One in four women and nearly one in two black women have a family member in prison; and while solutions to mass incarceration have largely focused on men, there are millions of women who have family members in prisons, jails and immigration detention centers.
Attorney and activist, Gina Clayton, is working to break the silence of women with incarcerated family members through her organization, Essie Justice Group. The organization works to cut through the stigma that silences these women and encourages women to engage in anti-mass incarceration advocacy.
Clayton has been awarded the 2017 Grinnell College Innovator for Social Justice Prize for her work with Essie. Established in 2011, the Grinnell Prize's $100,000 award is the largest given by any U.S. college in recognition of social justice. Of each prize, $50,000 goes to the prizewinner, and the other $50,000 to the prizewinner's organization.
On this River to River segment, host Ben Kieffer talks with Clayton, as well as Cheryl Diston, an Essie Justice Group graduate from Oakland, CA.