During these pandemic times, maybe you have needed an encouraging word or someone to remind you that you are loved and that you are not alone. Following the footsteps of Martin Luther King Jr. and countless others who have led us to love actively, we are inviting community members to channel that same energy to write and send letters of love, compassion and encouragement to our incarcerated neighbors, especially in a time that is increasingly challenging and isolating.
It has been a long couple years that the global community has been wrestling with a worldwide pandemic, and we are now about to embark on year three. In the midst of these challenging years, the community of 15,000 adults living inside Oregon’s prison institutions have experienced increased isolation due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Due to the surge of cases brought on by the Omicron variant, all thirteen DOC institutions are in Tier 4 status for Covid protocols (Tier 4: Entire institution quarantining for 14 days.) In spite of past choices, racial injustices and prejudice, systemic issues in mental, educational and physical health care, we believe that all incarcerated adults have inherent worth, dignity and value, and deserve love and belonging.
“Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. We are caught in an escapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly. Never again can we afford to live with narrow, provincial “outside agitator” idea. Anyone who lives inside the United States can never be considered an outsider anywhere within its bounds.”
– Martin Luther King Jr., Letter from the Birmingham Jail, April 16, 1963
To learn more about Know Me Now visit their website at: www.knowmenow.org
See the PDF for instructions on how to write a letter.