Forming the Coalition to Dismantle the New Jim Crow
In 2012, members of the Mother African Union Church, First Unitarian Church of Wilmington, and the Interdenominational Ministers Action Council (IMAC) formed a partnership to study mass incarceration and institutional racism and their affects on communities of color and the poor. Reverends Dr. Lawrence Livingston and Paula Maiorano organized and facilitated the first New Jim Crow Study Group whose purpose was to read and discuss Michelle Alexander’s book, “The New Jim Crow: Colorblindness in the Age of Mass Incarceration”. Eventually, 20 congregations and organizations had participated in study groups, enlightening hundreds of Delawareans about mass incarceration.
In 2013, members of the study groups gathered together to form the Coalition to Dismantle the New Jim Crow. Within the Coalition, action-oriented committees were formed to increase awareness of the problem and solutions through public forums, foster prevention programs for at-risk youth, promote racial healing, and to advocate for changes in policy and practices that feed Delaware’s mass incarceration system.
What we do
We host monthly and annual forums, summits, and conferences to raise awareness and understanding of mass incarceration, systemic and institutional racism. Our monthly meetings inform the public of community and state programs and initiatives aimed at alleviating poverty and racial disparities, fostering equitable economic development, and creating safer and better connected communities.
We advocate for changes in state and local policy to rectify the effects of mass incarceration, institutional racism, and economic inequality. This includes supporting fair policing practices, progressive economic policy, livable wages, and communities that value diversity, inclusion, and equity.
The effects of institutional, structural, and interpersonal racism are pernicious and long lasting. People of color (this includes Black people, Latinos, Asians, and Native Americans) have long suffered the effects of social and economic racial discrimination. The Coalition believes that it is necessary for people of all races to acknowledge the need for racial healing and collectively work towards a just society. We do this through educational activities and empathy building programs.