On any given day in the United States, an average of 700,000 people are in jail simply because they cannot afford bail. The majority of them haven’t been convicted of a crime, but sit in a cell awaiting their day in court because they are poor. More than 100,000 of these people are Black mothers, whose incarceration hits their communities – and families – hard.
NEO Philanthropy’s fiscally sponsored project, Law for Black Lives, along with nearly two dozen local and national groups decided to stand up for Black mothers who can’t afford bail. Mama’s Bail Out Day was created to bail mothers before Mother’s Day, so they could spend the holiday with their families, where they belong.
This is just one instance of how the network of more than 3,000 progressive lawyers is keeping good on their mission to galvanize and train lawyers to use their legal skills to dismantle current oppressive systems and democratize access to legal resources and protections.
Law for Black Lives’ membership includes lawyers, legal workers, law students, organizers and academics in 48 states who believe deeply in following the leadership of those most impacted and work in close collaboration with organizations on the frontlines of the struggle for racial justice.
In their co-authored report, “Freedom to Thrive: Reimagining Safety and Security in our Communities,” Law for Black Lives examines the budgets of 12 different cities and counties across the country. The report details the misguided and racial discriminatory choices of local officials, who consistently spend more money on police and jails than on supportive services such as education, employment or health.
In the next year, Law for Black Lives will continue to offer monthly educational webinars, create topic specific resources and support base-building organizations. In addition, they will be doing listening tours to accurately assess the needs of lawyers, legal advocates and community groups, offer a Black femme mentorship program, host law student luncheons and much more.
NEO honors and helps lift up Law for Black Lives and more than 60 other fiscal sponsorees by serving as an umbrella organization for an individual or project’s charitable work.