Students Against Incarceration Hosts Second Annual Community Barbecue

alt text By Ebony Ellis, Economic Justice Reporter, The Real Chi

Incarceration affects many black and brown people in Chicago, whether prosecuted or not. One of the forces in Chicago actively working towards dismantling the criminal justice system is an organization run and lead by students.

DePaul University’s student organization “Students Against Incarceration” (SAI) held a community barbecue on September 8 at Oz Park, near North Burling Street and West Webster Avenue. The event was held as an introduction to not only the work of the organization, but to the collaborations between other local organizations who have similar missions.

This is the second community barbecue that the organization has had. Representatives from a few collaborative organizations spoke at the barbecue, including Brian Orozco from Kulis Law Firm and Susana Stoll from Chicago Community Bond Fund. James Derecskey, subcommittee chair of SAI, gave a brief description of Black and Pink Chicago. Political science professor Christina Rivers spoke about working with Cook County and Streeterville prisons to help incarcerated individuals register to vote. Monica Cosby, a community organizer for Westside Justice Center, was unable to attend the barbecue, but the organization continues to collaborate with SAI.

SAI was founded in 2016 by DePaul students Alexandria Boutros and Rebecca Bretz. The organization believes that people who are incarcerated, formerly incarcerated and in criminalized communities need to be supported. For more information on SAI, visit the organization’s Facebook page.