All of Us Or None Year End Celebration

Marissa Wells

All of Us Or None Year End Celebration

 

The All of Us or None year end gathering was a time for members of the Los Angeles and Long Beach chapters to come together for a meal and to celebrate the many struggles and accomplishments of 2017.

All of US or None (AOUON) is a national organizing effort to center and grow the voices of formerly incarcerated and convicted people and their loved ones in the fight to end mass incarceration. The national, grassroots, civil rights movement was founded by a group of formerly incarcerated people, including A New Way of Life founder Susan Burton in the early 2000s. Ms. Burton continues to chair the LA County chapters of AOUON, and ANWOL collaborates closely with the other chapters across California.

This final meeting of the year sparked a new tradition where the local All of Us or None chapters could come together to reflect on successes and highlight some of the individuals that always show up and contribute to the work. Whether it’s registering voters, making phone calls to City Hall, or coming to the Board of Supervisors meetings, these are community members going above and beyond to do their part to end mass incarceration and the inhumane treatment of our incarcerated loved ones. During the meeting certificates of appreciation were awarded to some of the most outstanding members of the Long Beach and Los Angeles chapters.

AOUON members receiving certificates

AOUON members receiving certificates

“The end of year celebration was an opportunity for us to highlight and recap the efforts of our student organization,” said Tanu, member of the Long Beach chapter. “It was also inspiring to hear about the work of so many others involved with building this movement and to also put faces to the names.”

In addition to the certificates, members shared success stories and updates were given on the organizations current campaigns like, bail reform and Assembly Bill 535, which restores the right to serve on a jury to people with convictions. ANWOL brought dozens of gifts that were distributed via a raffle. Delicious food was catered by Revolutionario North African Tacos and generously underwritten by Adam Vine of Cage-Free Cannabis.

“I feel that we should continue this on for the years to come,” said Ingrid Archie, ANWOL staff and Prop 47 Advocate. “With such a steep hill to climb to overcome those 4,800 state barriers and 48,000 federal barriers to reentry, it’s important that we reflect on our successes and recognize all of the hard work that our members do throughout the year.”

The meeting, which had opened with the All of US Or None pledge, which speaks to a deep commitment to second chances and supporting and loving each other, each and every one of us, ended with one of the great call and responses of the current struggle for justice and human rights, “All of Us?” Ms. Burton called out, “Or None!” the crowd roared.

The Los Angeles chapter of All of US or None meets at 5:30 pm the 2nd Tuesday of every month at Watts Labor Community Action Committee, 10950 S. Central Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90059. The Long Beach chapter meets the 2nd Thursday of every month at Building Health Communities, 920 Atlantic Ave. Suite 101, Long Beach, CA 90813.

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