Initiate Justice is dedicated to ending mass incarceration by activating the political power of the people it has directly impacted. We are creating a membership and committee structure to engage our impacted members and help our community support this work.  

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Initiate Justice Members

To be considered a “Member” of Initiate Justice, you must either be an Outside Organizer (a graduate of an Institute of Impacted Leaders cohort), or complete a membership application committing to Initiate Justice’s mission.

To become a Member, you must

  1. Attend at least 3 monthly meetings in a 4-month period.
  2. Complete a short orientation & application at the end of your first meeting
  3. Sign up to support at least 1 Initiate Justice committee. You do not have to be directly impacted by incarceration to be a member, but you do have to be directly impacted to join the Institute of Impacted Leaders/be an Outside Organizer.

All-Member Meetings

All IJ Members will come together and meet once per month. Each committee will give a report on what they are working on, and opportunities to collaborate on various issues will be discussed. Monthly Member meetings are open to new members as well. Currently, monthly member meetings are conducted online via Zoom video conferencing due to COVID-19.

Committee Meetings

Initiate Justice Members will be asked to join working committees to remain active in the work. Committees may meet as often as necessary to accomplish their tasks, but at least once per month. Committee meeting times / dates / locations will be recommended by the members of that committee and approved by the staff member they are reporting to.

Committees

1.   Advocacy Committee

The Advocacy Committee supports Initiate Justice policy campaigns while empowering members to be confident and impactful advocates. They organize to help pass and implement the various pieces of legislation IJ is co-sponsoring and/or supporting. Additionally, this year the Advocacy Committee is expanding its scope by creating spaces to equip members to be policy advocates in their everyday lives and engage with the Abolition Movement. Tasks may include but are not limited to:

  • Writing or signing letters of support/opposition for legislation
  • Organizing or participating in in-district lobby visits
  • Co-organizing or participating in Sacramento lobby days
  • Learning to understand and engage with the legislative process / IJ bills
  • Providing public comment at committee hearings
  • Mobilizing voters for ballot initiatives
  • Option of joining various spaces and projects to further learn and engage with policy and the Abolition Movement. Such as Policy “Office Hours”, Abolition “Office Hours”, and workshops 

2.   Inside Membership Committee

The Inside Membership Committee supports communication with and recruitment of Initiate Justice Inside Members. Tasks may include but are not limited to:

  • Adding new names to the Inside Members database
  • Responding to mail from our Inside Members
  • Organizing and helping to run data entry nights and mail nights
  • Training new Committee Members on how to add names and respond to mail
  • Support the creation and execution of the magazine for our Inside Members
  • Finding ways to build and strengthen our relationship with members inside

3.   Inside Organizing Committee

The Inside Organizing Committee helps to develop the leadership of our Inside Organizers. Tasks may include but are not limited to:

  • Getting trained to lead Inside Organizer training by phone or in-person
  • Contributing and constructing a newspaper that brings the voices from inside and outside together
  • Brainstorming new innovative ways to activate and organize system impacted folks and our loved ones inside prison
  • Support with the planning and logistics of the IO training, curriculums, and newspaper

4.   Outside Membership Committee

The Outside Membership Committee will help to build, develop, and engage the membership structure of people on the outside. Tasks may include but are not limited to:

  • Developing new events and other ways to recruit new members
  • Brainstorming and creating ways to build community amongst existing members
  • Assist with the development of chapters and provide support to chapters by curating resources, and planning and creating material for skill-building workshops/teach-ins 
  • Support the planning and facilitating of IJ monthly membership meetings 
  • Social media/community outreach calls to action to share our events and projects

5.   Healing Committee

The Healing Committee will provide a safe space for directly impacted Members / Outside Organizers to address issues affecting our lives. Tasks may include but are not limited to:

  • Holding regular meetings, healing circles, grounding activities, etc. as needed to support the emotional health of our impacted Members.