FORMING THE COALITION
TO DISMANTLE THE NEW JIM CROW
Seeking understanding and answers to the problem in Delaware, members of the Mother African Union Church, First Unitarian Church of Wilmington, and the Interdenominational Ministers Action Council (IMAC) formed a partnership in 2012 to study the situation and search for solutions.
Rev. Dr. Lawrence Livingston and Rev. Paula Maiorano organized and facilitated the first New Jim Crow Study Group, which alternated its meetings between the Mother African Union Church and First Unitarian Church to read and discuss Michelle Alexander’s book, “The Coalition to Dismantle the New Jim Crow”.
Leaders from the YWCA and ACLU joined the group—and the second Study Group attracted 50 people from six more congregations. A total of 20 congregations and organizations have participated in multiple interfaith and interracial study groups, and others are in formation. Hundreds of participants have had their eyes opened about mass incarceration.
In 2013, members of the Study Groups gathered together to form the Coalition to Dismantle the New Jim Crow as the operating arm of the Interfaith Coalition Building Blocks for Wilmington (ICBBW).
Action Committees were formed to increase awareness of the problem through public forums, to prevent youth from being caught up in the system, to “Ban the Box” on employment applications, to advocate for pardons and expungement of criminal records, and to repeal Delaware’s death penalty.