We develop leaders. Our leaders change lives.
Our Project was launched in 2019 to bolster the movement
of directly impacted leaders and organizations fighting to end mass incarceration and abolish the criminal legal system.
Since our founding, we have helped to seed new organizations and assist existing ones with capacity building and campaign support. These organizations and others are building local political homes for the abolitionist movement that organize to free Black people from incarceration and its collateral consequences.
We have a growing community of ten organizations in eight states, covering 17 of the most impacted jurisdictions.
There are four pillars that guide our work:
is about reimagining and envisioning our communities through our own self-determination while creating alternative responses to harm that aren’t more harm. Until we get there, we use harm reduction as a stance/approach to meet people where they are, to stop perpetuating the punishment system, and to advocate for shrinking the institutions behind mass incarceration.
Directly Impacted Leadership
When our movements are led by people who directly experience the impact of systems of oppression they seek to dismantle, our strategies employed are more focused, our organizing is more impactful and our demands more transformative. The road to abolition must be led by the formerly incarcerated and their family members.
The cure for the cancer of white supremacy, the structure that undergirds the criminal legal system, is Black Liberation. Black people must be the architects of the strategies and tactics that free Black people from the yolk of modern day slavery. And by freeing Black people, we free everyone.
The building blocks of the criminal legal system live within us. As we transform systems, we must also transform ourselves. At MassLib, we take on healing (somatics, therapy, recovery, coaching etc) as part of the work of liberating ourselves and our people.
“Caring for myself is not self-indulgence, it is self-preservation, and that is an act of political warfare.” Audre Lorde
“I’m longer accepting the things I cannot change… I’m changing the things I cannot accept.” Angela Davis
“Out beyond ideas of rightdoing and wrongdoing, there is a field. I’ll meet you there. When the soul lies down in that grass, the world is too full to talk about. Ideas, language, even the phrase each other doesn’t make any sense.” Rumi
“I believe that telling our stories… is a revolutionary act. It is an act that can be met with hostility, exclusion and violence. It can also lead to love, understanding, transcendence, and community.” Janet Mock
“The moment we choose to love, we begin to move towards freedom, to act in ways that liberate ourselves and others.” Bell Hooks