We Are Family

"We are not connected by blood; the human spirit connects us." A quote from Lamont Banks at our protest one week ago outside of FCI Florence. As a reactor, I posted on Twitter after hearing some very frustrating news delivered by the Federal Bureau of Prisons. My tweet was, " I will be protesting outside FCI Florence. I may be a lone wolf out there, but they are going to wonder who's the crazy lady." Not more than a few hours later, I get a message from Tanique at A Just Cause asking when I am protesting. Then I get a call from Lamont telling me, "oh no way you are protesting by yourself A Just Cause is coming with you."

Lamont is a man of strong convictions and the Muhammad Ali of fighting for justice. Exactly one week to the day of my post, we were outside of the prison protesting—the team of A Just Cause functions as a well-oiled machine. Lamont, as the leader, had everything coordinated, guiding me before arriving at the prison. I arrived and was taken aback by the number of people who showed up for my husband, someone they did not even know. It was a community of people who drove an hour and more after a long day of work who came to support me and care for me.

There were signs made special for my husband. His name boldly displayed, and there was even a sign that was made exclusively for me to hold. These amazing human beings took their time and labor to ensure that my husband's protest was as powerful as the protests for their brothers who were wrongly convicted and did their unjust sentences at the same prison.

Standing next to Lamont and watching him in action was like a cross between the most accomplished maestro and Bishop T.D. Jakes. His voice was strong and words powerful. The A Just Cause community yelled my husband's name with all their might and heart because they believe in my husband and want to save his life. I was overwhelmed and humbled by the amount of love shown to my husband and myself that I felt I might cry. Instead, when it came my time to speak, I was lifted by all these people behind me who instantly became my family.

After the protest ended, Instead of everyone hurriedly getting into their cars, to go home, they took even more time to say goodbye to me one by one with the warmest, most genuine hugs and words of love and support. I felt at home, wrapped in each person's arms.

Although my husband was the catalyst for this protest, It was a protest for all incarcerated citizens. We hear you, and we are your voice for justice and change.

I dedicate this piece to A Just Cause for swooping in and helping me to the finish line and to all reform advocates. Each advocate offers valuable contributions to the good fight, and it takes all of us to win.

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A Day Closer is a 501 (c) 3 non-profit organization that provides resources for people incarcerated and their families. Our mission is to keep families intact.



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