Honor Your Mom by Taking Part in Mama’s Bail Out Day
I love my mom. The immensity of my love for her is beyond words. Besides bringing me into the world, she (along with my dad) has been my strongest supporter, fiercest ally, and loudest cheerleader. And that’s why I’m not getting her flowers for Mother’s Day.
Instead of sending her expensive, overpriced flowers, I’m donating the $50 I would’ve spent to Mama’s Bail Out Day in her honor. Growing up, my parents instilled in me the belief that we must do what we can to make the world a better place. It’s because of this that I know my mom will appreciate this donation far more than something that wilts in three days. Social justice and economic justice are inextricably tied.
Those following me on Instagram (which you should totally be doing) know that I was in Noway for the past little while. Because of traveling, the whole Mother’s Day thing kinda slipped my mind. Luckily this morning, when I was contemplating sending my mom some last minute flowers, I came across this Slate article about Mama’s Bail Out Day.
Considering that 62 percent of the people in jail in the United States are in there because they can’t afford bail, a coalition of Black Lives Matter activists started Mama’s Bail Out Day. More than $250,000 has been raised so far which will lead to at least 30 women being released from jail this Mother’s Day. As Ruth Graham writes in the Slate article:
Almost half of all single black and Latina women have a net wealth of zero or less. Once arrested, defendants face not just bail fees (often set without consideration for ability to pay), but public defender application fees, electronic monitoring fees if they’re released, and fees and surcharges to participate in payment plans if they can’t afford to pay a lump sum. About 70 percent of female offenders are mothers, and the majority of them are single mothers, which makes an extended jail stay more immediately disruptive to their children than the typical man’s confinement.
Many of the things that land these women in jail are minor offenses their less impoverished counterparts would be able to afford bail for, like possessing small amounts of drugs. We’ve discussed getting rid of court ordered debt for low income folks on this site before.
So here’s your chance to get involved. While you’ve probably already got your mom gifts for Mother’s Day, you can still donate to help other people’s family members get free. As the article states, “Organizers are continuing to raise money for more bailouts, including a potential Father’s Day effort.”
Learn more and donate here.