Hey SPEARfam!

It’s hard to believe we only have one more week of class left! But SPEAR’s work is far from finished: we are gearing up towards direct action on Ban the Box and Voting Rights in just over a week! And just in time, Zellie Imani of Black Lives Matter Paterson will be here next Friday for a direct action organizing training. What a great time to get involved!!

Has your project wrapped up, or have you been searching for a good time to jump into activism with SPEAR? As always, SPEAR will have its weekly working full group meeting this Monday, March 4th at 8 p.m. in Campus Club, and all are welcome to get involved with the work SPEAR is doing anytime!

Our D.O.V.E.S. team, which hosts social and educational events for young women from a local alternative incarceration facility (and is looking for new members!) will meet at 7:30 p.m. in campus club

New to SPEAR? Fill out this onboarding guide to get fully plugged in to all things SPEAR and to schedule coffee with one of our presidents to talk about how you can get more involved!


  1. Mark your calendars for the upcoming Ban the Box direct action at the next CPUC meeting: Monday, May 6th, at 4:30! In response to the President’s ongoing refusal to respond the the Ban the Box campaign, we need EVERYONE, and we mean EVERYONE to show up for the Q&A session, walkout, and Teach-in with formerly incarcerated speakers!!! It is incredibly important that we turn out for this teach-in to unequivocally demonstrate to the University that we are not going away, and that we will not be silent about the University’s complicity in the carceral state.

  1. Are you interested in what makes a movement effective and long lasting? About the ways in which organizing can reach and engage larger audiences? About how to build strong coalitions among like-minded and not so like-minded political organizations? Please join YDS - alongside AJP, SPEAR, and Whig-Clio - in hosting a workshop led by Zellie Imani, leader of the Paterson, NJ chapter of Black Lives Matter. The workshop will be taking place on FRIDAY 5/3 in the Whig-Clio Senate Chamber at 4:30pm. In this workshop, Zellie Imani will discuss the tenets of effective activism and how organizing and coalition building help us rally around issues here on campus and beyond.

  1. The Voting Rights committee is holding an informal phone banking event in collaboration with Princeton's brand new Coffee Club, to advocate for a piece of legislation in the New Jersey Congress that would effectively grant those formerly and currently incarcerated with the right to vote. On Monday, May 6, between the hours of 1pm and 5pm, come to Campus Club to call key members of the New Jersey House and the Senate in advocacy for the expansion of the right to vote, along with free gourmet coffee and pastries courtesy of the Coffee Club!

  1. If you are on campus May 18, join NJISJ for the Lock Arms To Unlock Our Kids Rally, to urge Governor Murphy to halt New Jersey’s plans to invest $160 million in building three new youth prisons in NJ to incarcerate kids, and instead to make substantial financial and other reparative and restorative investments in creating a system that builds up kids. Let's lift our voices to support the introduction of historic youth justice legislation! SPEAR will try to put together transportation: stay tuned for more information.

1:30 RALLY: Meet at West Side High School, 403 S. Orange Ave, Newark

3:00 MARCH: March to South Orange Ave & Grove Street, where NJ Submitted a Letter of Intent to Build a New Youth Prison, to Lock Arms Around the Site

WHEN: May 18, 2019 at 1:30pm - 5:30pm

Right now, sign the Open Letter to Transform Youth Justice here.


The Death Chamber Next Door Jeremy Busby, The Marshall Project.

“Being incarcerated at the prison that carried out the death penalty had clearly penetrated my soul. It was as though a small part me died with each execution, and, unwilling to lose any more of my being than I had already, I was determined to make this execution different.”

Cops Morphing Into Social Workers Is Not a Solution Helen Redmond, FilterMag.

Police encroachment into social work territory is a problem—one that human rights advocates can’t ignore. Because it blinds us to the continuing, large-scale criminalization of marginalized drug users, and obscures chronic underinvestment in non-carceral systems of care.

The Study Group Bringing bell hooks to Prisons Emily Nonko, NextCity.

“It’s a big undertaking — patriarchy is the cornerstone of our culture,” he says. “But it’s solvable. Rape culture can be addressed. I don’t think young men in prison need to be having this conversation more or less than any other men. It just so happens we have access to, and have built capacity around, serving that population.”

‘When Deported, You Become Nothing’ Raul Roman and Rafe H. Andrews, Politico.

“We wanted to put names and faces to the story of deportation—a story that is so often told only through statistics. Numbers alone can’t capture what it’s like to spend years or decades building a life, finding work, starting a family—only to be torn away and made to return to the violent and impoverished place you fled.”

ENDLESS TRIALS: Baltimore Police Tried to Kill Keith Davis Jr. Prosecutors Have Been Trying to Convict Him of Murder Ever Since. Alice Speri, The Intercept.

“The mentality behind that was that it would be a lot easier if he was dead,” Smith told The Intercept. “Because then he wouldn’t be able to tell his story. There would be no alternate version of events; there would only be the police’s version of events.”

Florida House Approves Requiring People To Repay Criminal Fines, Fees Before They Can Vote Sam Levine, Huffpost.

“Critics say the legislation amounts to a poll tax and violates a constitutional amendment that voters overwhelmingly approved in November to allow people with felonies to vote.”


Kiki, Amanda, and Masha


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