Wealth Gap

Ernest Johnson

At Ubuntu Village NOLA, our philosophy is that every human being should have the common necessities as housing, livable wages, and health care. Considering the wealth disparities too often, we find Black and Brown people struggling to decide priorities, leaving gaps that often drive them to poverty. The Prison Industrial Complex is one of the most bias and systemic entities created by policies and laws that punish Black and Brown people compared to their White counterparts. It is a waste of Taxpayers' money, an enactment of slavery, and a displacement of Black and Brown people in particular. Monetary sanctions, as in fines and fees in the juvenile justice system, complicates the very existence of this group of people. It does not help in any form of rehabilitation and restoration. Eliminating fines and fees in the form of a debt-free justice will move us a step ahead in the path of creating equity for all. We must continue to amplify the social ills of our society and develop policies that are just for everyone. Ubuntu, “I am because we are"

On Tuesday, October 26, at 1 p.m. ET, The Debt Free Justice Campaign will host a webinar about how structural racism and white supremacy lead to outrageous fees and fines being imposed on families of color.  We will discuss how structural racism predicts who fees and fines are imposed on and how it affects state-level efforts to abolish fees and fines. Michael Harris from National Center for Youth Law will break down the role structural racism plays in the juvenile justice system as well as other systems that feed into it – and how this systemic racism results in fees and fines landing harder on youth of color. Ernest Johnson of Ubuntu Village NOLA will demonstrate how these forces showed up in their campaign to end fees and fines in Louisiana and what advocates need to know to fight back against it.

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