No one belongs in a cage. This year, in honor of Yuri Kochiyama and Malcolm X’s birthday week, we’re raising $1,000 in four days for a bail fund. $1000 is the amount it takes to free one incarcerated Muslim who is currently locked up in a jail or detention center.
This fundraiser is in partnership with the Believers Bail Out (BBO), a Chicago-based national effort to bail out Muslims who are being held in jail prior to their right to a trial, or trapped in ICE custody. BBO is community-led and volunteer-run, predominantly by women of color. In the past two years, BBO has freed 38 Muslims from jails and immigration incarceration by paying their bail.
We’re fundraising $1000, enough to free one Believer from a cage, starting on Yuri and Malcolm’s joint birthday anniversary of May 19th. In addition to paying bail bonds, BBO offers wrap around support such as transportation to and from court dates, counseling, and connections to housing resources and zakat funds. 1 Once the court case is resolved, the bail money is returned and sent to a partnering bail fund to free another person from a cage.
Our people deserve care, not cages. Yuri and Malcolm knew this and it’s why we’re honoring their fight for abolition with a birthday bail fund. When the FBI targeted Black activists during the 50s and 60s, Yuri led letter writing campaigns, prison visits and demonstrations. In the 1980s, she organized to help formerly incarcerated Japanese Americans win redress. Malcolm, incarcerated at age 20 and sentenced to ten years in prison where he would later find Islam, organized thousands of Muslims in his lifetime and fought for an end to policing on Black communities. He forever changed and shaped Black liberation through his speeches which demanded America become more than a vast prison.
Join us from May 19 - May 22 by offering a portion of your stimulus check, zakat, or other funds to help us make sure one more person doesn’t remain locked away in a cage from their loved ones. Since COVID-19, conditions in jails and prisons have become more dire. No visitations and no Ramadan supplies further increases the isolation prisoners experience daily. In the legacy of Yuri and Malcolm, on the anniversary of their birth, help us do our part to free them all.
Zakat, a central tenet of Islam, is an annual tax on wealth which can be used to support those in need. People in jails and immigration incarceration who cannot afford their bail amount, qualify for zakat. ↩