Yesterday (Nov 3) was a very good day for WISDOM. About 200 people from 11 local WISDOM organizations came to Madison to kick off the campaign now called ROC Wisconsin: Restoring Our Communities - Beyond 11x15.
Please check out the new website: www.rocwisconsin.org. You can see some photos from the event there. If you go to "resources", you can also download the new PowerPoint presentation and all of the new materials for the Campaign.
We began our day with a very moving Prayer Rally, in an empty field right next to the Department of Corrections headquarters. Prayers were offered for people in solitary confinement, for people with mental health and addiction issues, for old law prisoners, for the elderly and inform in our prisons, for corrections officers, for people returning from jail and prison, and more. Then, Rev. Marilyn Miller, the new MICAH President, blessed 32,000 Prayer Cards, led us in praying that prayer together, and distributed the cards. You can access the card on the website and use the prayer now.
We printed 32,000 cards because we have 22,000 people in our state prisons, and 10,000 people employed by the Department of Corrections. Our commitment is to enlist 32,000 people to pray for them all. The prayer itself is simple, brief, and appropriate for most all faith traditions.
Participants who took cards were asked not to put them in a drawer, or to stuff them in a bulletin, but to give them to people who will accept it as their responsibility to pray for people caught up in the corrections system, and to pray for God's blessing on the efforts of ROC Wisconsin.
Most of the cards were taken by local groups yesterday to distribute back home. But, I still have about 6,000 of them at the WISDOM office if people want or need more. Our goal is to distribute them all by the end of November - again, not just to distribute them, but to distribute them to people who will use them.
We also held a press conference at the ROC Wisconsin kick-off. You can read about that here: http://www.wpr.org/prison-reform-advocates-call-expanded-parole-less-use-solitary-confinement
Finally, every state Senate and Assembly member's office got a visit from a WISDOM delegation yesterday, to deliver our new materials, as well as our new book of letters from Old Law inmates who are waiting and waiting for the parole system to function properly. You can get all these materials on the website.
As Stephanie Gyldenvand, our WISDOM organizer in Northeast Wisconsin, said, "The launch was successful... now the big work begins!"
Thanks to everyone who came yesterday, and to everyone who took a role in the planning and execution of the day. We have some very important work to do, but we are the right people to do it.
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