Important Community Updates and Transition
Abolition Apostles will dissolve its current organizing structure and form a new collective that continues to be committed to abolition and solidarity with incarcerated folks.
Dear community members,
We hope this email finds you well, and we are grateful for your support and involvement in our work. We regret to share that the two founders, Sarah and David, have decided to step down from Abolition Apostles. This comes after conflict unfolded within the organization, and several community members approached the founders with concerns of how the conflict was handled. While community members sought to hold space for accountability and a response rooted in transformative justice, Sarah and David renounced their leadership, parted ways from the organization, and have requested to not be contacted regarding the ministry’s work. This situation has brought up challenging feelings for many of us, and we are grateful for the volunteers who have come together to help discern what next steps will look like for our community. Here is where we are at currently:
After careful thought and consideration of our inside and outside community, we have decided that due to the unstable foundation of this ministry, Abolition Apostles will dissolve its current organizing structure. We want to make it clear that while our foundation will look different; we plan to remain connected as a community. We know that this might bring a lot of questions as far as exactly what this process may entail.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Should I still be writing to my pen pal(s)? ABSOLUTELY! This transition is not meant to impact relationships with our inside friends.
Will pen pals still be able to receive mail at PO Boxes? MOSTLY! The PO Boxes will be available for use while in transition. However, we have found the existing PO Box structure to be unsustainable for regional leaders, and several community members have also encouraged others to use personal addresses as a way of building more abolitionist solidarity with inside folks. If you feel comfortable using your own address and/or setting up an account on JPay for electronic communication, we encourage you to do so. Volunteers taking part in our collective transition have offered to hold a meeting/space for those interested in moving to use personal addresses, what that may look like logistically, and hold space for emotional processing and questions related to this. You can join that discussion on March 23 at 7 p.m. ET via Zoom at this link.
Will we still be called Abolition Apostles? NO! New foundation, new name.
Are funds to our inside friends being affected? YES! While we are redistributing our remaining funds to the commissaries of inside community members and necessary operating costs, we have paused all incoming donations as we move through this transition. As a result, we will not be able to continue the hotline, commissary requests, or book requests at the moment.
What about the hospitality house funds that were raised? David and Sarah shared with our transition team, “We have requested that the Crescent City Community Land Trust (CCCLT), which has been holding all funds raised for the hospitality house, mail a check for all these funds to Cornerstone Ministries. CCCLT said they would mail the check as soon as possible.”
Will the Slack community still exist? YES! We hope Slack will continue to foster space for our abolitionist community. Not part of it yet? You can join here!
How should we communicate? The easiest way to communicate with our outside community members is through the Slack workspace. If you don’t use Slack, you can still email us at firstname.lastname@example.org; however, all other email addresses with an @abolitionapostles.org email address will be ended on March 14.
When will the next pen pal orientation occur? We are temporarily suspending orientations while we determine what our new structures will look like.
What’s next and how can I help? We will be hosting community meetings to support us as we collectively transition through our next steps and organizing structure. If you’d like to take on specific tasks, you can add your name and begin working on action items here. You can get involved on Slack through the #transition channel, and we will share more information with our community as it is available. We will be posting updates as they become available on Our Transition webpage.
We all remain deeply committed to discerning the best ways to move forward, to solidarity with our inside community, and to living into our values of abolition. We’re sending lots of love and gratitude to this community, and we look forward to being in conversation with you all more soon.
Transition Coordinating Team