FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
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CEO, YWCA Greater Baton Rouge
Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights and Colin Kaepernick’s Know Your Rights Camp Contribute to
YWCA Greater Baton Rouge Community Bail Fund
Baton Rouge, LA (July 2, 2020) — Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights and Colin Kaepernick’s Know Your Rights Camp have committed to supporting YWCA Greater Baton Rouge’s Community Bail Fund in their work to free people from jails—a mission that has only grown more urgent as coronavirus cases continue to soar, particularly among those incarcerated.
The YWCA Greater Baton Rouge Community Bail Fund was established as a way to ensure that nonviolent, unconvicted citizens in Baton Rouge are not held in jail because they do not have the ability to pay several hundred dollars on the spur of the moment or spend months in jail. The goal of the fund is not to subvert justice, but to allow individuals to continue their lives until they have been arraigned and judged as guilty or not guilty.
“Predatory cash bail is part and parcel of the institutionalized anti-Black racism that has plagued our country,” said Kerry Kennedy, president of Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights. “This commitment from Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights and Colin Kaepernick’s Know Your Rights Camp will empower community-led bail funds and accelerate their crucial work freeing people caged in our local jails, but our funding alone will never be enough. Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights’ team of lawyers and advocates will work with local organizers to stop the aggressive policing and endless cycle of mass incarceration that have targeted poor and Black communities and move to end cash bail now.”
“Our legal system unjustly criminalizes our Black and Brown communities, penalizing poverty under the guise of keeping our communities safe,” said Colin Kaepernick, founder of Know Your Rights Camp. “We must reimagine the current system and abolish wealth-based detention, freeing our brothers, sisters, and siblings from a racist system.”
“Without the ability to pay bail many individuals will lose their jobs, their housing and their children, all before they have been convicted of any wrong-doing,” said Dianna Payton, CEO, YWCA of Greater Baton Rouge. “We are extremely grateful for this contribution from Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights and Colin Kaepernick’s Know Your Rights Camp. This contribution will support our efforts to catalyze and effectuate change and our commitment to liberating nonviolent and unconvicted citizens of East Baton Rouge Parish.”
YWCA Greater Baton Rouge continues to be committed to racial justice and creating real change for the women, girls, and people of color we serve. To make a contribution or to learn more about the YWCA Greater Baton Rouge Community Bail Fund, visit ywca-br.org.
YWCA Greater Baton Rouge works to accomplish two important community and social goals: eliminate racism and empower women. In partnership with diverse stakeholders in the Capitol Region of Louisiana, the YWCA has historically worked to ensure that women and children from low-wealth and economically challenged communities have better access to economic opportunity through programs designed to provide affordable childcare, address the spread of HIV/AIDS, prevent teen pregnancy and train women for a competitive workforce.
Through collaborative relationships with local businesses, public and private organizations, as well as local municipalities, YWCA Greater Baton Rouge is a collaborative leader in building community and providing opportunities for families.With this guiding organizational framework, we provide direct service to the community through three signature programs: Sisters Informing, Healing, Living, and Empowering; Early Head Start; and our Community Bail Fund.
We are a free campaign for youth, founded by Colin Kaepernick, to advance the liberation and well-being of Black and Brown communities through education, self-empowerment, mass-mobilization and the creation of new systems that elevate the next generation of change leaders. In response to the current community’s needs, the Know Your Rights Camp COVID-19 Relief Fund was established in March 2020. Hundreds of years of structural racism is making Black and Brown communities more vulnerable to the coronavirus. Black and Brown people are more likely to be infected, less likely to be tested, less likely to be treated, and more likely to die from COVID-19. The Know Your Rights Camp Legal Defense Initiative was established in May 2020 and has identified and teamed up with top defense lawyers and civil rights lawyers nationwide to provide legal resources for those in need.
We are a non-partisan, not-for-profit organization that has worked to realize Robert F. Kennedy’s dream of a more just and peaceful world since 1968. In partnership with local activists, we advocate for key human rights issues, championing changemakers, and pursuing strategic litigation at home and around the world. And to ensure change that lasts, we foster a social-good approach to business and investment and educate millions of students about human rights and social justice.