December 21, 2014

#BlackLives Matter Issues Response to Murder of Two NYPD Officers

New York, NY -  #BlackLivesMatter, a national grassroots and social media driven movement at the heart of much of the recent mobilizations against police violence has issued the following statement in response to today’s murders of two NYPD officers:

“Our hearts grieve with New York, a community already reeling from the losses of Eric Garner, Ramarley Graham, Kimani Gray, Akai Gurley, Islan Nettles and many more. An eye for an eye is not our vision of justice, and we who have taken to the streets seeking justice and liberation know that we need deep transformation to correct the larger institutional problems of racial profiling, abuse, and violence.
“We know all too well the pain and the trauma that follows the senseless loss of our family members and loved ones. We extend our hearts and prayers to the families of those who lost their loved ones this week. No one should suffer the loss of those whom they love.
“At the heart of our movement work is a deep and profound love for our people, and we are rooted in the belief that Black people in the U.S. must reassert our right to live be well in a country where our lives have been deemed valueless. Together, we champion a complete transformation of the ways we see and relate to one another.
“Now is our moment to advance a dramatic overhaul of policing practices. Now is the time to direct more resources into community mental health services and practices. Now is a moment for empathy and deep listening. Now is the time to end violence against women and trans people. Now is our moment to come together to end state violence.
“Our movement, grown from the love for our people and for all people, will continue to advance our vision of justice for all of us.  Let’s hold each other close as we work together to end violence in our communities—once and for all.”
#BlackLivesMatter is an ideological and political intervention in a world where Black lives are systematically and intentionally targeted for demise. It is an affirmation of Black folks’ contributions to this society, our humanity, and our resilience in the face of deadly oppression.

Black Lives Matter in the Poughkeepsie Galleria

Black Lives Matter in the Poughkeepsie Galleria

December 17, 2014

"Ban the Box" campaign shows results

Kingston, NY - Today, Ulster County Executive Mike Hein signed an Executive Order which will restructure the County's employment application and process, eliminating an area for potential discrimination and bias.  This action by way of Executive Order is the first of its kind among counties in the State of New York and embraces the core provision of the "Ban The Box" campaign, creating a fairer hiring process by eliminating the risk of institutional bias based upon an individual's past history when they apply for employment. - 

December 10, 2014

Demonstration 12/17/2014 marking 100 years of drug prohibition

Reminder: ENJAN will hold a demonstration 12/17/2014 marking 100 years of drug prohibition:
Purpose: To call for an end to the War on Drugs
When: Wednesday, December 17 at 12:00 PMWhere: In front of the Dutchess County Courthouse on Market Street in Poughkeepsie. (Corner of Main and Market)

I'll bring a poster "Stop the Drug War" with sub-title "100 years of failed policy", as well as ENJAN pamphlets and stop-jail-expansion palm cards. Please bring yourself -- with or without more posters against the War on Drugs. Psychotropic drugs can do a lot of damage, but the War on Drugs has done far more damage.


December 8, 2014

Jews Say No! stands with the Black community

Jews Say No! stands with the Black community and with all communities of color across this country that fear for the safety of their sons and daughters at the hands of law enforcement officials and that are leading protests across the country against a U.S. “justice” system that repeatedly (and predictably) fails to hold white people accountable for the killing of Black people.

At a New York City demonstration this week following the refusal of grand juries to indict the police officers who killed Mike Brown in Ferguson and Eric Garner on Staten Island, someone held a sign with the words of the African American civil rights leader Ella Baker written on it: “Until the killing of black men, black mothers’ sons, becomes as important to the rest of the country as the killing of a white mother’s son, we who believe in freedom cannot rest until this happens.”

Jews Say No! joins in protest with the Black community and with all those struggling for justice and dignity from NYC to Palestine.

Jews Say No!
December 5, 2014

Walking down Route 44/55

About 100 people came out for a rally in Poughkeepsie on
Monday, Dec 8. At one point, we marched down Route 44/55.

December 7, 2014

Monday, Dec 8 in front of the Fed Bankruptcy Court in Poughkeepsie

“On July 17, 2014 Staten Island resident Eric Garner was strangled to death by NYPD officers. He was harassed by officers who suspected him of selling untaxed, loose cigarettes. For that, he lost his life. Eric knew this was wrong. Shortly before he was killed, he said something else: 'This Stops Today.' ”

Join Community Voices Heard, ENJAN, leaders in the community and students tomorrow, Monday, 12pm in front of the Federal Bankruptcy Court (355 Main St, Poughkeepsie) to demand justice for Michael Brown, Eric Garner, and the many other unarmed black people who have been murdered at the hands of a deeply racist police system.

The white police officers responsible for these murders were not indicted for these crimes on the state level. This is not a state issue; it’s a national crisis! Black men, women, queer, and transgender people are targeted, harassed, brutalized and killed by the cops across the country just for being black on a daily basis.

We will be meeting in front of the Federal Bankruptcy Court at 355 Main St (12pm) this Monday (Dec 8).

because now more than ever our Federal Government needs to take action and indict these men on federal charges.

Join us as we rally and march from 12 - 2pm.
Here in Poughkeepsie, we have the power to help fight back against the racist police and stand in solidarity with the people in Ferguson and allies across the country to let the Federal Government know, the time to act is now! We will
not accept the terrorizing of black lives.


- Bring signs

- Use the hashtags #ThisStopsToday, #ShutItDown, #BlackLivesMatter

In Solidarity,
Community Voices Heard Poughkeepsie
Vassar Black Students Union
Poughkeepsie Ferguson Action Leadership Team
End the New Jim Action Network

December 6, 2014

PRESENTATION: Odell Winfield will talk about Michele Alexander's book, End the New Jim Crow at the Woodstock Public Library, Saturday, Dec 6, starting at 5:00 pm. For more information, please contact:

December 3, 2014

Dec 5 and Dec 10 workshops

Trafficking in Our Community: "It's Happening Here"

A day of workshops on Friday 12/5 from 9am to 1pm at the Henry A. Wallace Center at the FDR Presidential Library & Home. Cosponsored by the Dutchess County Task Force against Youth Trafficking, the Center for the Prevention of Child Abuse, and the Eleanor Roosevelt Center at Val- Kill. Free, but requires advance registration. 845.454.0595 and ask for Samantha.

Bringing Human Rights Home: Inequality, Race, and the United States

A day of workshops on 12/10 from 9am to 2pm at the Henry A. Wallace Center at the FDR Presidential Library & Home. Cosponsored by the United Nations Association- Mid Hudson Valley and the Eleanor Roosevelt Center at Val- Kill in celebration of the Human Rights Day. Free, but requires advance registration. Please sign up online visiting:

November 25, 2014

Justice for Michael Brown's murder!

Poughkeepsie saw an amazing turnout after the Grand Jury's decision not to prosecute Officer Darren Wilson for Michael Brown's murder. Another young, black man gunned down, unarmed in the street. We marched from the Dutchess County Jail shouting "no justice, no peace" and the crowd of well over 500 filled up the street for almost a block. Later we rallied at the Malcolm X Park, finally ending with the chant of "love!"

A very large contingent of Vassar College students participated, bringing racial diversity to the rally. Not so in the prison we could see over the low shrubbery. Silhouettes of black prisoners in the cell windows gave us the hands up salute as we passed by.

November 20, 2014

Dutchess County Ferguson Rally

Ferguson is waiting for the grand jury's decision.  The present plan is to meet the day after the decision at the Dutchess County Jail at 6pm. We ask that people bring candles. We may place the candles in the shape of a body.  Please get the word out it is over a 100 days since Mike Brown was shoot and it would be nice to have over 100 people. More info to come. All over the country city's are planning to take the same action. Let's make sure POK is well represented .


-->See the Ulster County Ferguson Rally below

How Ferguson showed us the truth about police

Ulster County Sherrif Suspends Warrant Checks at DSS

  • By James Nani
    Times Herald-Record 

    Posted Nov. 18, 2014 @ 8:19 pm 

    KINGSTON - Ulster County Sheriff Paul Van Blarcum backed down Tuesday evening on his new protocol of doing warrant checks on everyone walking into county Social Services.
    "I am willing to suspend it," Van Blarcum announced to an Ulster County committee meeting Tuesday night.
    In exchange, Ulster County Legislator Tracey Bartels agreed to draw back her proposal to throw out the entire Ulster County Sheriff's Office division from county buildings and hire private security.
    But Bartels, a Democrat from Gardiner, made it clear to Van Blarcum that she wasn't satisfied with simply suspending the policy.
    "I want it ceased," Bartels said.
    Bartels had authored an amendment to Ulster County Executive Mike Hein's 2015 proposed budget to cut $926,805 from the county's building security division. That would have removed three sheriff's deputies and fired seven security guards.
    Bartels has decried the practice of running warrant checks on everyone who walks into the county's DSS building, joining a chorus of civil rights organizations that said the practice stigmatizes those in need. They also say the protocol potentially violates the civil rights of those entering the building.
    Just a few minutes before he made his announcement, Van Blarcum had said he not only believed in the practice but liked to expand the practice into all county buildings.
    Starting last month, deputies began asking for identification at the door of DSS to check warrants.
    County DSS Commissioner Michael Iapoce has said he initially allowed the warrant-check policy, but backed off after public outcry. He then asked Van Blarcum to put it on hold. He refused.
    County legislators now say they'll draft a countywide policy to address the issue in all buildings.
  • - See more at:

    November 18, 2014

    All out the day after the decision

    All out the day after the decision
    Broadway in Front of City Hall, Kingston, NY
    2:30 pm

    November 16, 2014

    Demonstration on Wednesday, December 17 at noon

    At last evening's ENJAN meeting, we agreed to join numerous other organizations across the country in a demonstration on Wednesday, December 17 at noon (local time) to call for an end to the Drug WarDecember 17 marks exactly one hundred years since the passage of the Harrison Narcotics Act, the first federal drug prohibition law, and hence the essential beginning of the War on Drugs. Our demonstration will be in front of the Dutchess County Courthouse on Market Street in PoughkeepsieOther organizations will demonstrate at other county courthouses across the nation.

    This national demonstration is the brainchild of Dean Becker, contributing expert in drug policy at the Baker Institute for Public Policy at Rice University, host of weekly radio program Cultural Baggage on Pacifica (KPFT) devoted to the drug war, lecturer for Law Enforcement Against Prohibition (LEAP), and author of the 2014 book To End the War on Drugs.

    November 4, 2014

    Panel Discussion on the U.S. Prison System: Saturday, November 15


    Panel Discussion on the U.S. Prison System
    Saturday, November 15, 3:00 - 5:00 pm

    Panel Discussion "Behind Bars: Inmates, Counselors and Volunteers": Saturday, November 15, 3 - 5 pm
    Location: BYRDCLIFFE Kleinert/James Center for the Arts, 36 Tinker Street, Woodstock, NY
    Gallery Hours: Thursday through Sunday, 12 - 6 pm

    On November 15, 2014, in conjunction with the current exhibition Henrietta Mantooth: Jailbirds & Flowers, the Woodstock Byrdcliffe Guild will host a panel discussion featuring an array of guests who have intimate experience of the New York prison system, ranging from incarceration to counseling and creative mentoring of inmates. Panelists include Andre Noel, who was an inmate of 12 years at the Woodbourne Correctional Facility. There, Noel learned modern dance and created Figures in Flight, a dance company comprised of men who have spent part of their lives in prison. He will give a short dance performance as part of the event. Susan Slotnick, who taught Noel dance as part of her own intensive volunteer effort at bringing movement and emotional release to inmates at Woodbourne and other facilities, will also be a participant on the panel.

    Other panelists are Gustavo Ramirez, M.A., the Program Director of the Secure Residential Treatment program in Springfield, Massachusetts; Greta Baker, the Artistic Director of the ArtTree Theater Troupe at Eastern Correctional Facility, the maximum security prison in nearby Napanoch; and Kathleen Donovan who has a Master’s degree in dance and teaches improvisational theater with the ArtTree Theater company at Eastern Correctional Facility. Lastly, the panel includes Ines Fernandez, MSW, a counselor and social worker who has worked at Eastern and other prisons.

    The featured artist, Henrietta Mantooth, who packed the Kleinert/James Gallery with a talk on October 25, will also participate in the discussion. As a vivid backdrop to the panelists, the exhibition features Mantooth’s The New Jim Crow, a monumental, theatrically composed installation in which birds recount tales of the injustices in prisons today.

    The panel, starting at 3:00 pm on Saturday, November 15, is free to the public.

    Henrietta Mantooth: Jailbirds & Flowers is curated by Nancy Azara and Matthew T. Leaycraft.

    Image credit: Henrietta Mantooth, The New Jim Crow, 2014. Mixed media installation. Kleinert/James Center for the Arts, Woodstock.


    November 1, 2014

    Monday, Nov 17 at SUNY New Paltz

    SUNY New Paltz Department of Sociology and Students Against Mass Incarceration present:

    The Problem with Carceral Feminism: Race, Gender and Mass Criminalization, a public lecture by Dr. Beth Richie, Professor of African American Studies, Gender and Women's Studies, Criminology, Law and Justice, and Sociology at University of Illinois Chicago.

    MondayNovember 17th, 2014, 3:30pm, SUNY New Paltz, Lecture Center 100, Free and Open to the Public.

    The emphasis of Dr. Richie's scholarly and activist work has been on the ways that race/ethnicity and social position affect women's experience of violence and incarceration, focusing on the experiences of African American battered women and sexual assault survivors.  Dr. Richie is the author of Arrested Justice: Black Women, Violence and America’s Prison Nation (NYU Press, 2012) and numerous articles concerning Black feminism and gender violence, race and criminal justice policy, and the social dynamics around issues of sexuality, prison abolition, and grassroots organizations in African American Communities. Her earlier book Compelled to Crime: the Gender Entrapment of Black Battered Women, is taught in many college courses and often cited in the popular press for its original arguments concerning race, gender and crime. 

    This event received generous support from CAS, the Office of the Provost, the Department of Black Studies, theDepartment of History, the Scholar's Mentorship Program, the Honors Program, and Residence Life at SUNY New Paltz.  Co-sponsors include the Women's Gender, and Sexuality Studies Program, Native American Studies Program and the Humanistic and Multicultural Education Program.

    September 18, 2014

    Jailhouse Speak-out: Giving Witness to a Broken System

    -Saturday, Sep 27 in Poughkeepsie: Jailhouse Speak-out: Giving Witness to a Broken System, from 11:00 - 2:00 pm at the Family Partnership Center Cafeteria, 29 North Hamilton St. This event will highlight the failed war on drugs, broken families and communities, racial profiling, and the use of solitary confinement. We encourage those who have personal experiences with incarceration to speak out. Lunch is provided. Sponsored by End the New Jim Crow Action Network (ENJAN) Contact: or 845 475-8781.

    April 21, 2014


    Rubin Carter was falsely tried
    The crime was Murder One, guess who testified?
    Bello and Bradley and they both baldly lied
    And the newspapers, they all went along for the ride
    How can the life of such a man
    Be in the palm of some fool’s hand?
    To see him obviously framed
    Couldn’t help but make me feel ashamed to live in a land
    Where justice is a game
    Now all the criminals in their coats and their ties
    Are free to drink martinis and watch the sun rise
    While Rubin sits like Buddha in a ten-foot cell
    An innocent man in a living hell
    "Hurricane" (Bob Dylan/Jacques Levy)

    April 8, 2014

    Hudson Valley LGBTQ Center in Kingston

    Janet Bosco and I are starting a new book read and action group at the Hudson Valley LGBTQ Center in Kingston on the corner of Wall and John St.  The first meeting is this Sunday the 13th from 3-5.  O'dell and Jeff have agreed to help us get started.  Please get the word out to anyone who might be interested, new people who are just reading the book and people that have been involved and one to help get a new read and action group started. We have already met with representatives of both ENJAN and other activist groups who want to coordinate activities with us.  The theme for the Center this year is Justice for All, and they mean all. Members of the Center and Everyone else are  invited to join us.

    March 16, 2014

    Mini-Experiential Workshop on the Alternatives to Violence Project

    Jim Peppler, a Quaker and  member of End the New Jim Crow Action Network (ENJAN),   is offering  a free mini experiential AVP workshop for  people in the Hudson Valley. Jim  is a certified AVP counselor/facilitator with many years experience.  Jim goes into Greene Correctional Facility where inmates inside and people from the outside attend and lead AVP workshops.  If this mini experiential workshop generates sufficient interest,  we can bring a weekend long workshop to the Hudson Valley, the Catskill region and/or the Albany region.   Please spread the word to community groups.

    Mini-Experiential Workshop on the Alternatives to Violence Project

    Date:                    Monday, April 7 

    Time:               7  pm  to 9 pm

    Place:                New Progressive Baptist Church,  8 Hone St., Kingston, NY 12401

    Doors open:        6:30 pm for light refreshments and conversation

    Additional Info:

    Questions:           Odell Winfield  ph. 914-388-3092  

    January 17, 2014

    Meeting Dates for January (Poughkeepsie ENJAN)

    • ENJAN is not meeting on Jan. 22 (just as it didn't meet on Jan. 8 due to a conflicting meeting at the Unitarian Fellowship). ENJAN will meet on Jan. 29.
    • After that, ENJAN will meet the second and fourth Wednesday of every month, as usual.

    January 8, 2014

    UUFP on Randolph Ave on Jan 8

    As we announced weeks ago, the UUFP on Randolph Ave. is hosting a discussion with Tom Angell (Public Defender), Mary Ellen Still (Probation director), Marie Shultis reentry program and some former offenders. It's at 7 PM tonight (Jan. 8). Just a reminder but, as you can see, the program is expanded. If you have questions I am at 845-345-7107 or 631-525-1715

    ENJAN will meet both next Wednesday (Jan 15) and the week after (Jan 22).

    January 4, 2014

    Saturday, Jan 18

    19th Annual Mid-Hudson Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King
    March for Social and Economic Justice

    Saturday, January 18, 2014.12:00pm.

    Join us for the 19th Annual Real Majority Project Mid-Hudson Rev. Dr.
    Martin Luther King, Jr. March for Social and Economic Justice!

    Sat. Jan. 18th Noon
    Smith Metropolitan A.M.E. Zion Church
    124 Smith Street Poughkeepsie...

    Noon: Meet inside Smith Metropolitan A.M.E. Zion Church for speeches & songs

    1 pm: Start MLK March-- to Dutchess County Office Building at 22
    Market Chiz's Heart Street

    3 pm: Discussion/refreshments: Holy Light Pentecostal Church-- 33 Clover Street

    Mae Parker-Harris: 485-3516
    Ann Perry: 454-0947
    Rev. H. Dwight Bolton: 454-1913
    876 2488/453-2105

    [this year we're doing this two days early-- so we can help Pete
    Seeger mobilize 1000+ for his MLK march on Jan. 20th (MLK Day)
    starting at 10 am that morning from Springfield Baptist Church in

    Who Is Jim Crow?

    Who Is Jim Crow?” Film Series
    Event Type: Adult Film Program
    Date: 1/18/2014
    Start Time: 1:00 PM
    End Time: 4:00 PM
    Location: Auditorium

    Description: Film: "The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness". This movie features Michelle Alexander who talks about her book "The New Jim Crow" that sparked a nationwide movement to end mass incarceration and the racial caste system it has created.

    A film discussion will be led by Odell Winfield, founder of ENJAN (End the New Jim Crow Action Network) and Rev. Steve Ruelke (Ecclesia Ministries of Newburgh). The series is sponsored by: Greater Newburgh Ministerial Association, ENJAN, Ecclesia Ministries of Newburgh and Newburgh Free Library.

    A film discussion will be led by Odell Winfield, founder of ENJAN (End the New Jim Crow Action Network) and Rev. Steve Ruelke (Ecclesia Ministries of Newburgh). The series is sponsored by Sponsored by: Greater Newburgh Ministerial Association, ENJAN, Ecclesia Ministries of Newburgh and Newburgh Free Library.

    January 3, 2014

    Martin Luther King Day

    Martin Luther King Day

    A community reading and discussion of his fabulous
    “Letter from Birmingham Jail”

    at New Progressive Baptist Church in Kingston.

    The event is 6-8pm on Monday, January 20.