January 22, 2021

Open for Registration!

Weekly Workshops on Saturday from 10:30a to 12n
Free | 20 Sessions | February-June

View Video for More Information: http://bit.ly/39UK4t3
Register for Saturday Sessions: https://bit.ly/GWKRegistration
Writing is an essential tool for self-expression, advocacy, and action – a tool that is not only confined to the classroom.
Girls Write Kingston offers participants, ages 13 to 18 years old, the opportunity to experiment, experience, and explore the writing process through a range of fun generative activities, in the company of a supportive learning community. Each participant will receive the small gift of a notebook and pen, personalized to celebrate the new program.
The workshop will conclude with a celebratory community reading and launch of an online participant-directed publication.

Girls Write Kingston is a collaboration between the Bard College Institute for Writing & Thinking (IWT), the Bard Master of Arts in Teaching Program (MAT), the A.J. Williams-Myers African Roots Center, and the YMCA of Kingston and Ulster Counties. This program is made possible by the generous support of the New ERA Women Writers Program (Cornelia T. Bailey Foundation) and Ulster Savings Bank.

Parole Justice Virtual Advocacy Day


Two weeks ago, with partners across the state, we launched The People's Campaign for Parole Justice. Now, with the legislature in full swing, we demand the passage of Elder Parole and Fair and Timely Parole to free our elders and bring justice to the parole process.

Join us on January 27th for a Parole Justice Virtual Advocacy Day to fight for these urgent billsRSVP here.

There will be events, actions and meetings throughout the day (all digital) and we invite you to join us for whatever portion you can. We will be circulating background materials next week, or join us for a training on January 25th from 6-7pm. RSVP here.

Kingston Chapter of ENJAN is hosting a timely discussion with anti-racist author David Billings

As part of Black History month, the Kingston Chapter of ENJAN is hosting a timely discussion with anti-racist author David Billings about his book Deep Denial  on Thursday, February 11th 7-9 PM.

Register here for the event. Your registration fee of $22.00 includes a copy of David's book Deep Denial. All proceeds from the book sales will go to support the making of the film documentary Hallowed Ground, a story about the forgotten Pine Street African Burial Ground for enslaved people in Kingston. With your registration receipt you can pick up your copy of the book at:
  • Rough Draft Bar and Books, 82 John St, Kingston (Open M-F 8-6pm, Sat. 9-6pm Sun. 9-4pm) Closed 1/19-25, or,
  • Tilda's Kitchen, 630 Broadway, Kingston (Open Wed-Fri, 9-5; Sat-Sun 10-6pm).
David Billings is a life-long activist, educator, and organizer in the anti-racist movement and a key trainer, since 1985, in the Undoing Racism Workshops offered by the People's Institute for Survival and Beyond. His book combines personal stories from his life, beginning with his white, working-class boyhood in Mississippi and Arkansas to his experience of both the promise and decline of the Civil Rights movement and brings these lessons to his teaching and organizing. 

I hope you can attend this event and be part of the conversation and action to undo racism in Kingston.

Let's undo it!
Andrea Pastorella

January 18, 2021

There must be a recognition

 “...There must be a recognition on the part of everybody in this nation that America is still a racist country. Now however unpleasant that sounds, it is the truth. And we will never solve the problem of racism until there is a recognition of the fact that racism still stands at the center of so much of our nation and we must see racism for what it is... It is the notion that one group has all of the knowledge, all of the insights, all of the purity, all of the work, all of the dignity. And another group is worthless, on a lower level of humanity, inferior.”          -MLK

ENJAN MHV Gathering (01/16/2021)

Dear Fellow Activist,

Thank you so much for attending Saturday's 4th Annual MHV Gathering to End the New Jim Crow. We hope you found it as informative, inspiring, and energizing as we did!

In case there were speakers you had to miss or want to review again, we have posted a video recording of the event on our YouTube channel and Facebook page. Feel free to like the video and share the links to others who might be interested.

As promised, we are also following up with resources from the gathering. The Handout gathers all the documents, links, and events mentioned in Saturday's event as well as the Q&A. This should make it easier for you to connect with speakers and groups working on the issues you care about. If you live, work, or play in the City of Poughkeepsie, please also look at the urgent and time-sensitive Call to Action on Police Reform.

Well, we thank you again for attending--and for all the work you have been doing (and will be doing!) to achieve racial justice and end mass incarceration!


The Organizing Committee
Andrea, Bill, Isis, Jeff, Odell, Stephen, Tracy and Zoe

January 15, 2021

Criminal Justice Actions Needed

Vote on CBA Between City of Po and PBA, January 19 

On Tuesday, Jan. 19 the City of Poughkeepsie Common Council will vote to either ratify or reject the collective bargaining agreement (CBA) between the city and the PBA (police union). This binding 5-year contract in no way takes into consideration the reform and reinvention mandated by Executive Order 203, nor does it account for recent police reform laws passed on the state level. It's actually designed to prevent meaningful reform by giving the PBA grounds to sue the city over matters like a civilian review board, something PBA reps have promised to do. We cannot let the rights of tens of thousands of residents and stakeholders be signed away to appease the less than 100 members of the PBA.  

ACT NOW. Call AND write the Common Council TODAY. Members' emails and phone numbers can be found here, and you can email CommonCouncilMembers@cityofpoughkeepsie.com to reach them all.  

A document with talking points as well as a document with a  more comprehensive review of the contract are here.




If you're a city resident, if you work here, if you transact business here, if you spend time here, if you have to routinely pass through, or if you advocate on behalf of those for whom any of these descriptions apply, then you are a stakeholder, and I'm asking you to please take a few minutes out of your day to help with this effort. Thank you.

In solidarity,

Brian Robinson
Equitable Future, Inc.

Dutchess County Jail population declines dramatically

This report on Dutchess County Jail population statistics was presented to the Criminal Justice Council on January 12, 2021, by Gary Christensen. It shows a dramatic decline in jail population in 2020 due primarily to bail reform: Jail admissions declined 68.2 percent in 2020 compared with 2019.

The 29-page slide presentation shows an elaborate breakdown of jail admissions by jurisdiction. Especially notable are the following (from page 9):

     Jurisdiction       Decline
---------------------   -------
City of Poughkeepsie     69.1%
City of Beacon           73.1%
Town of Poughkeepsie     80.0%
Town of Pleasant Valley  87.2%
Town of Fishkill         88.1%
The technically smallest decline was for the Town of Stanford (33.3%), but it had only 6 admissions in 2019. The next smallest decline was for the New York State Division of Parole, which had a 43.2 percent decline. 

On the other hand, eight jurisdictions with single-digit jail admissions in 2019, and one with double-digit jail admissions, had 100 percent decline; that is, no jail admissions in 2020.

Contact ENJAN to get the full report: CJC Presentation Jan 2021.pdf

January 13, 2021

GUEST: Asantewaa Nkrumah-Ture


Activist Radio has the following guest on this week:

GUEST: Asantewaa Nkrumah-Ture, long time radical feminist, revolutionary Pan-Africanist and church sista, who has been active in Al-Awda: Right of Return, the African Anti Zionist Front in solidarity with the people of Palestine, Black Alliance for Peace and the Green Party, talks about her role in fighting racism and injustice in the American empire. 

Activist Radio is broadcast: Thursdays 5-6 pm from WVKR 91.3 FM at Vassar College in Poughkeepsie, NY; Sundays 4-5 pm from WIOF 104.1 FM in Woodstock, NY; and Sundays 5-6 pm from the Progressive Radio Network at PRN.FM. It will also be posted on the ClassWars website for the next ten weeks. Simply click on the date to hear it.


Paul Bermanzohn Presents

"King Was a Revolutionary"
Monday, January 18 | 4p to 6p
Online via Zoom | Registration Required

The global pandemic has revealed  the vast inequalities of this country’s society, making it clearer than ever we need a fundamental reordering of United States, and global, society. Trump’s recent attempted coup underscores the fact that we have far to go.

Although media representations make him look like a middle-of-the-road moderate, Martin Luther King Jr. worked for fundamental change. He sought to build a new world, a “Beloved Community” based on respect and trust among people.

January 3, 2021

4-th Annual ENJAN Gathering


Your are invited to attend the 4-th Annual ENJAN Gathering of the Kingston and Poughkeepsie Chapters of ENJAN, Saturday, January 16 from 2:00--4:00 PM as a Zoom webinar. This jam-packed event will allow us to share our activities with each other and to learn about activities of allied organizations. Featured speakers include:

  • Katie Schaffer: Decarcerate the Hudson Valley Coalition & Justice Roadmap
  • Sharonne Salaam: Justice 4 the Wrongly Incarcerated
  • Tracy Givens-Hunter: Undoing Racism Workshops
  • Amy Trompetter: Protest Puppets (video)

Hosts Stephen Johnson (Kingston) and Isis Benitez (Poughkeepsie) will moderate a panel discussion on Executive Order 203 with:

  • Rae Leiner, Newburgh LGBTQ+ Center
  • Callie Jayne, Rise Up Kingston 
  • Brian Robinson, Poughkeepsie Community Action Collaborative
  • Louisa Fuentes, Democratic Socialists of America 
  • Fanon Frazier, Citizen Action

as well as a panel discussion on community activism with:

  • Rashida Tyler, Real Tenants Union
  • Amanda Sissenstein, Food not Bombs
  • Erica Brown, Radio Kingston 
  • Anne Ames, Wednesday Walks for Black Lives
  • David McNamara, Samadhi 

Registration: You can register for the webinar here. and obtain your Zoom link. Because this is a webinar, your registration link is unique to you, and should not be shared with others.