MEDIA ADVISORY

Contact: Sean Barry (646) 373-3344, sean@vocal-ny.org

NEW YORKERS JOIN TOGETHER TO CONDEMN DRUG WAR AND MASS INCARCERATION AS THE “NEW JIM CROW”
Nationally Renowned Author Michelle Alexander Joins Elected Officials and Community Leaders to Urge Reforms, Such as Ending Illegal Marijuana Arrests and Parolee Disenfranchisement
WHEN: Saturday, May 21st at 11:30AM WHERE: The Riverside Church – outside the 91 Claremont Street entrance (between W. 120th & W. 122nd). If there’s rain, the event will be held inside this entrance. WHAT: Press conference urging New York lawmakers to restore parolee voting rights and to end the illegal marijuana arrests that have targeted people of color. Following the event, there will be a major conference at Riverside Church on Michelle Alexander’s book “The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Era of Colorblindness.” SPEAKERS:
• Michelle Alexander, Law Professor and Author of “The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Era of Colorblindness” and recent New York Times op-ed “In Prison Reform, Money Trumps Civil Rights.” Senator Eric Adams and other elected officials Joseph “Jazz” Hayden, plaintiff in Hayden v. Pataki case challenging parolee disenfranchisement. Gabriel Sayegh, Drug Policy Alliance VOCAL-NY leaders who are formerly incarcerated

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SPONSORED BY: VOCAL-NY, Mission and Social Justice Ministries of
the Riverside Church, Campaign To End The New Jim Crow & Drug Policy Alliance.

BACKGROUND:
Parolee Voting Rights: About 41,000 New Yorkers, nearly 80% of who are Black and Latino, have completed their prison sentence but are still denied the right to vote because they are on parole. Illegal Marijuana Arrests: Marijuana possession offenses are the number one arrest in New York City. A majority of those arrested are Black and Latino youth even though research shows white youth use marijuana at higher rates. The total cost for these arrests is estimated at $75 million annually. According to a recent WNYC investigation, many of these arrests result from illegal searches following stop and frisks.

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