All are welcome to participate in our church's Committee to End the New Jim Crow (CENJC), which is part of the Michigan Collaborative to End Mass Incarceration.
The CENJC accepts donations of used paperback books for Ingham and Eaton
County inmates on selected Sunday mornings. Please bring your extra paperbacks (no hardcover) or
purchase a couple from our Grove Street Book Shop
just off the Atrium at church.
This is a way for us to provide inmates with knowledge, quiet
entertainment, and spiritual enrichment through reading during a
difficult time in their lives.
Inmates’ specific requests include spiritual/religious, mystery, and
Much thanks to all who donated paperbacks for inmates at our first collection. Nearly 500 were donated! Your thoughtfulness is very much appreciated by the inmates, the jail librarians, and our committee.
Upcoming book collections will be held on the following Sundays: March 19, June 18, September 17, and December 17.
The CENJC raises funds for prisoner and family advocacy organizations, demonstrates and meets with legislators to influence state policies, and presents educational programs to the congregation and wider community. The group also hosts lectures, discusses books (including Michelle Alexander's The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness, a Common Read of the Unitarian Universalist Association), and provides space in our church building for meetings of Nation Outside, a support group for families of the incarcerated.
The mission of the CENJC is to end mass incarceration through both education and action. We wish to educate ourselves and others about the ways in which the criminal justice system in the United States perpetuates racial and economic hierarchies. We wish to contribute to efforts to change laws, policies, and programs that created mass incarceration including, but not limited to, harsh sentencing laws, drug laws, racial profiling practices, zero tolerance policies in schools, and policies that deny the rights of former felons and limit their ability to successfully reenter society. As Unitarian Universalists, we believe the punitive turn that has occurred in the U.S. criminal justice system over the past several decades is inconsistent with our principle of the worth and dignity of all people.
Sharon Monod and Lynn Scott
represent CENJC on the Collaborative, which
meets at our church and is made up of over 20 statewide organizations
and a greater number of individuals.
For more information, contact Lynn Scott (CENJC Chair), Sharon Monod, John Sanford,
or Margaret Holmes-Rovner.
Find contact information in the directory available at church.