Celebrating Father's Day - June 21, 2020

#CelebratingFatherFigures Panel
This Father's Day at 2pm EST, join us in conversation with directly impacted youth, parents and activists as we honor incarcerated father figures, discuss family reunification and parenting behind bars.
Black Trans Lives Matter
Wendi Cooper
Wendi is a member of the Faces of Women Imprisoned Cohort and The LOHM Global Speaker Bureau.
Wendi Cooper is a transgender Black woman who is native to New Orleans, Louisiana. She has been a healthcare provider and mental health professional for over a decade. Wendi is a staunch advocate against Louisiana’s Crime Against Nature by Solicitation (CANS) law which criminalizes sex that is not procreative. 

What is the Crime Against Nature by Solicitation (CANS) law and how have you been affected by it?
The law was enacted in 1805. It punishes individuals for engaging in sexual acts that are not procreative. If you engage in oral or anal sex in the state of Louisiana, you can be charged with CANS. As of 2012, people who were convicted of CANS on the first offense had to register as a sex offender for 10 years. If you were convicted of a second count, you had to register for the duration of your life. I had to register as as sex offender for over 10 years. It was hard for me to get employment, housing, and sustain daily living. I worked with Women With A Vision and the NO Justice Project to help more than 700 women charged with CANS remove their names from the sex offender list. I then connected with Operation Restoration and started the #CANScantStand campaign to bring awareness to a law that discriminates against the existence of LGBTQ individuals, particularly Black trans women. I want to repeal the law by 2021. 

Can you discuss how your trans identity played into your sentencing?
Louisiana’s criminal justice system disempowers trans women. I was on my way to the club with a few of my friends when I was stopped by an officer who expressed interest in me. He manipulated me for an arrest. I was arrested for having a civilized conversation. I didn’t know what Crime Against Nature was. The public defender that was supposed to fight for me didn’t do it because I was a Black trans woman. He told me to plead guilty or else I would get five years in prison. My back was against the wall. I accepted probation without knowing that I was required to register as a sex offender. 

What is one of the biggest misunderstandings about the trans community?
We’ve always been overlooked. People have always felt that there isn't a place for our community in the world. This country has always had laws in place to try to eliminate our existence. By doing so, they incarcerate us. We are humans. We are able to do the same things you can do. I feel like the LGBTQIA community’s truth is utilized for political gain. At one point in time it wasn’t ok for me to walk freely in the streets or hold hands with my partners. Now things are changing. The younger generation is saying, I dare you to criminalize someone for who they are. We’re starting to see change and liberation.

What does effective LGBTQIA allyship look like?
I thank God for social media and for cameras. These issues have been going on for the past 400 years but because of technology people are really starting to see the rhetoric and abuse of power that has gone on in our world. I’m loving how Black people are standing in solidarity because we didn’t see that as much when I was coming up. Sometimes things have to happen for people to wake up. It’s good to hold people accountable, especially our legislators. They’re the ones who are creating all of these problems by way of loopholes in the laws. They’re the ones creating these injustices. 

Allies need to include Black trans folk in these protests because we’re out here fighting for our own rights and the rights of Black people in general. At these protests we are excluded from conversations and we are excluded from the Black community as a whole. What people need to realize is that our community is like a body. Each organ in the body allows the body to function. If one organ declines then the whole body will eventually decline. Solidarity begins when we include all Black people in these conversations- LGBTQ people, Black men, and Black women.
Program Update
The Angel Food Delivery Project provides healthy meals to individuals impacted by incarceration to alleviate hardship and eliminate food insecurity.

Last week, the Angel Food Project supplied seven families with groceries and fed a total of 27 adults and children. We were able to distribute 64 bags of groceries!
Upcoming Events
Freedom Justice Equality & the Power of our vote
In honor of Juneteenth and in anticipation of the upcoming election, New York Liberty is hosting a virtual panel discussion which explores politics through the lens of pop culture, touching on topics related to criminal justice reform, economic equality, women’s issues, and more.
Join The Fight For Justice
On June 11, 2020, The Louisville Metro Council voted unanimously to ban
no-knock warrants to prevent what happened to Breonna Taylor from happening again.

The officers involved in her murder as still on administrative leave. Call the officials listed below and request the officers be fired, arrested, charged and convicted.
Demand Justice For Breonna!

Demand the officers be fired
Mayor Greg Fischer
(502) 574-2003

Demand the officers be charged
Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron
(502) 696-5300

Demand the Intern Police Chief Robert Schroeder complete the investigation and turn it over to Breonna's lawyer and the Attorney General
Police Chief Robert Schroeder
(502) 574-7111
A Special Thank You!
Thank you to everyone who participated in our day of Cash App donation matching!

Your contributions will help us with our EPIC mission to end poverty and incarceration for women and girls!
Legislative Updates
Trump Administration Erases Transgender Civil Rights Protections in Health Care
A rule finalized on June 12, 2020, by the Department of Health and Human Services means that the federal government no longer recognizes gender identity as an avenue for sex discrimination in health care.
Andrew Cuomo Signs Three More Police Accountability Measures into Law
New laws require officers to report when they discharge their weapon, and if there are arrest-related deaths. Courts must publish racial demographic data for low-level offenses. Officers are required to provide in custody medical and mental health attention. The public can also access officer disciplinary files.
Supreme Court Bars Workplace Discrimination Against LGBTQ People; Ruling May Be Transformative
In a historic 6-3 ruling, the Supreme Court ruled Monday that Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, forbidding workplace discrimination on the basis of sex, applies to gay and transgender people.
Resources
Minneapolis City Council Unanimously Votes To Replace Police With Community-Led Mode l

The Minneapolis City Council on Friday, 18 days after the death of George Floyd, unanimously passed a resolution to replace the police department with a community-led public safety system.
What Does 'Defund the Police' Mean? The Phrase, Explained

Defunding the police does not necessarily mean getting rid of the police altogether. Rather, it would mean reducing police budgets and reallocating those funds to crucial and oft-neglected areas like education, public health, housing, and youth services. 
44 Mental Health Resources for Black People Trying to Survive in This Country
This article provides readers with a list of people, brands, collectives and organizations to follow to help boost your mental health.
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