Updated: Nov 19, 2021
Note: We juxtapose injustices, within the context of jails and prisons, in the United States and on the continent of Africa; specifically South Africa. We seek to highlight similarities versus differences in an attempt to bridge the gap across the Transcontinental divide. It is our intent to increase awareness and promote solidarity in our quest for systemic reform of institutions of incarceration.
Fall/Winter Edition: Issue 5
How best to give justice to the untold stories of life after incarceration for persons belonging to the LGBT community!
Largest LGBTQ US prison abolitionist organization
Black and Pink is the largest United States prison abolitionist organization supporting Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer (LGBTQ) and prisoners living with HIV.
The group organizes a pen pal program. The prison abolitionist organization distributes a prisoner-written newspaper to its incarcerated members, provides court accompaniment, and educates people on their rights.
The rainbow that is Dominique Morgan
Dominique Morgan, the executive producer of Black and Pink, unpacks the prison experiences of the LGBTQ community. Morgan is an award-winning artist, activist, and TedxTalk speaker.
She works daily to dismantle systems that perpetuate violence in the LGBTQ/Gender Non-Conforming (GNC) people and people living with HIV/Aids.
How the Black and Pink executive producer is a force
Morgan has combined her mass incarceration experiences and 18 months in solitary confinement. as a revolution to abolish prison systems She has coupled the above with a decade of change-making artistry, advocacy, and a background in public health.
Morgan works in sex education spaces, radical self-care, and transformative youth development with intentions to dismantle the prison industrial complex and its impact on communities.
She is a 2020 Ten Outstanding Young Americans Award (TOYA) recipient. The NAACP awarded Morgan the Freedom Fighter Award. In 2020, Morgan was the JM Capelin Innovation Prize recipient. In 2020, the revolutionary force was completing a capstone project for studies in the Georgetown University - System Involved LGBTQ Youth Scholar Program.
Her new album Pisces, an E-Flat Major is available on all platforms. Morgan's book will be available in 2022.
From Morgan's mouth
“I am a person who identifies as formerly incarcerated. I am a Black transwoman from Omaha, Nebraska. I am a young person that navigated the juvenile system, foster care attention centers and was in the adult system for almost a decade,” shared Morgan.
Post prison release in February 2009, Morgan tried to utilize an Associate’s Degree in Culinary Management that she obtained during her incarceration “being a salve to the prison system for 8 to 10 hours a day working in the kitchen,” shared Morgan.
Revolutionary. Black. Transgender. Sourced.
How Morgan used resources to overcome adversities
Her highest hopes included figuring out how to navigate her 30s after living in prison through her 20s.
“Activism, community engagement through the pride organization in Nebraska. It is interesting to watch folks who have had access to ways of knowing that prepared them for what they want to do.”
Morgan observed teenagers go through experiences that she did not necessarily have.
“I watched teenagers, some of my students, they are in their freshman year. They are planning for what they want to do 20 years from now. I did not have that sort of experience," juxtaposed Morgan the teenage and student groups to herself.
It was not intentional. It was, ‘this is interesting to me. Let me, volunteer.’ It feels good to be among these people. I feel like I am giving back in some way.”
Executive Producer of Black and Pink. Sourced.
The event that changed the trajectory of Morgan’s life
One thing about Morgan is that she is plenty a woman. With plenty strategy. Upon attending an event, she interacted with someone who had been paid at the event. Morgan was curious as to how they had received the opportunity.
“I asked her, ‘how did that happen?’ And she was like, ‘I have a degree in public health.' I did not ask any other questions. I remember feeling embarrassed asking that question in the first place.”
If embarrassment is lemons, Morgan turned it into lemonade
Morgan “went home and signed up for an online degree program in a public health program that night. Five years later, [I] graduated with a degree in public health focusing on sexual health," said Morgan.
"I started working as a comprehensive sex educator at a qualified health center in Omaha, Nebraska. It was exciting to work with my community, the Black community of Omaha, around our access to sexual liberation. And being able to investigate how the lack of comprehensive sex ed[ucation] was a lynchpin."
Watch the rest of the episode on YouTube.