Building Bridges through Books
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To exchange ideas and foster discussions, promote reading for knowledge and enjoyment while simultaneously building community inside and outside the prison walls.
We envision building more committed and connected relationships through shared reading and discussion of books in efforts to support the movement of prison abolition.
- Give everyone a voice through the distribution of discussion questions and answers both inside and outside the prison walls, as well as leadership being equally comprised of incarcerated people and those outside the walls.
- Inspire meaningful conversations, critical thinking, imagination and empathy in all members.
- Provide a supportive, safe and respectful environment for exchanging ideas and stimulating dialogue with a focus on the ‘isms’ that attempt to divide us all (such as racism, sexism, classism, etc).
- Offer a selection of high-quality, thought-provoking, diverse literature.
- Encourage intellectual development and mutual education given the lack of rehabilitation and programming available by the CDCr.
Ways to get involved:
Sign-up to be a part of the book club!
If your Human Rights Pen Pal inside the prison walls does not want to participate in the book club, Building Bridges through Books will match you with a different incarcerated pen pal for the book club. Click here to fill out the sign-up form.
Purchase a book for an incarcerated member of the book club!
Consider supporting book club by purchasing books. Our inside pen pals will need copies of our first book, “A People’s History of the U.S” and a dictionary/thesaurus to get started. As a bonus, we would like to include the graphic novel version of “People’s History of the United States.”
Our goal is to collect 15 copies of each title to see this project through for at least a year. We will provide postage for many letters and book club packets. Another way to help is to spread the word and encourage your family and friends to support this new initiative.
We have partnered with Greenlight Bookstore for the book drive. Check out the website for more information and to purchase a book.
Make a monetary donation!
Our goal is to raise $1000 to see this project through for at least a year. Those of you who can’t participate in reading can help make this book club a success with a financial contribution. Even $5 or $10 will mean a lot to us, and will provide postage for many letters and book club packets. Another way to help is to spread the word and encourage your family and friends to support this new initiative.
We’ve drawn up different sponsorship levels below for those of you who can make a larger donation, and we encourage you to invite friends and family to donate as well. Your donation will help reduce isolation, increase education, and foster meaningful connections for someone in solitary confinement (currently or has even been), and will make our movement for human rights stronger all around.
Please consider what you can give. You can donate online using PayPal. When donating using PayPal, indicate that the donation is for Building Bridges through Books. Please use this link to donate: Donate using PayPal
Prefer to donate by check? Please make the check out to Human Rights Pen Pals, and write Building Bridges through Books in the memo section. Mail your check to:
Human Rights Pen Pals
1301 Clay Street
PO Box 71378
Oakland, CA 94612
Zine Level = $25 for postage for 7 mailing packets of discussion questions and answers.
Paperback Level = $50 to pay for one inside participant’s materials for the entire year
Sketchbook Level = $100 allows us to purchase a care package and shipping of packets for 2 incarcerated pen pals for an entire year!
Hardback Level = $200 allows us to purchase a care package and shipping of packets for 4 pen pals on the inside for an entire year!
Illuminated Manuscript Level = $600 allows us to purchase a care package and shipping of packets for 12 pen pals on the inside for an entire year!
Please note that this is a new, grassroots program. Building Bridges is not a 501(c)3, so donations are not tax deductible.
Thank you Tae Won Yu for donating the illustration.
Have questions or comments for us? Contact us directly at email@example.com.