day, I'm Fighting to End the Mass Incarceration of Our Children

I took a tour of the Harris County Jail Mental Health Unit. Here’s what I found.

The Harris County Sheriff's Office (HCSO) operates the nation's fourth-largest jail, with an inmate population approaching 9,000. (Jail Mental Health Initiatives)

     At Grassroots Leadership, we advocate and organize against private prison, detention centers and behavioral health treatment centers.  Diverting those with mental health concerns from the criminal justice system into community treatment programs. Ultimately, those with mental health issues are not diverted but instead forced into a failed criminal and mental health system — especially in Houston, Texas. Read more about I took a tour of the Harris County Jail Mental Health Unit. Here’s what I found.

Donna Red Wing, Rest in Power

Today, Grassroots Leadership is mourning the loss of Donna Red Wing, who passed away yesterday after a battle with cancer. 

Donna was Grassroots Leadership's second Executive Director, serving the organization in that capacity between 2010 and 2012. Before that, she was a long-time board member and supporter of the organization.  Donna had a long career as trail-blazing organizer and national figure in the LGBT movement including serving in leadership roles at the Interfaith Alliance, Human Rights Campaign, and Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation. Read more about Donna Red Wing, Rest in Power

What your donation to our work means to us

We are overwhelmed by the support we received during Amplify Austin on Friday. We are happy to share that we met our $10,000 goal. We couldn’t have done it without you. Thank you! Those donations will ensure that we are able to keep organizing for the long haul and fighting back against criminalization right here in Texas. For example, did you know the Travis County Commissioners Court is actually considering spending $97 million on a new jail? Read more about What your donation to our work means to us

Welcoming Ari Luna

 

Grassroots Leadership is excited to welcome Ari Luna as our new Administrative Associate!

Born and raised in Central Texas, Ari holds a Bachelor of Social Work degree from the University of Texas at Austin. Ari joins us with 6 years of experience providing specialized support to non-profit organizations in Austin, Texas. They are excited to support our organization and staff in their fight to eliminate incarceration, deportation, and criminalization. Read more about Welcoming Ari Luna

Things are just as bad as we feared at a “civil commitment center” in Texas

This private prison facility in West Texas once incarcerated prisoners from Idaho. Ever since Idaho canceled the contract with GEO Group in 2008, the county has been desperate to fill the facility that had become a money pit for local taxpayers.

I hate to say we told you so. In this case, I really, really hate it.

An exposé in the Texas Observer this month confirmed everything we feared about the Treatment Industrial Complex (TIC), a term we use to describe private prison companies’ scheme to expand their revenue by exploiting new markets in healthcare, treatment, and re-entry. Read more about Things are just as bad as we feared at a “civil commitment center” in Texas

Miembros de la comunidad luchan por la liberación inmediata de Laura Monterrosa / Community members rally for Laura Monterrosa's immediate release

El domingo 25 de febrero, miembros de la comunidad se reunieron frente al Centro de Detención T. Don Hutto para mostrar su apoyo por Laura Monterrosa, una mujer inmigrante que ha estado hablando sobre el abuso sexual que sufrió a manos de una guardia en el centro de detención. Read more about Miembros de la comunidad luchan por la liberación inmediata de Laura Monterrosa / Community members rally for Laura Monterrosa's immediate release

Welcoming Sulma Franco to the immigration team // Bienvenida a Sulma Franco al equipo de inmigración

Grassroots Leadership is pleased to welcome Sulma Franco as our new Sanctuary Organizer! Grassroots Leadership was invited by Sulma to help with her sanctuary campaign in 2015 when she was at the First Unitarian Universalist Church in Austin.

¡Grassroots Leadership se enorgullece en darle la bienvenida a nuestra nueva Organizadora de Santuario, Sulma Franco! Sulma invitó a Grassroots Leadership a apoyar su campaña de santuario en el 2015 mientras estaba en santuario en la iglesia First Unitarian Universalist en Austin. Read more about Welcoming Sulma Franco to the immigration team // Bienvenida a Sulma Franco al equipo de inmigración

Welcoming Development Coordinator Natalia Thompson

Grassroots Leadership is proud to welcome Natalia Thompson as our new Development Coordinator. 

Natalia has been organizing and fundraising for migrant, economic, and racial justice for over a decade. Born and raised in Wisconsin, Natalia holds a B.A. in Ethnicity, Race, and Migration and in Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies from Yale, where she organized with MEChA de Yale.  Read more about Welcoming Development Coordinator Natalia Thompson

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