North Central West Virginia:
Black and Pink Holiday Card Party
On December 5, 2019, North Central West Virginia DSA held its second annual Black and Pink Holiday Card Party at Apothecary Ale House and Café in Morgantown, West Virginia.
Black and Pink is an open family of LGBTQ prisoners and “free world” allies dedicated to the abolition of the prison industrial complex. During the holiday season, they allow groups such as ours to request a specified number of non-denominational holiday cards that come pre-addressed to incarcerated persons in their database of pen-pals.
Given the prevalence of prisons in Appalachia and our organization’s goal of prison abolition, we believe it is critical for chapters such as ours to support those on the inside. Hosting a holiday card party fit right in! The holidays can be a challenging and lonely time when you’re locked up and away from loved ones, especially for our LGBTQ friends. Receiving a holiday card helps let a person know they are not forgotten.
We first heard about Black and Pink’s holiday card program last year through Mariame Kaba (@prisonculture) on Twitter. Unfortunately, we didn’t have a lot of time to plan our party, so we had to provide our own cards and print our own address labels. We also didn’t get much of a chance to promote the event.
This year we were able to give enough notice to receive the pre-addressed cards. We began pushing the event well ahead of time on our social media accounts. We worked with the WVU LGBTQ+ Center to promote each others’ Black and Pink events. We even distributed flyers at a drag show where North Central West Virginia: Black and Pink Holiday Card Party where we were previously asked to table.
This December, we had about a dozen people from our chapter and the community come together (despite the snow!) to decorate and write a total of forty holiday cards. We provided our guests with cookies and candy canes, and they provided us with enough donations to cover postage. It was a successful event that gave us the opportunity to engage some new and potential members, while giving everyone the chance to make a difference, however small, in the lives of people who need it.
To learn more about NCWV DSA’s support for incarcerated persons, contact the North Central West Virginia DSA at: email@example.com
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